Mid-week hike

Went to Silver Falls yesterday for a make-up/second chance hike. Actually, here’s what happened. A woman in the meetup group was supposed to go with the group to Silver Falls on Saturday. She asked for a ride, and the guy who agreed to pick her up was quite late. So when the two of them got to the State Park, the group was already out on the trail. She called me that afternoon sounding pretty upset at the whole situation. I felt bad for her, but what could I do about it? I suggested that, as she doesn’t work during the week, we could take a trip to the falls on Wednesday. She seemed to think that was a swell idea, so I began arranging a group to go to the falls during the week. At one point, I had 4 people planning to come with me for the hike.

Well, in the end, the aforementioned girl ended up not wanting/being able to come (why did I go to all this trouble anyway??) and another friend dropped out. Three of us ended up driving to the park but one woman anticipated that she wouldn’t be feeling too well and didn’t plan on staying long. That left 2 of us to make the hike.

Our plan/goal: hike the Trail of Ten Falls. As the two of us remaining had already seen the South Falls, we decided to walk the loop in an anti-clockwise direction. We passed by Winter Falls and arrived at North Falls (at 3 on the map below) with no problem. But thereafter, we ended up going completely in the wrong direction.


We didn’t notice any trail other than one marked Perimeter Trail, so that’s the one we took. Rather than loop us back around to the north and west, we traveled south and east (as can be seen in the map).

So, we didn’t get to see many waterfalls, but it was a pleasant hike. A touch warm for my taste, but mostly under canopy.

This just means we’ll have to give it another try.

Silver Falls - May 2012 - 24





Vindication and apology due

This story is years late in the telling.

Throughout my 20s, I had in my circle(s) of friends, numerous supporters/advocates of the LIFE TEEN program.
I was not one of these supporters.

LIFE TEEN was (is?) a youth program centered around the celebration of the Mass. Typically, a parish would identify one weekend Mass, usually Sunday night, as a LIFE TEEN or ‘youth’ Mass which would be followed by the LIFE Night (youth group meeting). At the Mass, the homily, music, and pretty much everything else was prepared with an eye towards appealing to and connecting with teenagers. So, for example, the music was often led by a band and the songs that were selected would, as many times as not, come from hits on Contemporary Christian Radio. Teens would fill all the ministerial roles (except presider), regardless of their ability to do well at that role. During the Eucharistic Prayer, teens (and only teens) would be invited to come up around the altar, presumably to help them feel closer to Christ. Because as we all know, proximity equals depth of spiritual and emotional connection. At the end of Mass, LIFE TEEN replaced the dismissal text, “The Mass is ended, go in Peace.” with “The Mass never ends, it must be lived.” Frequently, hand gestures were proscribed to accompany some of the ritual music or other moments in the Mass. And there were, perhaps, many other local flavors to the way a LIFE TEEN Mass was done.

Well, I alone among my friends did not approve of all these things that were being done, starting with the very concept of a ‘youth’ Mass. I believe that all Masses are for all people. To single out a group and make a Mass (especially a weekly Mass) focus on or dedicated to that group denies the universality of Mass. Supporters of these things will say that separate but equal is sufficient; as long as everybody has a Mass that they can go to, we can carve out one for that most vulnerable of groups, teens. I have also heard, many times, that this or that parish has several Masses for adults, what’s wrong with having just this one for teens? My position, of course, is that those other Masses aren’t just for adults, they’re for everybody.

Although I didn’t have a particular objection to people going up into the sanctuary for the Eucharistic Prayer, I felt it was wrong to only invite some of the people who’d gathered for Mass. Because, you see, most of the people in attendance were not teens but adults, the parents and supporters of teens. Ignoring the majority of the gathered faithful was a recurring theme at LIFE TEEN Masses. I remember attending the very first LIFE TEEN Mass at St. Anthony’s in Manteca, CA. The presider had what must have seemed like a clever way of resetting the room for Communion. Following the Eucharistic Prayer, to clear the sanctuary, the priest invited the assembled teens to exchange with one another a sign of peace, and then to go back out to the pews to exchange a sign of peace with everyone else. I and the rest of the adults there for Mass weren’t invited to exchange a sign of peace; we were an afterthought, a prop to get the teens back away from the altar.

Anyway, my friends had no issues with any of this. As long as we were doing everything we could think of to coddle and cater to the little darlings (teens), we could do no wrong. No such thing as abuse in service to the greater good. We would often argue about the legitimacy of the practices of LIFE TEEN. I was always alone on my side of the issue whereas supporters of LIFE TEEN would close ranks against me.

Then, in 2004, LIFE TEEN, the formal organization, was called to task by bishops and other officials in the Church. They were to stop calling teens up around the altar and saying, “The Mass never ends…” at the end of Mass. So we have at least a partial correction, one which eliminates the most visible of the abuses.

I think these friends of mine owe me an apology.


I don’t even know if LIFE TEEN is really around any more or if it retains any of the cachet that it seemed to have 15 years ago. The lasting effect for me is that I feel like my friendships really suffered. I was never part of the “in” crowd. I was aware that my friends often gathered to celebrate and share their faith, but I was seldom invited. I suppose I needed different friends. As a result of moving (and possibly something that led to me moving), I am not friends with any of these people any more. I wish things could have been different because many of them are great people.

As is typical for me, the impetus to write this up and post it has evaporated as a result of writing it. Cathartic I suppose. Nevertheless, I’ll post it as a record and reminder of what I was feeling and thinking.


A song that we used to sing that helped me get through some of the times of strained relationships is Press On (written by Bob Filoramo).

For the man who follows Jesus all the days of his life, picks up his cross and walks with his God, a glorious inheritance awaits him at the end where he will see and know his true Father, and the pearl of great price is in his hand.

So as for me I will press on in running the race with my eyes fixed on Jesus who inspires and perfects my faith, I will fight the good fight with all my heart and soul ‘til the day that I’m with Jesus, the day I’m finally home, the day that I have won the crown.

He will approach the throne of his Father with Jesus at his side, the Father will rise and say, “Welcome home! You’re a good and faithful servant, come in and take your reward. The battle’s done come, and take your rest. Stay with me for evermore”.


And the heavens will resound with a thunder of praise, the Angels and the Saints will shout for joy. And the Father will dance for his son has come home. Another warrior returns from the fight. Another victory for the Lamb of God.



On (Violent Femme’s brass section)

Every once in a while, I am seized by a desire to apologize/make amends/set things right for stuff that happened once upon a time. But would doing so really just be a selfish act?
Twenty years ago, I lacked the courage of my convictions and was not the friend I should have been. This led to an estrangement that lasted the better part of the past two decades. We have reconnected a little, but I still wish I could undo what was done. Short of that, I wish I could truly make my friend know how much I regret my failings.

So, if I say something, I MIGHT feel better, but would that be likely to just reopen old wounds? Is it best to let sleeping dogs lie?


Running route (for all my stalkers)

Here’s a visual on the route I run every day. The runs are of different durations, but this is fairly representative.

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