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The ODonnell family at Tam MacArthur RimTam MacArthur Rim





183 Miles to Mount Adams



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Elevation: 7,732 Feet



The heat had finally hit for the 2005 summer season so we knew we needed to get up nice and early to get out into the exposed desert and finally do the Tam MacArthur Rim.  We had tried a previous time, but the Big Green Machine decided to drop it's tail pipe a few miles outside of Sisters, Oregon.  That led to a thousand dollar disaster at the hands of the most incompitent mechanic I had ever heard of.  Not so I get sued, but the name of the business should have been Automotive InExperience, if you catch my drift.  Suffice to say, the man broke our jeep fixing it and then charged further after breaking it to fix what he broke forcing us to actually go to another mechanic who took out all the work and parts they put in and did the job right.  But I usual.

Three Sister

We drove up into the mountains and parked at the Three Sisters Lake campgrounds and started up the Tam MacArthur Rim trail.  This was going to be a five mile up and back with 1,300 feet of elevation gain.  This ended up being Tanis's longest and hardest hike.  While he did get tired towards the top, he really only took one break and probably could have done more.  Not bad for 5 years old.  Of course I have to say that, I am his shining father.

Tam MacArthur Rim with the Sisters sitting in the background

We were the first ones on the trail in the cool morning air.  There wasn't a single cloud in the deep blue sky.  The air was just a tad hazy on the very top of the horizon, giving me some of the best views I have ever seen in Oregon.  It didn't take too long to start seeing the tops of the Three Sisters mountains, Broken Top and Mount Bachelor.  It was just a glimpse of what was going to come once we actually got up to the very rim itself.

Tanis and Linda ODonnell with North Sister looking over them on Tam MacArthur Rim - Hiking OregonWe didn't make the fastest speed and were passed by a couple of people.  Tanis happily plodded along and gave Linda and I an interesting lesson on the versatility and entertainment a single eye-ball can give.

Tanis has spent a week with his Nana and Papa O'Donnell at the beach with his two cousins, Haley and Allison.  Now, as well as being her Uncle, Haley and I also share the love of knowing it all, and when not knowing it all, taking our best guess as to what the answer should be anyway.  Some people call this "bullshitting," but I think we both agree that even in bullshit you might find something you can hang your hat on...even if that ends up being petrified crap.  Along with this gift of the gab, we have a tendency to take those a tad more gullible than ourselves and teach them things not entirely true.

Tanis asked me if I could pop my eyeball out and put it in my mouth.  His mother and I exchanged a quizzical look between us and I repeated back his question with just enough skepticism to make Tanis stop and put his hands on his hips.  He explained he knew it on great authority that it is possible to pop your eyeball out of your head and put it in your mouth.

Linda chucklingly asked him who had told him that.  He proudly told us, "Haley."  Tanis went into great detail about how Haley had popped her eyeball out of her head and put it in her mouth, lovingly swished it from side to side and proceeded to swallow it whole. 

"Swallows it, did she?"  I asked. 

"Yep.  Then she had to go to the bathroom and fart the eyeball out, wash it off and put it back in."

Tanis and Jody ODonnell on the rim of Tam MacArthur

Of course, I couldn't contain it anymore.  I laughed, Linda laughed, and Tanis sat their looking completely indignant.  "She really, really did, I mean it!"  We just laughed harder.  The more we explained that his cousin was fooling him the harder he defended her.  Evidently, she enucleated her eye quite often during that month at the beach.  After which she discreetly went to the bathroom, squeezed out an eyeball, cleansed it thoroughly and came back to show Tanis how wonderful it was to have full vision again.

By this time, we had reached the top of the rim and all around us the mountains loomed up with breathtaking clarity.  Broken Top and South Sister were still a bit behind the rim, but North and Middle Sister were right there.  Going north you could see Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood and way off in the distance, 183 miles away was the top of Mount Adams in far off Washington State.  We took our pictures, wandered around the cliffs for a while and decided to head back.  Tanis was really stoked about how fun the hike was and how far he had gone.  We got back to the Big Green Machine and drove to Bend, Oregon where we had the best breakfast you can get in Bend, Alpenglow.

Mount Bachelor from Tam MacArthur Rim