July 17, 2009.
13 mi | 3200′ ele. gain | 5.5 hr.
Sue and I set out to hike to Paradise Park today. The hike began at Timberline Lodge. We had nice views of Mt. Hood right from the get-go, with a few thin, hazy clouds breaking up the blue skies overhead.
We walked through the gray and dusty Little Zigzag Canyon, eager to get to some wildflower meadows. It felt great to be surrounded by the lush, green slopes of the mountain. Before long we reached Paradise Park, where we wandered around admiring the flowers and searching for a place to rest and eat some food.
There was cat’s ear and lupine and paintbrush and Western pasqueflower and…so many more that I couldn’t identify.
Lured upwards by the thought of new flowers and better views of the mountain, we kept walking in hopes for discovering the perfect spot.
On our way back, however, we somehow ended up on the wrong trail. Eventually we realized we were walking through unfamiliar territory and had to turn back. That added a little extra mileage to an already long dayhike. No worries, Sue and I could handle it. I was just a little annoyed that I’d made a wrong turn.
Once we were on the right trail, it was a straightforward walk back. Over the river and through the woods…we tromped back to Timberline. The clouds cleared and the sun shone brilliantly. Just another day in Paradise. Park.