We left Portland February 11th and made our way through Mt Hood National Forest. Travelling at night may not have given us the best view of the scenery, but we made good time as there was little traffic. We pulled into Redmond, Oregon late that night and settled into our favourite parking-spot-away-from-home, good ol’ Walmart! The plan the next day was to head back to Smith Rock and have a look around. We pulled into an empty State Park parking lot ($5/car for a day pass) and had lunch whilst looking at this view. Not too shabby!
We got our climbing gear organized and made the trek down into the park. It was a beautiful afternoon and the walls were full of climbers. We managed to find a couple of empty lines and got in a few climbs, which felt good.
The plan for the next day was to spend some time exploring Bend (the biggest town close to Smith Rock) then come back to Smith Rock the following day to climb. Jonty spent the evening looking up good cycling routes in Bend for us to hit up the next day and found a nice loop that was supposed to be about 35 miles. The next day (February 14th), we headed into the centre of Bend, got the bikes ready, and made our way around the area. We made a few (a lot?) of wrong turns and ended up doing some other strange variation of the intended bike route, but it was a gorgeous, sunny day and we saw some fantastic country-side. Our phones died halfway through the journey so, unfortunately, we were left with no pictures, but we were left with very tired legs!
After the cycle we walked around the downtown area in search of a place to fill our tummies and quench our thirst. We ended up at Deschutes Brew Pub, a local brewery, and sampled their 6-beer tasters and had some really good food (house made sausage and cheese platter, Elk burger, Rueben with house made pastrami.)
That evening, we treated ourselves to a proper RV park for the night, in order to give Eddie some TLC (i.e. emptying and filling). On Sunday (the 15th) we heading back to Smith Rock with the intention of climbing, however, when we drove up, we ran into parking grid-lock! All four parking lots were full and people were parked along the side of the road, about a kilometer away from the park entrance. Apparently a warm, sunny “winter” afternoon brings people out in droves! We quickly changed our intention to climb, and spent the afternoon hiking around the park instead. There were a few areas we wanted to check out (Monkey Face was the main one). We took a lot of pictures with the good camera, so I’ll probably end up posting more once we get them downloaded.
When we got back to the main parking lot, we talked about what we wanted to do the next day. That’s when we realized that it was President’s Day statutory holiday in the US (the Canadian equivalent of Family Day). Judging by how busy it was on Sunday, we opted to skip out on more climbing at Smith in order to begin our trek south, thus began our journey to Bishop, California.
FYI: We’re in Bishop now and plan on staying here until the end of next week. Hopefully we’ll be able to get a few more posts out in the next few days!