This past weekend I finally made it down to Bend in Central Oregon, probably the most outdoorsy town in the whole state. My good friend Josh just moved down to Bend a few weeks ago. Although we were all sad to see Josh leave Portland, we now have a great excuse to travel to Bend (and a wonderful house to stay in when we visit).
Some of Drew's Australian friends just finished climbing Mount McKinley in Alaska and are now in the Pacific Northwest for a couple of weeks. So we all packed up our gear and headed down to Bend on Saturday afternoon. We met up with Josh at Smith Rock where we did a little rock climbing. Let me just start by saying, I felt completely intimidated in this crowd. It's been a while since I last rock climbed and that was at an indoor climbing wall where I tended to stick to the easier set routes. I've never climbed outdoors and here I am at a world-renowned rock climbing park with my two buddies who practically climb for a living and three Australians who just climbed Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America. No big deal. I tried hiding behind a few big rocks, but the crew quickly pulled me out, slapped a helmet on me, strapped me into my harness, threw a rope at me and told me to start climbing. It was tough (I'm still sore), but it was so enjoyable. It's amazing to be out in nature like that just shimmying up a 80 ft rock wall.
stopping along Hwy 26 to Bend to take in the
clear view of Mount Hood
the Deschutes River running through
Smith Rock State Park
Josh showing me the ropes - literally
making my way up the Ginger Snap route
you can barely see me at the ledge of Peapod Cave in the middle of this picture with Hugh climbing up Cinnamon Slab crack on the left
Drew on Cinnamon Slab, which he said is
possibly the hardest rock climb he's attempted
just hanging out on the rocks
The next day we wanted to get some mountain climbing in so we drove out towards Mount Bachelor to Tumalo Mountain, which is a 7,779 ft volcano that was completely covered in snow. It only took us about 2 hours or so to make it up and back with an elevation gain of around 1,000 ft. It was a good little climb and it was nice to get outside for the afternoon.
me and the boys on top of Tumalo Mountain
with Mount Bachelor in the background
on the summit... this picture says it all
I'm still amazed at all of the mountains, trails, parks and adventures Oregon has to offer. I'm so lucky to have great experienced friends to explore with! And I've barely scratched the surface.
Let the Adventures Continue...
"A large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything.”
- Laurence Sterne, Anglican clergyman