August 20, 2012.

9 mi. | 1500′ ele. gain | 4.5 hr.

I drove out with Karen and Sue to spend a couple days camping and hiking in Central Oregon. After spending a long and glorious night camped at Scott Lake, we set off for our first hike: Four-in-One Cone. This awkwardly named peak apparently had four little bumps on its summit ridge. I was excited to see what we’d find.

About 15 minutes into our walk we startled a little garter snake, who accordioned up and got ready to defend itself if necessary. Cute. We continued walking for the next hour or so through dry forest. Lots of Ponderosa pine trees guarded the trail.

But then we were spit out into the brunt of the sunshine. The forest thinned as we walked adjacent to a wall made of lava blocks. We got some nice views of North Sister, and then headed off across a wide open scree meadow. A side path branched left, leading us up the side of the cone. As we climbed up, more volcanoes poked their heads up: Middle Sister, Mt. Washington and others. The summit ridge was beautiful. Views for days, gnarly trees and quiet solitude. Aaaahhhh I could have sat here all day.

We explored the length of the ridge, ate some food and returned the way we came.

The clouds were spectacular. Plus they offered a little bit of relief from the hot sun. Not enough.

I was glad to drop back into the forest and power my way back to the trailhead. We’d spend another night at our lakeside camp spot and then go on another adventure tomorrow!

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