On a rainy Tuesday morning in Portland we had a choice: Eat lunch, Netflix and chill, or take a hike somewhere close by where we could be in and out in a few hours. We had plans that night and didn’t want to be travel worn, but that didn’t stop us from exploring what was nearby!
We found Forest Park almost immediately, as it’s just a few miles from downtown Portland. First, Forest Park is something like 5000+ acres of forest within the city limits of Portland making it the largest urban forest in the U.S. Can we just appreciate that for a moment? Also, they have an app that has trails, trailheads, distances and you can track your progress on GPS. It’s also less than 20 minutes away from Downtown, so it’s a great fast hike.
Every hike has it’s purpose. A long hike that ends in a waterfall has a goal- drinking hot chocolate out of a Hydroflask under a beautiful cascade of water. A mountain hike provides vistas and summits.
It seems that Forest Park’s purpose is that it’s the perfect place to walk with a friend and have a great conversation through foggy trees. We didn’t see any prominent features (we only did 8 miles of a massive park, so there may be stuff we missed) other than the trees themselves. The breathing, hissing sounds of the nearby city never really left our ears and we had cell service (with the incoming texts, instagram alerts, and other pings that come with it) the entire time.
We didn’t feel super connected to nature on this hike, but in place of that, we had a beautiful frame for a personal connection with each other. This hike would be perfect to do with a friend, new hiking partner or potential date material.
One of the things we talked about on this hike was the best kind of relationships. We’ve both been through a lot in our lives, and we realized that the healthiest relationships we’ve had were with the people that were unrestricted. The dreamers. The people that don’t recognize the rules and don’t live between the lines.
The best people in our lives are the people that are left wild and free that, with literally every other option available to them, still choose to spend their time with us. That’s the very definition of true love, regardless of whether it’s between friends or something more. Watch for it, hunt for it, and demand nothing less of you, your friends and your partner.
It’s worth it, we promise.