Mary’s Peak

Last Saturday night, I was sitting in a friends house chatting around the kitchen table about all the awesome things that we need to do this summer. I mentioned we should head up Marys Peak to watch the sunrise later in the summer. Marys Peak is the highpoint of the Central Oregon Coast Range and the highpoint for Benton County.

As it turned out, neither of them had ever been up Marys Peak at all (even though one had lived nearby his whole life) and they were excited to go. In fact, they were so excited that within twenty minutes we were in the car with sleeping bags and some warm clothing. Sprocket happily hopped in the back of the car and away we went.

Arriving at the end of the long twisty road that takes you nearly to the top of the peak, I pitched a tent for Sprocket and I just outside the car. We promptly fell asleep after setting my alarm for 5am. (Sprocket, as usual, was an awesome tent cuddler. His nose immediately found its way into my sleeping bag.)

Waking in the dawn twilight, I realized that it was sort of cloudy so we wouldn’t get the full sunrise effect from the mountain: when it’s really clear all the Cascade peaks from Rainier to Shasta are silhouetted by the light and the furthest peaks disappear the moment the sun rises over Mount Jefferson. Since we’d driven all the way to the mountain we hiked the 0.7 miles to the top despite the clouds and watched the sun rise over the valley, picking out I-5, the Willamette River, Eugene, Corvallis, and other small towns.

Starting the day on a mountaintop is never a bad plan

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