They are gone. Three friends who set out to climb our beautiful Mount Hood are gone.
We don’t know what happened and we don’t know why. I heard their parents speak lovingly of them, that they were doing what they loved. I followed the story all week as we all did, hoping and praying that they were safe, that they were sheltered, that they were still with us and that they would come home. They will not. We cannot begin to know their parents’ pain. We can only share in it.
These three friends were here such a short time ago. We can still feel their presence, the emptiness, the sadness, the ache of their loss. Mount Hood belongs to Oregon. These three loved her. For whatever reason they climbed, for whatever reason they found their passion in looking upward and striving for the summit, they are there. They are safe now, they are sheltered and they are home. And what a tombstone they share.
By Olivia Rossi