Location: Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, Oregon
Level: easy to Zig Zag Canyon / Beginner Level: doable
Round trip/Gain: 4.4 miles/500 ft
Type: round trip
True story: this was my first time at the Timberline Lodge in my fourteen years of living in Portland. I’d driven up there a few times for the view, but never actually entered the lodge or hiked on the trails. I’m really not trying to be a kill joy, it was cool, but I think the best part was all of the stinky PCT hikers, stuffed from the brunch buffet, stretched out in every possible direction looking so happy.
There were tons of little trails spurring off from the lodge, so I couldn’t really tell which way to the PCT, but then I realized they all essentially braided together after a hundred yards or so.
My plan was to hike to Paradise Park, about 6 miles in (a 12-mile loop), but my body had other plans. It’s been about eight months of my body having other plans and I’m so tired of it. My plantar fasciitis was at an eleven barely two miles onto the trail… WHY?!?!?!?
Everything was GORGEOUS! Honestly, stunning. I felt so grateful to get some of these last views of summer wildflowers because they’ve died out pretty much everywhere else already. Still… ugh, my feet were screaming bloody murder. I felt so happy and also awful when I see this guy in full backpacking gear at a distance. We’re on a narrow strip of trail with a sheer drop off. I saw a safe enough part of the trail to stand down and let him pass. Instead of thanking me or even absentmindedly ignoring me, he said, “oh, you must need a break.” (If you don’t know, fat people get comments like this A LOT.) I responded, “nope, just sharing the trail.” I felt bizarrely unaffected. I even laughed at what an asshole he was. I just didn’t care and that feels amazing.
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For many, going to the gym or on a hike is something to look forward to to feel good and release the stress of our busy lives. For others, exercising in public is kind of a nightmare. . I swore off the gym years ago because I can disappoint myself by not exercising for free, but my favorite exercise, hiking, is a pretty public endeavor. Most of the time, I don’t really care how others see me, but every now and again, my little mind demons come out and play. I know that everyone goes through this, especially people who don’t “fit” the fitness mold. It feels impossible to not internalize negative messages we’ve received about how our bodies should look and work, but you CAN work through it. . If you breathe hard, it’s because your body needs more oxygen. When you sweat, it’s because your body is cooling itself off. It’s science and science rules! . Anything anyone says about your body is an opinion. Unless, it’s literal. Still, your body is no one’s business. The way you look says little about who you are. You are not responsible for how others view or treat you. That is victim-blaming mentality. Don’t let it be the reason you don’t do the things you want to do. Don’t wait for permission or approval. Moving is better than not moving. So MOVE! If you want to. . #sponsored #REI #ForceOfNature #OptOutside . Location: Mt. Hood, Oregon #mthood