Looking over Marys Peak

Yesterday I left work around 4:30 with the idea that I was going to get my oil changed. It is due next week but my parents are coming to town and we are going to road trip around Oregon... so the responsible thing seemed to be getting it done before they get here.

Something happened on the way to the service center... I decided to drive to the top of Marys Peak instead.You can see this peak from Corvallis and it is the tallest in the coastal range. Going to the top has been on my summer bucket list and, after a day of feeling unproductive in the office, I thought it might be nice to check something off some list somewhere.

I learned something about myself. On the windy, switchback road to the top, my knees were getting a little shaky and my breathing was off.  I had a thought: I think I might be afraid of heights. I know I don't like ladders and rock climbing is not on my wish list anywhere, but this was a new sensation. It is weird that it was as powerful as it was yesterday. Coming home from Missouri each Christmas, I would race over the Appalachians between Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC, at 65 mph (sometimes in the snow). It has never really phased me. But that was Interstate 40 and it is 2-4 lanes wide. This was a winding, tree-lined road that, in places, was really only wide enough for one car. It shook me up a little, I won't lie.

I stopped along the road to take a few pictures and catch my breath.

Once you get to the parking lot at the top, you are above the treeline.The view was worth the shaky-kneed drive. There is a bit of hiking across a field along a service road to reach the actual peak (4,097ft above sea level) and I made the trek.... still in my sandals and dress clothes from work (being impulsive has its down side).

After hiking the service road/trail up to the top, you are rewarded with panoramic views of the coastal range, the Willamette valley and, on a clear day, all the way to the Pacific. This was not a clear day, but great all the same.


This was my favorite... a shot as I turned around to head back down.

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