Over the years, I’ve spent my share of time waiting at hospitals around Oregon. Usually it is the more casual type of waiting, as someone I love and care about is getting routine testing or procedures done. But sometimes it is that stressful kind of waiting that nobody wants to experience.
Even irregular readers of this blog can probably guess that I need to get outside, a lot. Getting outside is how I clear my head and, more importantly, how I de-stress. Over the years I’ve pounded the pavement in a lot of hospital parking lots. I’ve seen a lot of hospital access roads and loading docks as I’ve walked circles around the buildings in an attempt to get some fresh air, exercise, and a moment of stress relief.
PeaceHealth Hospitals recognize this need to get exercise in their online patient care manual where they recommend that caregivers walk everyday because “spirits are replenished with exercise.” What they don’t tell you in that manual is that Riverbend Hospital in Springfield has a wonderful walking path around their building, including a nice stretch along the McKenzie River. I know about it because I asked a hospital worker for walking recommendations, and she suggested it only after I dismissed her suggestion to walk to the hospital gift shop.
With some searching, I finally found a map of the walking path — and others that they recommend — on the Riverbend website (see page 2 of this PDF). The loop I took the other day turned out to be a mile and a third and the only people I saw along the river, even though it was a beautiful day, were hospital workers out for a break.
To be clear, I don’t think this is a destination trail to seek out with friends for a Sunday dog walk. It is, however, a wonderful resource if you ever find yourself at Riverbend with the need to get outside.