Sunday, June 13, 2010

Smith Rock - Terrebonne OR

After two days of riding pretty hard, we decided a rest day would be in order. So Sunday we drove out to Smith Rock for a relaxing little recovery hike. HAH! Double HAH HAH HAH!!! Smith Rock State Park is about 21 miles north of Bend. Due to a navigational error, we ended up going the back way, and it's a lovely little drive up the Old Bend-Redmond highway. Much better than the new highway.
This is the view from the top of the trail down to the river. It's pretty spectacular.

See the switch backed trail up the side of the hill. That's called the Misery Ridge Trail. The name should have been our first clue. It's only about 3/4 of a mile, but it was just giving me the heebie-jeebies because it gets very narrow, and very steep. I did a lot of it looking at my feet, holding Jim's belt. He's lucky he did not get a wedgie.

Here we are at the top. It's just stunning.

The junipers in the area are really twisted and bonsai looking.

In addition to hiking there is climbing in the park. These people are doing roped climbing. They obviously have a gene that I do not have.

After starting down the other side of the rock, we saw a rescue in process. I didn't get a picture of the injured, I think it would have been in bad taste. Anyway, she was by the side of the trail, under a white field expedient sun shade. Two firemen and a park guy were keeping her company. She was not in a location where she would have fallen climbing, she may have had a panic attack from the route down! Anyway, I really hope she had no broken bones.
Here are some of the rescue guys coming up the back side of the rock. Note the wheel underneath the gurney. Pretty cool method of transporting the wounded.

Finally, we got down to the river and away from the death defying switch backs. Note the rubber boat in the bottom middle of the photo. All the rescue people had to boat across the river from the Search and Rescue Vehicles. The injured party would be boated back across the water to an awaiting ambulance.

We, however, had many miles left to go. We saw more climbers. Climbers not only have massive quads for climbing up the sheer face of the rock, but they must also be flexible.

Is it not lovely here?

All in all, it was way more hike than we had anticipated, but it was worth it. It's an amazing area. After we got back to the car we headed to McDonalds for hot fudge sundaes.

Update to post: We heard on the news the next day that the injured woman had an ankle injury. It took them 3 hours to get her down the trail. After she was off, a roped climber was hurt but able to get back down, and several people were treated for heat exhaustion. Rescue was busy yesterday.

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