Sunrises, a perk for the early.
We are in the midst of what I call “The Great Thaw.” A time when the incessant grey blanket of seasonal affective disorder is lifted. Blue sky comes to Central Oregon again and reigns upon us it’s solar glory. The Pines begin to drip, the smothering ice retreats and the ground can once again breath! We can all breath! Winter has released it’s frozen grip. This is my favorite time of year to be out. If you can pick around the puddles and patches of snow you can see life begin again.
Bessie Butte is my other butte. To Pilot ‘in-town’ Butte and Lava ‘on-the-way-home’ Butte anyway. Admittedly, there are enough buttes in my life that I have taken to giving them nicknames. Seems silly to personify a mass of dirt but I assure you each one has a unique personality, no two inclines are ever alike.
Bessie is easy going; a conversational butte, if you will. The first time I ever came here was with friends and coffee. We climbed to the top, sat upon a log, and had a great chat amongst the clouds.
This day I was alone, save for 3 firemen and their 6 (lab) puppies. A bangerang butte find, really. They were making laps of the 438 foot incline. I was the fool, mountain-goat stepping over a sheet of ice. I’ve been gym bound so long that I’d forgotten my pole. I suppose in my head I’d hoped the trail would be completely clear of ice, that I could gazelle my way to the top and then lay in a golden meadow of magical marigolds and chocolate dewdrops. What funny things a long winter can do to the brain…
Bessie Butte is located off Forest Road 1810 off China Hat Rd. outside of Bend. It is ranked as the 1648th tallest mountain in Oregon.