Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Smith Rock, OR
So we rediscovered on this trip that we are not very good sightseers. Driving up Highway 1 was spectacularly beautiful but doing it in the camper van against a deadline made it so we were mostly just driving and not doing a lot of anything else. Each morning the conversation comically went like this.
Jason, the Optimist: So we'll drive (insert destination here). It's only 150 miles so it'll only be 2 1/2 hours.
Me, the Pessimist: No, it'll be 5 hours.
Jason, the Optimist: No. It should only 2 1/2 hours.
It's not Jason's fault. Sylvia was very, very slow to drive on the winding roads and it made every day at least five hours of exhausting driving which isn't as fun as it sounds. Though the scenery was beautiful, we need to be able to get out and play, hike or climb to stay happy campers. So we were very excited that our next stop was a climbing destination.
Smith Rock was our last major destination on the camper van portion of this trip. We visited my sister and her family in nearby Bend, OR while we were there. It was so nice to catch up with her before spending three days at Smith Rock. The climbing there is very different than the climbing we are used to. Smith has more vertical or just-under vertical climbs. Our favorite kind of climbing (and the kind we are best at) is on overhung rock so it was a major adjustment to go from steep, gymnastic climbs with big holds to vertical, balance focused climbs with small ledges. It was a bit intimidating and lower grade climbs were kicking our butts but we persevered. I was too wimpy to lead on the new rock so Jason took it for the team and heroically led up some scary stuff. Isaac also had a good lead. Meanwhile, Aaron carefully studied the climbing guide and found multiple ways to hike up to the top. He managed to drag me up to the top at four different points for spectacular views. He was totally blissed to be hiking steep stuff to amazing views. The final day we completely exhausted ourselves on our last climb. We each climbed it several times until we could get it without a fall. At the end of our stay our bodies were totally destroyed and we were ready to move on to our next adventure.
Click here for photos.