Well…all good things seem to come to an end, at least temporarily. After a fantastic summer of swimming outdoors at the Juniper Park Pool it was time for the annual maintenance and the bubble to go up. Every few years they drain the Olympic pool for extended maintenance and repair. This was the year and it was going to be closed for a month! The indoor pool would be open however it’s not the same for lap swim junkies. Fish out of water…
In addition, after 37 good years in the financial services business it was time to move on to my “next chapter”. Sooo…not only was I going to be a fish out of water but I was also a fish without a job! What is one to do?
First up was a roadtrip from Bend to Bozeman to see Sean. We took the scenic route through Stanley, Idaho seeing the majestic Sawtooth Mountains and discovered a hot spring off the side of the road.
Bozeman was a blast seeing Sean in his “happy place” at work and with his like-minded friends. There was a trip to Big Sky for some downhill mountain biking. That was a first for me-wow!
We also saw the Marshall Tucker Band at a 120 year old saloon in Emigrant, MT with Sean and his friends. A great few days and looking forward to exploring more of Montana in the future.
It’s also important to keep ones brain engaged so I am reading a book on the history of Mexico. More on that in a future blog. To further aid brain stimuli I became Red Cross certified in CPR/AED & First Aid. I figured it was a good skill to have. While I was at it I decided I would get my lifeguarding certification~why not? I like the water and hanging around the water so another useful skill to have. I took the class in Seattle for 10 hours a day over the course of the weekend. I was the oldest student in the class by at least 40 years! It was a blast working with the kids and seeing everyone come together as a team to pass our written an practical tests. The kids even dropped the backboard with me on it when we were practicing a shallow water spinal injury extrication…hope they don’t do that with a real spinal victim. Fun times!
In the spirit of doing new things out of the water I experienced two fun “firsts”. Well…technically I was “in” the water for one just not submerged. I went fly fishing on the lower Deschutes by Warm Springs. Our friend, Scott invited me to spend the day on his boat with him and his dog. It was a great day; I learned about flies, hatches, euro-nymphing, strike indicators, casting, types of fish, there is so much to fly fishing…I had know idea. I actually, hooked a good sized trout but he snapped the line and got away. Isn’t that what everyone says? Honest, Scott saw it and he wouldn’t lie. Looking forward to learning more about this sport.
Scott’s wife, Kristin, was the organizer of the other big outing of the month. We were going to go for a hike! For my readers, that aren’t familiar with Bend you should know that we are blessed with the beautiful Cascade mountains in our backyard that serve as our scenic backdrop throughout Central Oregon. The Three Sisters (South, Middle, North) stand out prominently in the landscape. Our “hike” was to summit the South Sister (10,300 feet)!
There is so much to say about this day I will leave you with three quick thoughts. First, it was harder than expected as the last couple thousand feet are pretty steep with loose scree rock. There were more than a few times that I had to go deep inside and will my self to keep going.
Second, the reward of preserving and making it to the summit was sooo worth it. The views were absolutely incredible from looking at the other mountains in the range to looking down at the beautiful alpine lakes dotting the landscape. I only wish I could have jumped in one.
And lastly, the people on this adventure were great. They were interesting, fun and importantly supportive.
The hike was just under 13 miles in about 9.5 hours with and approximately 5000 feet of elevation gain. It was a quick turnaround when I got home as we went to the Jack Johnson concert at the amphitheater that night. Standing for three hours was a real treat 😛. The song that resonated with me that put a bow on the day (and month) was Better Together. A little hike followed by a little night music…a perfect Bend day!
It was a good and busy month out of the water (kinda) and out of work; 3 concerts, two roadtrips, three new certifications, mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, a reunion with my college friends, three sets of houseguests. I can’t wait to see how this next chapter evolves!
Oh and by the way the Olympic pool opened a week early 👊🏽.