Plan B

Sidelined from our Big Hike by Debbie’s foot injuries, we considered our options. Car camp? Rent a cabin? Stay home? Somehow make it back on the trail. The doctor said, “Go for it, just go light.” We took him at his word, literally. We cut ounce after ounce after ounce until our packs were as light as we could get them. Ready to hit the Pacific Crest Trail again, this time with our wonderful friends of 35 years, Gary and Sally, we were pumped.
Until Sally called and told us that she had injured her neck and her doctor said, “No backpacking. Period.” So Plan B ending up combining all of the options. We met Gary and Sally at historic Timberline Lodge, where we lounged like tourists around the pool. We car camped at Timothy Lake. And — just because you you can’t keep us out of the backcountry — hiked to Paradise Park on the NW slope of Mt Hood (11 miles round trip) and reveled in the flowers still in bloom: Indian Paintbrush, lupine, daisies, and lots of others that I call PLFs — Pretty Little Flowers.
 
At Timberline Lodge Debbie and I snagged a table in front of a huge picture window and worked the draft of Topsy Turvy in storyboard form to see if it turns well in 32-page picture book format. It does! There is something about being outdoors, or in close proximity to it, that gets the creative cogs to mesh.
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Debbie at work on Topsy Turvy at Timberline Lodge. Note the reinforcing rod in the middle of the glass pane to keep it from imploding during winter storms. Mother Nature has powerful biceps.
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Paradise Park. Mt Hood in the background with a lenticular “cloud cap.”