|We left at 6:30 AM to drive to Sister,OR. From there we drove the punishing blacktop and gravel road 16 miles to the trail head which began at Three Creek Lake. The vibration and rumble of the road knocked our fillings loose. We began in the cool air of the morning with a steep half mile climb through a wonderfully scented Ponderosa pine forest. The trail switched back and forth and climbed upon sheets of loose shale in a few areas. Finally the steepness left somewhat but still the trail carried a punishing upward slope as we steadily wound our way up the tilted table towards the rim. We passed through several beautiful meadows where the wildflowers grew in clumps to preserve moisture and protect the plants from the continuous winds. The ground was a dusty pumice and sand and was strewn with lava rocks from the ancient volcanoes. We noted the bark of several pines was missing at the base. This is evidence of porcupines which are mainly nocturnal and who feed upon the bark. The vistas were breath taking. We looked upon nearby Broken Top Mountain and then to then quite nearby the Three Sisters Mountains. Finally in the distance were Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson and even Mt. Hood. Behind us lay Mt. Bachelor. We finally reached the edge of the rim where the rocky cliff plunged below our feet some 500 feet into scree below. 1000 feet below was three Creek Lake and our trail head. It was very dramatic. We had lunch perched on the dramatic cliff head looking at all the nearby mountains and their snow fields. We then hiked an additional 1.3 miles along the table adjacent to the rim and crossed a somewhat large snowfield with a small lake at its base from the melting snow. We hiked up the snowfield as it was boot friendly and cool. The snowfield ended in an additional cone of volcanic ash and cinder. Finally at its summit we had a clear view of the nearby summit of Broken Top Mountain. We were tempted to go to the first pinnacle of Broken Top, but we had already come a rugged 4.5 miles and traveled 1500 feet vertically. According to the hiking books this is a five star hike. We all agreed it was one of our most favorites. See the pictures and judge for yourselves. The trip back to the trail head was comforted by cloud cover and the occasional gentle cooling patter of rain. This was a special day and another record breaker by our talented trail Fuhrer, Bill. We finished with a hearty lunch at Bronco Billy's in Sisters,Oregon. We had barbecue,hamburger(Oregon 1st place), tacos and barbecue chicken and ribs. We were famished after all that energy expenditure. We hiked a total of 8.3 miles and reached an altitude of 8000 feet.