Smith Rock, out near Bend
It’s been ages since Sarah and I’ve been out to Smith Rock – injuries and new jobs, backpacking and house projects. Lots of other things we’ve been doing, but when we finally had a weekend in Bend, we jumped at the chance to do some exploring!
While climbing would have been really fun, it wasn’t quite in the cards. Ollie was with us, and the weather was pretty hot… turns out, August in the desert isn’t quite ideal climbing weather. Who knew? Us, that’s who. And that’s why we got up early, grabbed our pre-packed bags, and zipped toward Smith with the top down and the music cranked up.
We got to the parking lot early enough to find a nice parking lot, but not so early that it was still freezing out. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t quite hot out yet either. But it was nice – just on the warm side of cool, and perfect temperature for us to start into the hike. We zipped down, and started our traverse of Misery Ridge after chatting a bit with a ranger to catch up on trail conditions and other details.
The hike itself was lovely – it warmed up quickly, and didn’t stop until it passed “yes this is August in the desert thank you please stop getting hotter” in the dust. I don’t think it actually got much above 95, but the higher altitude and cloudless day, combined with the steep terrain, meant that we were definitely being good about hydration. Ollie wasn’t at all a fan of the heat, at least on the up-hill portion… but we kept her close and stopped often to keep her hydrated. Slowly but surely we ground our way up to the top, and to our lunch stop.
Overlooking Monkey’s Face, we made our sandwiches and chatted with some fellow hikers. It was gloriously cute – there were two ladies hiking with a younger kid; one lady was visiting from Carolina, on break from her work as a teacher at space camp.
Yup. Space camp.
So we learned about that, and shared some sandwich and granola with them and the young boy – who, we learned, hadn’t remembered to pack his own lunch for the day, even though he’d been reminded to multiple times. His Mom made it clear to him that he shouldn’t ask us to share ours, since that would be weird, but since we overheard the conversation we offered some snacks up of our own volition – in trade for space camp stories, of course.
It was lovely, and a great chance to just hang out and chat with some interesting people.
The rest of the hike was simple and beautiful – going past the Monkey, around the long riverside trail… it was lovely, and we had a great time just enjoying the desert air and staying in the shade as often as we could.