Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

On the road again driving through the beautiful countryside of central Oregon to Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort, about 4 miles south of Sisters, Oregon and north of Bend. It is one of the most beautiful parks we have stayed with huge pine trees, paved pads, green grass between the sites and a pond with a fountain flowing all day. We are putting the jacks down for almost two weeks to enjoy the magnificent scenery surrounding this area.

On Tuesday morning we started the day by going to the Sisters Coffee Company, it began in 1989, when the owners converted an old log cabin into a coffee roasting business. In 2005 they built a new log cabin, ten times the size of the original, and this is where we came for our morning drinks. As we were sitting reading and listening to the pianist, we started a conversation with him, Jeff Barbour and soon his wife, Vanessa Ruddy, joined in and we chatted for along time. We left and went to Bend to grocery shop for our stay here, and planned on meeting them tomorrow for lunch.

Wednesday we met Jeff and Vanessa and went to the Open Door Restaurant in Sisters for lunch to celebrate Vanessa’s birthday. Great food, great conversations and the time flew by.

Then it was off to explore Smith Rock State Park, featuring colorful 700 foot walls rising directly above the meandering Crooked River. Smith Rock State Park is considered the birthplace of modern American sport climbing and climbers come from all over the world to experience more than 1800 climbing routes. As we approached the park the dazzling orange/yellow sky scraping cliffs stood out even in the afternoon shadows. We decided to hike the 4-mile loop Misery/Monkey/River Trail, starting at the footbridge over the Crooked River, then a climb up and over Smith Rock to Misery Ridge with cliff top views of all the Cascades. On the descent we got our first view of Monkey Face, a detached 350-foot pillar capped by the incredible likeness of a monkey’s face. We looked right into the Monkey’s mouth where we could see two climbers taking a break. There was a slack line going across to the Monkey Face, and we were able to watch the climbers make their way back across the line. Then we walked back along the flat River trail and saw many climbers on the sheer cliff walls. This is a beautiful park and I can see why they call it “Another one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon“.