I grew up in Oregon and I loved it!
I felt like I knew this state inside and out. I had spent many summers camping and water skiing, in the winter we snow skied and enjoyed winter sports at the mountains in Oregon. My aunt had taken me and my sisters hiking and camping on the PCT. For some reason I didn’t know about the Timberline Trail hike around Mt. Hood until I saw a friend from High School post on Facebook that she was hiking on it.
I just so happened to be in Portland and thought, I’m going to go and do a day hike and see a bit of it for myself. This is where being able to read a map and have a compass would really come in handy!! Portland was having a heat wave and who would have thought that the mountains would be just as hot? Apparently I’ve lived in the desert for too long.
I started out with my agenda and it was to cover 11 miles of a loop called Paradise Park Loop. The parking attendant told me it wasn’t 11 miles only 6 miles, After 4 miles of traversing down, down, and down I paused and looked back thinking boy, that might be a hike out of here but I only have 2 more miles to go how hard could it be?
Let me tell you, it was probably about 90 degrees Fahrenheit and I did not have a map or a compass. The trail was poorly marked at best and some signs were laying down on the ground other sights had arrows pointing at forks on the trail but it was hard to tell which way the arrow was pointing . UGH!
The trail is covered with biting flies. Their bites are painful. Wear bug spray and keep yourself covered as best as you can. My neck, arms and legs were a buffet for the nasty flies. Every time I would stop in the shade to break they would attack me causing me to keep going. Finally I just had to stop and get bitten.
I’m guessing based on my fitness app that I hiked 15-18 miles it took 6 hours and the hike out was very hard. I read the ins and outs of the trail on-line from Oregon Hiker but it is not the same as what I experienced. However, it was beautiful and a good hard workout for one day.
Take lots of water with electrolytes, I like Nuun brand. I also pack Bloks for some extra energy. Pack a lunch and snacks. Trader Joes carries the best Peanut Butter pretzels, these are great because they are bite size. You need sugar and salt to get hydration into your intestines so don’t be afraid to eat it!
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