´¯`•. August 02, 2017

Hiking:  Cascade Peace Park

It’s all the rage, dahling, I’ve heard it all over in Internet, myself!  You simply MUST go and hike the Cascade Peace Pahk.  It’s absolutely fabulous, no doubt about it!  (I’m only partially kidding, over here.)  It really is all over the Internet.  Hike-It Baby.  Meet-Up’s West Michigan Hiking.  Outdoors Michigan.  Experience GR.  You name it?  They’re talking about it there.

So naturally when it came time to not go hear a discourse about the Vietnam front lines from a former medic, I thought Cascade Peace Park might be the place to go.  I need to breathe, regularly.  Out on a trail, in the trees, with the wind in the leaves and the sun filtering through the canopy.  And where better than a peace park?

First, it’s only a mile and a half from my friend Marsha’s house.  I can’t go and see Marsha – she’s requested no visitors for the past two years.  They thought she had MS, but it turned out to be cancer of the spine.  She was at U of M for a while, and then Mary Free Bed (rehab in GR), but she’s still extremely self-conscious… so we call and let them know we’re thinking of her.  We also thought of her as we drove by her house on the way to/from the park.

The not-so-peaceful park.

When I think peace, I think those zen gardens, with the simple rakes drawing  lines through smooth sand.  Or perhaps smooth, wet stones.  Or maybe even benches of curved, unadorned cement.  Don’t you?  Tibetian monks with red robes and closed eyes.  Silence.  Peace.

Okay, this curly tree was kewl.
But mostlyCascade Peace Park is the exact opposite of all of that.

It’s a craggy, rain gouged trail that’s uphill through scruff and rough gravel.

With gnarly trees reminiscent of Yoda’s dear Degobah.

It’s marked with foam squares in various colors that go in all directions – the same color.  Not terribly helpful, I might add.  It’s packed with joggers huffing and puffing “excuse me” as they stumble uphill past us, miserable and sweaty.  There’s dog crap, so watch your step.

We haven’t gotten to hike much, this summer.  Canoeing, yes, hiking no.  This was not a good foot to get off on, either.  We were kind of a walking madhouse, after three solid weeks of hauling ourselves out of bed and directly to driver’s training.  School schedule was crazy – I was doing it at 6pm, because of stuff in the way.  We were a disorganized, wack-O MESS, and the kids have been out of their minds.  It was not a peaceful walk.  In fact, I think I may have laughed maniacally all the way to the car.

But at least it was an attempt, right?

PS:  It’s called ‘Cascade Peace Park’ because it’s in Cascade Township.  There’s no cascade there.  Or water, really.  There’s not really a cascade in Cascade, either.  It’s a yuppie thing… I don’t ask, anymore.

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