South Sister Beckons, Oregon

Moraine Lake, Oregon August 2015

Moraine Lake Oregon
Moraine Lake in the foreground.  South Sister is the tallest red peak in the back.

Moraine Lake Oregon glistened before us.  It was as far as we had planned to hike that day, a moderate 6.8 mile loop with a 2000 feet elevation gain.  Beyond the smooth surface of the lake, Charity beckoned.  She is the youngest and tallest of the three volcanic peaks collectively known as the Three Sisters.  She sang a song of beauty that had our feet pushing further up the path as if the pied piper himself were playing his song for us.

 

South Sister Oregon
After hiking up from Moraine Lake we walked across this gorgeous plain. A view of  South Sister is in the background

 

The trail led us over a grassy slope and across a wide expanse called the Sandy Plain. Views of South Sister and Broken Top adorned the path.

 

Broken top in Oregon
Broken top in the far distance followed along to the right of the trail

South Sister, Oregon

After a mile or so we reached the base of South Sister and we started the steep climb.  Her sides are adorned with shale that causes us to slide one step back with every two steps forward.  We just wanted to reach the next glacial lake then we would turn back.

 

scrambling through shale up South Sister Oregon
Shale along the side of South Sister, Oregon

 

Just as we reached the saddle near the top, a small glacial lake appeared in a small crater adorned with snow and ice.  We sat down for a snack and gazed at the valley before us with its multiple hues of blue and green.  The landscape that lay before me made me feel as if I were being given a glimpse into the heart of the Artist.

 

South Sister crater lake Oregon
Small glacial lake fed by the Lewis Glacier near the top of South Sister

South Sister’s peak lay just on the other side of this crater. It would be another grueling and even steeper mile of loose rocks.  She begged us to come and we longed to comply, but the day was getting late, and the altitude brought cooler temperatures for which we were not prepared.  With one final glimpse we turned around and started hiking back down.


South Sister Oregon
View near the top of South Sister

 

Even now sitting here in Central America as I write this I can hear the trails of Oregon and the west coast calling my name.

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