Sunday, April 28, 2013

Smith Rock Hike with Leo, Aaron and Jennie

On Sunday I had wanted to go on a bike ride somewhere with Leo but it was really hot out and his legs were not up for a long ride so instead Jennie, Aaron and I decided to head to Smith Rock to meet up with Holm hopefully and go on a mellow hike with Leo.  

After Jennie’s amazing homemade pesto breakfast sandwiches we headed out to Smith Rock in separate cars to find Holm and Paris who had just gotten there as well and were unpacking their climbing gear to head in to the area for the afternoon.

Aaron, Jennie and I chatted with them for a bit before heading off on a loop hike around Smith Rock with Leo.  Having never really explored Smith I wasn’t sure exactly where we were going and was utterly blown away at the route we took.  

At first it circled around the cliffs near the river where we coaxed Leo out into the water to cool off.  Soon, Monkey Face became visible as we made our way to the backside of Smith.  From there I wasn’t exactly sure which way we would be going until we began to switchback up the hill towards Monkey Face.  

It soon became apparent to me that there was a hiking trail to the top of Smith Rock... a trail that even Leo was comfortable on.  I had no idea.  I’m not a big fan of rock climbing and knowing that I can simply walk to the top of Smith doesn’t give me any more ambition to climb a vertical wall of painful rock to get there!  

Walking past Monkey Face was absolutely amazing and topping out at the cliff facing the upper caves on the rock pinnacle was incredible.  We put Leo on the leash at the top to make sure he didn’t fall off any cliffs and checked out the area.  Leo certainly doesn’t have a fear of heights as he wanted to be right by my side at the edge of every cliff.  

Aaron and Jennie took some great shots of Leo and I at the top and I got some great panoramic shots to the West of all the Oregon Cascades.  It was such a clear day that you could literally see every single volcano in Oregon from Mcloughlin all the way to the south all the way to Mt. Hood in the north.  The misery ridge trail back down to the Crooked River and the parking lot was steep and we saw many miserable youths being dragged by their outdoorsy parents up it as we made our way down past them.  

By the time we got back to the car Leo was overheated and super tired so instead of putting him in the car which had become an oven I passed on heading back down the trail to find Holm and Paris.  Instead, I said goodbye and big thanks again to Jennie and Hartz and made my way back to Highway 97 towards home with Leo who basically passed out in the back of the car.  Another great weekend in Bend!

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