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Mt. Catherine (TNAB Finale)
posted by John : September 25, 2008

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Where's my pole?

Legend has it that on the last Thursday of September the most foolish of the fools from TNAB emerge from the mist to gather on the summit of an insignificant peak. After much foolishness (they are fools, after all) they disappear until the Spring. So it has been and so it will always be.

Who am I to mess with the stuff of legends?

I started on the bus as part of my quest to save the world. Even taking the earliest bus home didn't get me to North Bend until a little after 5pm. (That's about 10 minutes late.) I sprinted for home and got changed, but I was still going to be late for the carpool meeting. I called to tell Scott and Josie to go up without me, but there was no answer. (A disturbing trend...) As I was climbing into the car for the solo drive to the trailhead I got a call and found I was able to meet them after all. (Score one more for the planet.)

Of course, the downside to riding up with them was that I had my ears professionally cleaned by Athena and Zeus, their two dogs. That ringing that's been in my ears for years? Gone! Thanks.

As payment I had to give up my outer sock layer since one (not naming any names) of my chauffeurs had dropped her socks on the way to the truck. (Oh, did the gender thing give it away?) Still, a small price to pay.

At the trailhead most everyone was already well up the trail or just leaving the cars. Except Joseph who is usually the last to leave the trailhead, but somehow the first to the summit.

As the last trip of the TNAB season Mt. Catherine was chosen to be short. The only other time I'd been up there in the summer it was a quick trip, but I didn't remember it being this short. It seemed that we were on top without even spending an hour on the trail. (Of course, the marathon last winter might have had something to do with skewing my memory.)

Along the way up Tokul ran with Zeus and Athena. The two girls (Tokul and Athena) would take off up the trail. When they returned Zeus would sprint up ahead. Each time Tokul outpaced Athena. (This didn't seem a problem at the time, but on the way home Athena wouldn't sit in the back with Tokul, who has been declared Zeus' new girlfriend.)

At the summit we had the same spectacular views we had on Kaleetan the week before. Lots of gray, but a bunch of smiling faces.

Since we were back at the cars by 7:30 (shortest TNAB ever!) there was plenty of time to go to the Pour House (aka, the bar). Since I hadn't even had time to eat my usual gourmet meal up high (the illustrious PBJ) I actually ordered food. So did everyone else. That same unnamed person ordered something called "Cheesy Tots."

What's a Cheesy Tot?

Try one.

Ooh... that's good. One more.

Actually, that's not real cheese is it? Better have one more.

I think that's the last one. Well, maybe one more.

Ugh. Why did I eat that? Really? The next one will be better?

Ooh, it was better. One more.

Oh, God. I feel like I'm having a baby!

Unless you feel like experiencing all the ups and downs of an entire year in a few bites of heavily processed cheese-like side dish I'd recommend staying away from the Cheesy Tots.

The fries are great, though.

Totals: 2.9 miles, 1,200 feet of gain, and six too many Cheesy Tots.

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