Backpacking to Paradise Park


Friday and Saturday, 04-Aug-2023 and 05-Aug-2023

Son of a…

Razzme-frazzme stupid forgetful…

How could you…

I couldn’t have…

Having to turn around…

Okay, starting at the beginning.

I forgot to put the battery pack and my lunch box in the car when I left the trailhead.

How the heck did I… Okay, who knows?

I finally backpacked all the way out to Paradise Park! I had my pack, my sword, and I even hiked the first part of it twice because I loved it so much and not because I realized that I left things on the roof of the car when it was likely to rain.

Yup – Brought the sword along with me. Legal in Oregon, and it would be invaluable if I ran into any ORCs (Oregon Research Cosplayers). Heh, yep, that’s the joke I kept telling people.

The hike was beautiful – The wildflowers were in full bloom, and I had a good mental map of the route thanks to having hiked out a few weekends prior. I took my time, enjoyed the weight of the pack, and appreciated the scenery. I snacked, read my book, and soon enough had camp set up in a nicely sheltered stand of trees a nice distance from the trail.

That night, I spent some time practicing forms with the sword that I’d learned a lifetime ago when I helped teach longsword at that one summer camp, and happily watched as the sky caught fire in the distance.

The next morning dawned a bit misty, which felt perfect for a bit of a wandering walk around. I left my camp set up, so I wouldn’t have to carry the full pack weight as I explored, and walked to and fro along the Timberline trail. I didn’t go too far, maybe a few miles in each direction… just far enough that I got some excellent sights and good miles in. I found some interesting placards, and even found a beautifully made labyrinth up on one of the alpine trails above the main area.

Interesting trivia fact – by technical definition, Labyrinths aren’t mazes. Labyrinths only have a single path, with no offshoots, which means you can’t get lost in them… instead, they’re treated similarly to a scholar’s garden and can be intended as a meditation. “Walking the labyrinth” is a lesson in mindfulness, and an opportunity to simply appreciate the surroundings you find yourself in.

I took that to heart, when I found this labyrinth laid out in small stones, across a rocky part of Mt. Hood.

I walked in circles, appreciating each area and making a point to experience each view that it brought me to. I walked slowly, without rush, and appreciated each little bit of the environment I was in.

It was lovely, and a beautiful opportunity to re-center myself before the hike out.

Of the hike out… there’s not much to say. I hiked it, and quickly enough found myself back at the car. Too late to have dinner at the Lodge, but just the right time to order some chicken from dominos on the drive back.

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