Tam McArthur Rim

Wilderness sign

Wilderness sign

If you’re having a rough time, just head to the Tam McArthur Rim trail. You will be so happy once you reach the top. Well, I was!

The drive here from Sisters, Ore. is not bad. About 16 miles on paved road, and 2 miles on washboard bumpy dirt road. There are two campgrounds at Three Creek Lake, seemingly popular among families with children. However, if you’re like me, you’ll end starting the trail around 2 PM and be at the top all by yourself, despite 10 groups passing by (going down) on the way up.

There are so many great things about this trail. Let me list them:

1. Interesting trees. From what I could tell, mountain hemlock, whitebark pine, lodgepole pine, and some others I couldn’t identify. Fragrant, lots of character, special.

2. Clark’s Nutcrackers. These birds are pretty. They make crazy sounds, and fly like they’re on a roller coaster. Can’t find these near Portland.

3. Dusty. Ash from past volcanic explosions means this is a dusty trail. My legs were dust-covered, as were my shoes and my nose. Felt like being on Mars.

4. Delicate flowers. Tiny flowers, sometimes stinky, dotted the landscape. I can’t resist tiny flowers. Something about them, maybe it’s that they’re so fragile, yet so showy and colorful. A beautiful thing that doesn’t last long.

5. Views. Get views of snowy mountains, buttes, small lakes, burnt trees, colorful rocks. I gasped and wowed.

So, there you go. What are you waiting for? Get on down to Sisters, Ore. and walk this trail. Don’t forget to smile and say hello to the Clark’s nutcrackers.

Despite the haze, the blue sky could be seen between poofy clouds.

Despite the haze off in the distance, the blue sky could be seen between poofy clouds.

The beauty of the trail was its subtlety: a delicate plant living on soil between rocks.

The beauty of the trail was its subtlety: a delicate plant living on soil between rocks.

Alex walks ahead of me. In the distance, one of my favorite mountains I saw: Broken Top.

Alex walks ahead of me. In the distance, one of my favorite mountains I saw: Broken Top.

Here, I'm running ahead in pure joy. This dry meadow was a highlight of the trail. Many raucous, swooping Clark's nutcrackers to be seen and heard.

Here, I’m running ahead in pure joy. This dry meadow was a highlight of the trail. Many raucous, swooping Clark’s nutcrackers to be seen and heard.

I loved this tiny, delicate red/orange/yellow flower.

I loved this tiny, delicate red/orange/yellow flower.

If you look closely, you might see the Clark's nutcrackers on the top of a tree.

If you look closely, you might see the Clark’s nutcrackers on the top of a tree.

More delicate flowers. Believe it or not, there's a flower that's called Dirty Sock, and it smells like stinky sweaty socks!!! http://bit.ly/16OKGIg

More delicate flowers. Believe it or not, there’s a flower that’s called Dirty Sock, and it smells like stinky sweaty socks!!!
http://bit.ly/16OKGIg

Reaching a splendid view of the Tam McArthur Rim. Doesn't it look like movies of alien planets?

Reaching a splendid view of the Tam McArthur Rim. Doesn’t it look like movies of alien planets?

I believe this is North Sister Mountain.

I believe this is North Sister Mountain.

Broken Top is my favorite, besides of course Mt Washington. I can't resist those sinister, daggeresque mountaintops.

Broken Top is my favorite, besides of course Mt Washington. I can’t resist those sinister, daggeresque mountaintops.

South or Middle Sister??

South or Middle Sister??

Mt Bachelor??

Check out these malevolent trees. Shouldn’t there be a turkey vulture on top though?

The rocks on top of Tam McArthur Rim were colorful and small like gravel.

The rocks on top of Tam McArthur Rim were colorful and small like gravel.

I miniaturized this lake far below!! Bwahaha!!!!!

I miniaturized this lake far below!! Bwahaha!!!!!

Survey marker and a flower eeking out existence on a rock.

Survey marker and a flower eeking out existence on a rock.

Let the credits roll.

Let the credits roll.

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