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I Hiked Black Butte! SLOWLY -- but successfully!

Monday, June 10, 2013

I hiked two more hikes this weekend! On Saturday, Hanne and I hiked the river loop at LaPine State Park, approximately 4 miles, easy trail.

LaPine State Park

And today I had a GREAT hike up Black Butte.

Black Butte from the highway

The trail is quite steep, and I e-mailed my friends asking if anyone wanted to hike it SLOWLY with me. (Last time I hiked it with someone who was MUCH faster and I was overheated and exhausted by the end). Jean and I had a great hike! We went uphill (1600 ft elevation gain) at a very slow pace, and downhill at a moderate pace. The views from the top were spectacular!

The hike up Black Butte, and my hike along the Metolius last week, reminded me of the Native American story of our volcanic mountains. From Black Butte, we could see much of Cascades Mountain range, including Mount Hood, and Mt Adams (which is across the border in Washington, over 150 miles away). So I am retelling the legend in my own words. This is a common story from several different tribes, including the Warm Springs and Klickitat.

A long time ago the mountains were alive. Coyote was really worried and ran to all the mountains. He told them that Mt Hood (Wy’East) and Mt St Adams (Pahto) were fighting over a beautiful woman, Mt St Helens (Loowit). The rival mountains threw huge rocks at each other and big flaming fireballs, and they were destroying the world by covering it with ash and throwing huge boulders. The other mountains agreed to come and stop the battle before the jealous lovers destroyed the world.

The mountains started out on the long journey. They are very large, and travel very slowly. Black Butte packed her woven bag with all her plants and seeds for food along the way. Her husband, Green Ridge, was a famous hunter. He carried a deer over his shoulders so they would have good meat.

It was long and hard distance for these huge mountains to travel. Black Butte stopped because she was so tired, and so sweaty from the hard exercise. Green Ridge lay on his side next to her, and complained that she was going too slowly.

Green Ridge is the ridge in the background behind Deb

This made her cry and sweat even more. Her tears and sweat became the Metolius River; that’s why it’s so clean and pure. It is the tears and sweat of a mountain.

Metolius River

While they argued and while she cried, she didn’t notice that the plants and seeds had fallen out of her bag. And while he pouted and complained at his wife, Green Ridge didn’t notice that the deer slipped away to hide in the forest. That’s why there are so many different plants and deer for our people to eat!

Coyote is very clever and sneaky of course. So while he waited for the mountains to arrive, he saw an opportunity when the two rivals were on the opposite side of the river – he broke the Bridge of the Gods that crossed the Columbia River. So Mt Hood and Mt Adams were separated and couldn’t fight any more. When Coyote told the other mountains what had happened, they each stopped their long march, right in a row. They are still here, all lined up from their journey.

Me at the top of Black Butte! Mountains in the background

The small dots are hikers on the trail

Broken Top and Middle and North Sisters from Black Butte
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I loved this blog! The pictures made me want to go there NOW! And I loved the tale of course... so beautiful... Thank you Alison.
    And congratulations for hiking such a steep mountain! Slowly is the way to do it, but I know at the moment I wouldn't be able to do it, slowly or not... so, definitely, congratulations!
    1728 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/29/2013 4:16:29 PM
    So beautiful, Allison! You always share such beauty. Thank you!
    1738 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your hike, pictures, and especially the legends.

    Black Butte is exactly the kind of hike Peter would like... he likes a climb with a distinct profile... no flat-top hills for him.

    I'm heading for Nova Scotia on Friday to spend a week with my son & his wife and other friends & relatives. Hope to get in some walking. (Ian is a marathon runner, and there's no way I can keep up with him!)

    Have a good week,
    1746 days ago
  • DR1939
    Wonderful hike and story. Thanks for sharing.
    1748 days ago
    You so much bring back memories of my life out west when I lived there. I lived in Idaho, Utah, and New Mexico - beautiful country! Thanks SO much for sharing the photos too. emoticon Great memories! AND keep up the GREAT work!! emoticon
    Love, Chelsea emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1748 days ago
    I loved hearing the folktale of the forming of the mountains and streams along with your pictures! I could just picture the faces of school children being fascinated by the tale as they gazed around at the surroundings! Absolutely loved this blog.
    emoticon emoticon

    1748 days ago
    Wow-look at you hiking up that mountain! emoticon And what gorgeous photos! Thank you for the story too! Very interesting! emoticon
    1748 days ago
    Oh what a wonderful hike! Thank you for sharing the pics with us too!!! Beautiful!
    1748 days ago
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