Just when you think you’ve had enough, enough shuttling Ted back and forth, enough dropping off his lunch, enough being continuously “on call” in comes the reserve. And the reserve came in the form of Mike Hubbard, college buddy and lifelong friend of Ted’s and best man in our wedding. And for the next three days, Mike was certainly my “best man” relieving me to do such fun tasks as washing clothes and running errands. I even found time to putting a few more entries on the blog! By taking two cars out each day, Mike’s little green car along with the WAO Sag Wagon, I was set free.
Ted at the half-way point of the walk
Though I can’t tell of Days 13, 14 and 15 firsthand, I do know that Mike provided tremendous support for Ted and as they walked every mile together for a grand total of 50 miles. They reached the halfway point of the trip on Day 14. Together they climbed the Ochoco Divide while walking through a snow flurry. Mike even walked the entire final day with a bad blister, cutting out the end of an old tennis shoe to give his toe relief, thus enabling him to make that final day’s trek.
Other than their walk through Prineville early on the first day, the remainder of the trek was though the countryside, by the beautiful Ochoco Reservoir, along a meandering stream and green valley and then into the Ochoco National Forest with more of the beautiful, proud Ponderosa pines. And the stories they must have told, remembering and reliving past adventures and exploits, embellishing and making them grander than the first time around as they walked along.
These three days were a “sentimental journey” for Ted in other ways as well. His introduction to central Oregon came as a child when he would visit his aunt and uncle who lived by the Ochoco Reservoir. Compared to the Willamette valley, he found the countryside surreal and through his childlike eyes thought it looked “prehistoric.” When he first started teaching he would spend his summers working for the forest service out of the Big Summit and Rager Ranger Districts. He loved the contrasting quite of the forest compared to the frantic frenzy of teaching elementary PE. The forest refreshed and rejuvenated him. This is the area where Ted first fell in love with central Oregon, those many years ago.
Ted with Ramona McCalister
And on one last note, a big shout out goes to Ramona McCalister of the Central Oregonian for the great article you wrote when Ted passed your way. This too was sentimental as the Central Oregonian was the first newspaper Ted had his name in when he played baseball on a Forest Service team, back all those many years ago.
Mike orders ribs at Toni's
And always remember, you can’t make a trip through Prineville without stopping at Toni’s for ribs So tender they drop off the bone.
Once again, thanks Mike, you’ll always be our “best man”.