|Some run up and down Pilot Butte|
I learned then that a 93-year-old man, after hiking up Pilot Butte less than three years, was about to join the 500-mile club.
I'm more of a fair-weather hiker of the butte. Still, it was so cold and windy one day this year that I had to wear a face mask and gloves to finish the climb.
On a bulletin board at the base of the butte there is a Century Club list of hikers who have reached various milestones: 200, 500, 1,000 etc.
Naturally, as the mileage increases, the number of people on the list decreases dramatically.
Still, it was a shock that my 200 miles are a far cry from what serious hikers have accomplished.
No. 1 on the Century Club list is Peggy Stenkamp. She's only logged 7,000 more miles than I have.
Gee, that's only 3,500 more trips up and down the butte.
Still, that means 3,500 more chances to take in the incomparable 360-degree view atop the butte, from the Cascades Range in the west to the Ochocos in the east. Plus, the vista gives the hiker an update on the growth of Bend from vantage a point of about 500 feet above the city.
One fact remains, though. It never gets easier to make that 1-mile trek up the butte.