What I'm Thankful For


Thanksgiving comes around towards the end of every year. It is the time of year the seasons are in flux; people start to hunker down until the spring when everything comes alive again. After an intense amount of time spent working or in front of my computer I decided to spend the holiday exploring new terrain out in the forest instead. Considering the holiday and the end of the season I knew the trails would be light with traffic and escaping society would be easy, which is exactly what I wanted. It is always good practice to hike with a friend, so I was happy to hear Ben was looking for some similar solitude and decided to join me.

The hike was originally intended to be a little more than 6 miles up and back, but because we attempted a different route back we added a couple of miles and some time bushwhacking to cut across a valley back up to the correct trail from a different ridge. Silver Star gets its name from the pattern of ridges that descend from the summit, creating a star pattern. There is a loop trail that circles around the summit so one wrong choice in trails could lead a person to venture down the wrong ridge.


Silver Star summit has been on my radar for a few years now. Standing tall at 4,364' it is known for having some of the most jaw dropping views of the more well-known giants around it. Towards the north views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier fill the void in the sky.


Towards the east, northeast direction Mount Adams stood alone.

Looking south you were greeted with some of the best views of Mount Hood in my opinion. Representing Oregon's wealth in natural landmarks Hood jets upwards and on a good day (not hazy or cloudy) Mount Jefferson can be seen standing to the south.



Sturgeon Rock sits below the summit on the western slope. On the hike up Grouse Trail we kept thinking this was our destination, but with the summit remaining hidden behind a few ridges we were wrong. Sturgeon rock adds some good foreground contrast to the many mountains that fade into the horizon.


Up on the summit we spent some time enjoying the Tofurkey, peas and corn I made the night before. On the lower summit we noticed another hiker who had similar ideas for the holiday. Sitting up there, taking in the 360 degree views of some of the northwest's largest natural monuments, I was giving thanks for the opportunities and inspirations that lead to my adventure and the many other experiences that came before this. Knowing I am not alone in sharing this feeling gives me confidence for the future generations.