It’s only fitting that Travels By Carr begins with my hike through the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. My adventures wouldn’t be in this corner of the internet if it weren’t for this hike. Or Tinder.
Christopher was a different Tinder date. Up until this point, hiking was something I did solo, ( Taggert, “tagged” along- Tag’s the prize dog who is responsible for most of my Instagram followers). Finding another human that would rather spend their weekend relentlessly pursuing the magical Golden hour of the mountains than debating the male romper over bottomless mimosas is far and few between.
Of course, I couldn’t say no when asked to hike Jefferson Park for a second date. Seriously, check out #mtjeffersonwilderness, and you’ll want to transport directly into the crystal lake and florescent forest fauna.
An episode of 48 Hours did pop into my head. This was only a second date & Christopher was still a semi-stranger. Always ready for adventure, you know I couldn’t say no. I was ready for the 100 mile roadtrip to the middle of some wilderness with someone I recently met. Throwing caution to the wind, I went with my adventure gut. (Don’t be like my mother. Yes, I had my track my friend app on).
I’d never met anyone like Christopher. He was like the mythical unicorn people refer to. Adventurer, fun-haver, hard woker, jokester. Plus, he fed me. Pulling into an inconspicuous looking front, I ate the best breakfast of my life.
Sassy Onion may look inconspicuous, but it has three important things:
Eggs. French Toast. Coffee = Breakfast of Hikers (Champions).
Read: I’m more amusing when I’m full & caffeinated.
The road to the trailhead winds alongside a bubbling river, which makes the perfect backdrop for any nature snaps. Windows down, wind blowing through my hair, the drive sped along, ending at a small gravel parking lot.
The trail starts off from the end of the lot with a few gradual switchbacks & then opens up to incredible views like this one:
It doesn’t take long to gain elevation. The above is me and Taggert probably sucking wind. Sucking wind can easily be covered up by “taking in the view”. I promise the elevation gain (and extreme sweat) are worth it- it brings you to this gem:
I’d hike 100 more miles to stumble out of the forest and see this again and again. This lake is where I knew my Tinder date would be sticking around for more than two dates…
He got me with his photography skills:
Ok, way more than just his photography skills…
Listening to the sounds of the woods, on a makeshift rock(ing) chair, he pulled out a mysterious flask. After a few text exchanges, this date remembered Pendleton Whiskey is my kryptonite and thought to pack it alongside the other hiking essentials. Can you re-read that sentence? The mythical unicorn does exist.
When you hike this trail, don’t miss this rock. Sitting on the Whiskey Rock, in the silence, whilst sipping whiskey can make even the hardened hiker pause. Life is really lived in these moments.
Scout Lake is where we turned around, after exploring it’s shores (and enjoying Pendleton). The lake sits at about six miles into the trail, making it the perfect spot for a U-turn. I call this “flipping a bi@$#” , but apparently not everyone has heard that saying as yelling this at my dad about gave him a heartattack…
Heading back down the trail towards the Jeep, I couldn’t hide the smile creeping across my face. I reluctantly placed one foot in front of the other, stretching out our afternoon. I desperately wanted to soak up each step and words slipping off our tongues. Anything or anyone that holds this time-saving effect should be kept close to your heart and continued.
Once back in the parking lot, we slipped off our shoes, and kicked up our feet. Christopher had brought a great pop up picnic table and snacks. Again, mythical unicorn.
Needless to say, the “hike” didn’t end here. After a 17-hour “day-date”, my Tinder date is still adventuring with me and taking pictures. Somehow hiking and Tinder conspired to bring two adventurers together; a match made in an adventurer’s paradise.
I’ll spare you my boring “how to get there”spiel, plugging the coordinates into the Jeep has been my preferred method of choice for finding trailheads. Jefferson Park Trailhead: 44.7213°N 121.8861°W
Check out Hike Oregon, who has far better information on specifics (mileage & directions). Read Hike Oregon’s Jefferson Park guide here.
Do you have a Tinder / Adventure love beginning? There’s magic in those moments & sharing makes them sweeter!