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Hiking Through Central Oregon

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By: burgundy bug

From Oregon With Love

Source: From Oregon with Love | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Oh, Oregon. Known for your hipsters and loved for your legal cannabis, you are home to some of the most beautiful national parks in America.

The summer before my freshman year of college, I was fortunate enough to land myself in the heart of Oregon. Bent on capturing the corona during the Total Solar Eclipse, I was determined to cram as much of the state as I could into my six-day getaway.

Pilot Butte – Bend, OR

Pilot Butte from Bend, OR

Source: Approaching Pilot Butte | Penelope Peru Photography P³

Pilot Butte is a lava butte that formed as the result of an extinct volcano. The cinder cone butte is approximately 500-ft above the surrounding area, with a hiking trail and a one-lane road that lead to the top.

Sunset from Pilot Butte

Source: Sunset from Pilot Butte | Penelope Peru Photography P³

The hike to the top of Pilot Butt is hard, don’t let ANYONE – especially locals – try to tell you otherwise. It is a 2-mile hike up 480-ft without any guard rails (at least, not when I had visited). There are benches and pets are allowed, which is a plus. Just be weary if you aren’t particularly fond of heights!

Bug’s Two Cents

Alright, maybe it’s not THAT difficult of a hike. Bear in mind I’m a city gal – we don’t hike up 480-ft for fun around here. We don’t even like walking down the street for milk. That’s why there’s a convenience store that rhymes with “haha” on every corner.

I had also spent the day hiking on various trails prior to my visit, and I’m not even sure I had water with me. Going up Pilot Butte was decided on a whim after a local promised it would be an easy trail with an awestriking scenic viewpoint.

Sunset from Pilot Butte

Source: Yellow Skies & Mountain Silhouettes from Pilot Butte | Penelope Peru Photography P³

My group and I took the local’s word and made the journey. With each wrap around the butte, the light at the end of the tunnel seemed further and further away. Things got especially tense when one of us started having a panic attack.

Once we made it to the top, we were dazzled by the city of Bend twinkling below us. Cars scurried around the streets like ants as rush hour traffic died out into the surrounding suburbs before our very eyes.

Bend from Pilot Butte

Source: Pilot Butte | Penelope Peru Photography P³

We decided it wouldn’t be worth attempting to navigate down Pilot Butte at dusk, so we did what any good tourist would do. We called the police for assistance.

Pilot Butte at Dusk

Source: Pilot Butte | Penelope Peru Photography P³

As promised, an officer arrived at the scenic viewpoint and gave us a ride to the base of the butte, laughing the whole way down. He said it was the most interesting call the station had heard all week.

Sunset from Pilot Butte

Source: Pink Skies & Mountain Silhouettes from Pilot Butte | Penelope Peru Photography P³

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burgundy bug


A cynical optimist and mad scientist undercover, burgundy bug is the editor, graphic designer, webmaster, social media manager, and primary photographer for The Burgundy Zine. Entangled in a web of curiosity, burgundy bug’s work embodies a wide variety of topics including: neuroscience, psychology, ecology, biology, cannabis, reviews, fashion, entertainment, and politics. You can learn more about working with burgundy bug by visiting her portfolio website: burgundybug.com

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