News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Running commentary

Do you ever have one of those moments where you experience what my wife refers to as “psycho-magic”?

Psycho-magic is when you buy a raffle ticket for a guitar at a folk festival event and just know you are going to win — and do. Psycho-magic is when you pick up a basketball, cold, and from 15 feet behind the backboard and rim, tell your sons, “This is going to be the most amazing shot you have ever seen” and then sink it. Psycho-magic is a “rock, paper, scissors” contest with a friend in which you win so many times in a row, they don’t want to keep trying.

All of those are previous psycho-magic moments of my own, but I had a doozy of one last week as I was driving home with my wife from a visit to the Olympic Peninsula.

Many of you have read about Sisters residents Sasha “Chief” Stolasz and her mother, Melissa “Halo” Stolasz, who have been on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) since April on a quest to through-hike the entire trail.

My wife and I drove up I-90 from the Seattle area on our way home on August 10, and as we approached Snoqualmie Pass decided to get coffee near the summit. We saw a sign for the PCT, which made me think of Chief and Halo, who I knew were a few days into Washington. As we passed a pancake restaurant I said to my wife, “They are probably in there right now chowing down on pancakes.”

I had a feeling as I said this, that psycho-magic might be at play, so I went ahead and texted Halo and also looked at their YouTube site to see if I could tell where they actually were. Just as I saw the YouTube post featuring “Snoqualmie Pass” in the title, I got a text from Halo that read, “We are at Snoqualmie Pass!” I told her that we were also in the area and asked where I could find them.

Of course, following the rules of psycho-magic, she replied, “We are in the restaurant here eating pancakes.”

My wife and I just had to laugh out loud. Of course, that’s where they were!

We went inside the restaurant and found the pair sitting at a booth with a trail friend called Dipper and his buddy Ronald. The table was stacked with dishes from a large meal they had just finished.

Halo said, “You can’t even believe how much food we just ate!”

All four were astonished and amazed by the psycho-magic story and had a good chuckle over it.

Halo and Chief went on to explain that they were just 11 days away from the Canadian border, but that Washington had been very challenging, in part due to three days of rain and an onslaught of hungry bugs, including horseflies, “that literally take out bits of flesh when they bite you.”

If all goes as planned Chief and Halo should be back in Sisters around August 23, just in time for Chief to start the cross-country running season and her senior year of high school and for Halo to start in-service at Ridgeview High School where she teaches math and science.

As for me and psycho-magic, you have to trust me when I say it hasn’t helped me win the lottery or March Madness (well maybe that one time), so don’t plan to ask me to go to Vegas or the horse races with you.


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