I am officially the worst blogger ever! We are taking trips and I am not writing them for a over a month afterwords. :sad: In early November we got to cross Smith Rock off our list, finally! And we just happen to have stunning weather, which is mostly unheard of and a total hit-or-miss that time of year. Unfortunately, we did not do any climbing. Josh isn't a big climber and I mostly like to only climb in gyms (which it has been forever) and we brought the dogs with us. Smith Rock is about 2 hour from Corvallis, it was an easy and beautiful drive since we got to go through the pass and see Sisters, Oregon. I have blogged about Sisters in the past. Sisters is a beautiful town that is set up to have an old western feel to it, but it very clean, modern, and not tacky feeling (a lil touristy, but not all cheesy).
Smith Rock is an amazing site, and it's a little funny because it is sort of out of no where that these rocks just appear. Obviously, you can see them from a distance away, but you have to drive just outside of city limits (Redmond) and through a farm, then as you are headed down the entrance road - bam - a giant rock meets the end of the road. There is no man-stationed ticket booth or gate to pass through and there is a lot of parking, but trust me, on gorgeous days it's full early.
Smith Rock is one of Oregon's Seven Wonders and is known through out the climbing community (I encourage you to visit the link and see what Oregon has to offer). It also has a ton of trails, you can be out there for a few hours, like we were, or for days (although Im a not sure if camping on the trail is allowed?) The big trail we wanted to do, once we got there and saw all the trails, is called Monkey Face. We had to skip it since it was a no dogs allowed trail. We kinda decided the night before to head out there so there wasn't a lot of planning involved. We just wanted to get our eyes on it for the first time, we are coming up on our fourth year here in Oregon and this place has been on our list for a while now. Knowing how easy the drive is and how it's not really as far as we were thinking, we really want to take a trip sans dogs.
We got a late start as usually, because for some reason we literally can not make it anywhere on time (serious pet-peve of mine and it drives me up the freaking wall!) and as we were unloading the car, dogs, and snacks Josh went to reach for his backpack... and it wasn't there. On top of always being late, we always forget at least one important item, you should see how many travel dog water bowls we have. Luckily, since Josh was at sea during the previous weeks, I had been walking the dogs a lot more solo and was trying to get Daisy used to her backpack again and left it in the car so it would always be ready for her. Daisy to the rescue! SO glad I did those walks with her prior, she gets somewhat neurotic and nervous of new things, like harnesses, backpacks, shoes... But training paid off! We carried our Nalgenes in hand and packed a couple essentials in the dog pack. This is not a trip to take without a bag, especially if you go in summer when it's hot. You will need water. And the hikes are long and down a giant hill from the cars, you will also want a snack (or meal) if you plan on being out there a while.
Now to let the photos speak for themselves
|I guess horses are not uncommon here.|
We let the dogs relax in a small pasture along
People were covering a lot of these rocks, I tried to get some shots of climbers, but they were so little from where we were taking the pictures. You can climb on your own, or you can have guides, there were LINES of people all over waiting to climb.
We spent a solid 3 and a half hours just walking around. SO much to look at and so many pictures I couldn't pass on taking. That's one of the wonderful things about Oregon, all you have to do is own a camera and walk outside, the photos take themselves!
Since we had driven across the pass we and couldn't hike any other trails with the pups we decided to see what else was close to there. We found a little canyon about 2 miles up the road. I thought I took a picture of the sign that had the history, but I think it's actually on Josh's phone. Peter Skene Odgen (for whom Odgen, Utah is named after. A stunning town we passed through on our move out here. Serious mountains and beautiful scenery we still talk about.) started this project way back in the day (wish I had that photo with the facts on it) and it's a railway above this canyon. I did happen to capture the sign that says "no pets allowed". People and pets have actually died here, off to the left of the photo below, on the other side of the tracks, the guard rail ends and it's a 300 foot drop straight down! Not the kind of heights to be messing around on during a windy day.
After that we were ready to head back into Bend and grab some dinner before the drive back. We stopped at the Deschutes Brewery and had the best beer and pizza ever (aside from Chicago pizza, of course). We can not wait to go back for some longer hikes, maybe next spring?!