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Smith Rock
posted by John : July 27, 2013

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A rock named Smith

So! Who's up for a hike? It's only 90F today. Let's go!

Uh... Anyone? Anyone?

Looks like all this adventuring has taken a toll on their spirit of adventure. Good thing guilt is still working. Amy and Papa folded under the pressure and agreed to visit Smith Rock with me.

My biggest challenge at Smith Rock was not the vertical rock faces or the baking sun. It was overcoming a history of convincing my father-in-law to go on hikes that turned out to be twice or even three times as long as I thought. The most infamous of those trips was to Lipsy Lake on which boots were shredded and the term "Death March" was considered.

Not to worry, this was an easy two mile trip with a few hundred feet of gain.

The hike starts with a drop to the river valley and a bridge across the Crooked River. A paved path runs along the river and that's where Amy (the smartest of the group) decided her path lay. She headed downstream in search of letterboxes and a leisurely walk in the sun. Carl and I started up the switchbacks.

It was hot. It was steep and full of stairs. But the views more than made up for it. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the views gave us plenty of excuses to stop.

In spite of the great weather there were few people in the park. We saw only one pair climbing on our route and just a few coming down. Speaking of our route, it was called the "Misery Ridge Trail." I think it was completely misnamed. I'm not sure Carl would agree.

We saw our first climbers on the Monkey Face, but no others until we swung around the point downstream from the bridge. Amy told us she was watching a climber on the rock when she realized he wasn't tanned and wearing khaki shorts. Actually, he was tanned. All over. No tan lines. Yikes.

Looking back on the hike it was a great short hike to the top, but we should have returned the same way rather than completing the circuit. The letterboxes were all MIA, but the river walk was nice. The kids could definitely have made it to the top without an issue, but there might have been a little bit more whining than I heard otherwise.

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