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The [NATURE] of the Beast Within.

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posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 03:59 PM
The events that occur in this story are based upon real events. The experiences were real, and the memories are equally so.

There are magical places on this planet, some created by man, and some born of the earth herself, but amazing nonetheless. Once upon a time, I discovered such a place, and have returned there several times. It's a mystical place of healing, where time slows to nothing, and reality is warped in a little bubble around it. It's deep in the wilderness of Oregon, a place where no cell phone signal can penetrate, totally isolated from any modern convenience. It is a wild place, with no electricity, but a location that people the world over visit,. It's a melding pot of like minded souls, who are all in tune with the harmony around them, listening to the music of the earth in all her naked glory.

Curiously enough, the location is only an hour and a half drive southeastwards of Portland. Many people I've met while there said they were from Portland, and never knew the place existed until then. I find it amazing that as brutal and greedy that modern society is, there are still sacred places left untouched, perhaps preserved by a subconscious tie to the world we were birthed from.

Maybe there is hope for humanity after all.

The adventure begins with a drive down Highway 75, up the side of Mt. Hood, to approximately 2000 feet elevation.

The Bagby Trailhead is as far as you can travel by car, and from there, it's all on foot. Primitive campsites are available for free, and plenty, and the camping experience alone in Mt. Hood National Forest is worth it. At two thousand feet above sea level, the air is fresh and crisp, untainted by the city smog, and filtered by the tall cedars surrounding you. Within a few moments of arrival, you realize your skin is tingling, not only from the euphoria of the elevation, but by the fact that you know you are utterly isolated from anything civilized. There are no horns beeping, no loud exhausts, no music blaring, and no people yelling. The noises humanity create don't exist there, and if you listen closely, you can here the trees rustling, the birds chirping, and water rustling. It's quiet, with only Mother Earth whispering.

Most people set up a campsite upon arrival at the trailhead, and then prepare for the mile and a half long hike through the wilderness up to 2200 feet elevation, where this amazing site is located.
Backpacks contain snacks and beverages, as well as a change of clothes and towels.

Our magical destination is the Bagby Hot Springs. Fed by water heated by the magma under Mt. Hood, the Hot Springs were “discovered” in 1881, and several “bathhouses” were assembled thereafter, with rough cut wood timber, and cedar tubs were made from either hollowed logs, (there are seven of those), or hand-made tubs (made with hands tools, there are three of those), and the rule still stands that all repairs are made with only hand tools. Water is delivered by hand made troughs in a U-shape, supplying hot water from the springs at about 136 degrees F.
Cold water is supplied by several mountain springs from over a mile away, and wooden “switches” control the mixture of hot and cold water.

The first part of the hike is relatively easy, on a path maintained by the US Forestry Service.
It's an easy grade upwards, until the last third of a mile. From there the path climbs steeply, gaining over a hundred feet in elevation, but the climb is well worth it. Soon the path yields it's rewards.

It's like walking into an old Western, hand made buildings, sans the gun slingers.
Buildings are primitive, cedar shingles which are moss covered, and everything that has contributed to producing this site is a close derivative from nature, with minimal human processing.

Sometimes the bathhouses are full,
sometimes empty,
depending on the time of day. The rule of thumb is a maximum of a two-hour soak if traffic is heavy, to allow others to share in the wonder. There was only one time when the bathhouses were full, and my companion and I used that time to sit on a nearby bench and partake in a small meal from our backpacks.

Politeness rules in this location away from reality.

The most startling part for most who endeavor this journey, is the fact that clothing is optional. When approaching this site, be prepared to see naked humans, in every shape and form, some exquisite,
and some hideous,
but each tenuous enough to meet in this remote location. This place is where the remnants of modesty are cast aside, and people accept one another as an equal, conversations running deeper than usual, while the relaxing heat from the water soothes your aching body.

If finding an eight person tub with only four in it, you simply ask if you can join them.
They never say no, because in this wonderland it is the thing to do, and people will leave, having soaked their limit, and others will join later, at any given time. The people are naked, no bathing suits, so you simply strip off your clothes to your birthday suit, and climb in beside them. Shame is non-existent here, and comments about a person's appearance are taboo. Male and female alike, everyone a stranger, overcome the restrictions society places on us, and blend together in a simpler manner, introducing themselves, stating where they came from, and everyone talks freely about anything.

Humans, without restrictions, have found a place to revert to an easier existence. Temporary, albeit, but one that addresses more basic desires, those of freedom, being natural, and the expression of will. Society is forgotten, and a bond is forged, one shared amongst a few.

posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 04:11 PM
I would love to go there one day. Sounds majestic and very back to how things should be.

We have a few hotsprings up here in BC. Some are just natural pools. I go there sometimes, mostly secluded and alone. Hereing the bubbling from the far "HOT!!!" corner, the rustling of the tree's. The occasional animal snapping some twigs.

Hotsprings in ancient times must have been seen as mana from the gods. Even today we gather to them.

posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 06:42 PM
That's awesome Druid! I've never heard of it, want to visit.

At the hideous.
edit on 3-6-2012 by Domo1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 08:23 PM
Beautifully written, Druid. A very vivid description of one of the most beautiful sites left in this country.

I know the place you speak of. A beloved memory of many years ago.

I would love to visit again, but I'm too old now to make the climb.

Thank you for allowing me to visit again, if only in my mind.


posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 08:28 PM
Sounds like "the beach"... Film (2000) - leonardo dicaprio

Awesome film.. Its a lot like "Lord of the Flies" except its orientated around adults rarther than children

posted on Jun, 5 2012 @ 01:31 AM
reply to post by Druid42

This sounds like a beautiful place. I would love to someday visit.


posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 07:42 PM
I wish I could rapid fire tap the flag button this entry- Bagby is one of my favorite places on Earth. Thanks for bringing back some gorgeous memories.

BTW-my story was totally set in Oregon.

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