|Page Type:||Trip Report|
|Date Climbed/Hiked:||Aug 10, 2014|
The beginning part of Kelly Butte was definitely easy for me, and I felt a sense of peace and willpower and fortitude as I started the trail with a wonderful hiking partner we brought along and my husband invited through a friend of his named Sherrie. The beginning of Kelly Butte starts out like a regular trail, but quickly starts graduating up into challenging footing (for me, grant it, I am 100 pounds overweight) and some really steep sections. The biggest thing that I struggle with, as my wonderful and experience, beautiful hiking husband Greg knows, is my sense of “exposure” and Kelly Butte definitely has that for me. For EastKing, this mountain is very easy to him, as most that he does with me are.
Kelly Butte has some varying and interesting landscape and after the part with the tricking footing and the jagged rock (which was really awesome, and gave me a Hobbit like feeling as some Northwest trails do have this medieval feel to them, so picturing myself as the Wizard really helps, because in the Hobbit, he has to maneuver some really steep sections and really steep sections, so it helped me a lot to picture that, and I was very successful!)
Sherrie was pretty fit but wanted to take it slow because she is just getting back into the sport of hiking. Aside from EastKing, who is an amazing partner to hike with and who I am blessed to have as a husband, who always lovingly encourages me on the trail, no matter how bad my fibromyalgia and chronic pain gets…Sherrie was really the best person I could have gone on this trail with. For one: She is patient, loving, compassionate and gave me many encouraging words on the whole entire trail. She kept saying things like, “You are doing great.” “You can do it.” “I am here for you.” How much more perfect can one get?
EastKing stayed steadily behind us, and was really great the whole time. Along the way, what I loved was the constantly changing geography about the mountain and on the way up. There were beautiful wildflowers on the way, and many places to appreciate views. What I did not bank on was how amazing the views are from the new lookout tower that was done. Greg had explained to me how many people had rebuilt that tower and how much love had gone into it. Greg, me and Sherrie felt like we were so blessed and lucky to be up there, and we were able to really take in the view for a little while and we just sat there and pretended the lookout tower was our mountain home for a while.
EastKing showed me, amazingly, his old entry in the well loved spiral notebook that served as the Summit Log, and he had signed it from 2010! I cannot remember who EastKing originally went up there with, but I am so proud of him for doing all he has done and the summit log helped me remember just how active EastKing has been since we have moved here in 2007. As we were doing this, I remember saying something to Sherrie like, “This could not get any more perfect” and then we saw some other hikers (the three people who would end up staying there for the night) bounding up quickly to the summit where we were. Sherrie said jokingly, “We charge chips as a price of admission!” and they laughed. There were two men in their fifties or sixties and a woman in her fifties, ( I could be wrong about their ages). When they got up, one of the men said that the “little white car” had a flat. So, I was like someone had slapped me in the face, and we immediately went into overdrive. I started to get into action mode, b/c I tend to be good in a crisis. We were all stressed out and uptight. When I feel responsible for other people, I get upset and feel pressure and being that EastKing and I have no money, it was hard for me to feel that responsible for Sherrie. The fact that our phones even worked on that mountain was incredible, but the service kept going out at the worst times when I was trying to call AAA.
When we got to the trailhead, Greg went ahead to see what was happening with the car, and then he came to me and said that the tire was not flat. I marveled at the fact that this guy who fixed our car did it with a “fix a flat for trucks” and the tire seemed fine. It has been fine since! I just never got a chance to thank that stranger. We did not see Angelo when we got to the trailhead after getting down, and seeing that the tire was fixed, we just kept heading down in the car, and then I kept sensing psychically that we were going to pass Angelo. We did, and it turns out after we pulled over to a place in town, that the tire was too big for the car. However, through it all, I learned that some people, though they are not always in our lives constantly, regularly or even a little bit, they can be there for us and come through.
Sometimes, great mountains have great lessons for us, and this mountain taught me about the kindness of strangers (the three people at the top) and the compassionate and amazing things people can do (The guy who fixed our tire at the bottom), my own stamina when I have more of a laser sharp focus, and how striking some mountains can really be.