“Awbrey Butte, After Dark”

“Awbrey Butte, After Dark”

Originally appeared in Trazzler

After the sun makes her encore performance, Jerry and I own Awbrey Butte. That’s not to say we hold the titles to the million dollar feax-craftsman castles that line the ridges, more like we patrol the streets and trails that criss-cross the butte. Working our way down the makeshift trails and empty lots, we set our sights on our primary destination, the River Trail. Catching it at the 1st Street Rapids, Jerry takes off with familiar excitement. Despite our different reasons, the waterfowl and I share a common goal; keeping Jerry out of the river.

The Aussie enthusiasm shines in the waxing moon as he runs with the herds of deer making their home on the 9th fairway of River’s Edge golf course. We catch the River Trail again near Sawyer Park and run it down the river, crossing Archie Briggs road and towards the Archie Briggs trail. After taking in the moonlit views of the cascades on one of the memorial benches placed along the River Trail, Jerry and I head up the butte.
The trail gains 1000 feet before dumping us onto Remarkable Drive. The strolling freedom of our nighttime mansion exploration without the worries of daytime traffic or those pesky Bend leash laws is as relaxing as the hike up the butte was taxing. We take Remarkable Drive to Constellation, cross over the Mount Washington landscaping strip and onto Fairway Heights.

The final leg of our journey is filled with the recent memories of our five mile urban hike. Both Jerry and I seem content we were able to catch many of Bend’s classic landmarks; including views of the Old Mill, Pilot Butte, and the Cascade & Ochoco ranges. Our encounters with deer, waterfowl, and other nocturnal animals remind us of what Bend used to be like before people began to realize all that Bend has to offer…all without having to get in the car.