February 4, 2018.
4.7 mi. | 300′ ele. gain | 1:45 hr.
I always find it amusing when facts are debatable. The Shevlin Park loop, probably one of the most popular hikes in the park, is listed on various websites as 6 miles, 4.6 miles, 4.9 miles, etc… The most consistent sources clock it in at 4.7 so I’m going with that.
Today I partnered up with a friend who was going through some relationship troubles and needed some fresh air and kid-free time. I was happy to facilitate this.
The air was cool and brisk, as any day in February, and we heartily took to the trail. We walked quickly as we talked. There was so much to say and so much to hear. Occasionally we pulled off the side of the trail to let a runner pass. Trail running is so popular around here. I think it’s Bend’s favorite pastime.
As we reached the mid-point of the loop we paused on the bridge. The water tumbled beneath us. It was a nice place to stop and take it all in.
Nature is chaos. Life is chaos. It seemed appropriate then, to put the two together. I was sorry that my friend’s marriage was collapsing. I struggled to hear her pain. But together, in the forest, among birds and trees and clouds, we shared a moment. I was grateful that she felt comfortable enough to talk.
We walked on, shifting gears to lighter topics. There were more people on this side, mostly hikers. Everyone smiled and said hello as they passed. It was a jovial crowd. Anyone who’s out on a walk in the winter is pretty dedicated to being out there and having a good time. How nice is it to live in a community that values preserving and enjoying natural spaces.
As always, Shevlin Park brought the goods. I only wished that our hike could have been a little longer.