Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Summit

The beginning of our hike.

This summer G had a meeting in Bend, so we all tagged along for the weekend.  Saturday after G's meeting we decided to visit Smith Rock, famous for it's gorgeous scenery and amazing rock climbing.  We planned to take a short little hike to look for mountain climbers.  We thought the boys would enjoy watching them.  It was hot -- around 90 degrees -- and there was signage at the entrance reminding hikers to pack water.  We weren't planning on really "hiking," but at the last minute I returned to the car to get a couple more water bottles so we'd each have one.  Boy am I glad I did!  As it was, we still had to seriously ration our water and could have used quite a bit more. 

Taking a water break

After we got started with our hike, we were enjoying ourselves so much we decided to complete a loop.  We knew it was just over 3 miles, but we didn't realize how hot and strenuous it would be.  The loop -- with plenty of stops for water and a break to wade in the river -- took us four hours.  The middle had steep switchbacks.  And the end was steep downhill with a dangerous cliff to the side, which really scared me.  I was really stressed making sure the boys stayed safe considering one of our boys walks on the wild side and the other one is only three years old.

But we made it safe and sound and we actually had a really great time.  It was a really fun bonding experience for our family.  There is something about working hard as a family that builds character and creates memories.  (I'm sounding suspiciously like my parents here.)
Another break.  Notice how red-faced and sweaty the boys are. 
I already knew this, but I enjoyed seeing how strong and brave our boys are.  Buddy was wearing flip flops because he forgot to pack his socks.  He didn't seem to mind.  And the kids had very little sleep the night before: going to bed at 10:30 and getting up at 6:30 with the sun in their eyes.  They had swam already that morning for two hours at the pool.  But as I've assumed for years: nothing exhausts Buddy.  In fact, not only did he not complain, but he actually begged us to go faster and any chance he got, he scurried up and down the rocks on the side of the trail like a little jackrabbit.  He took at least twice as many steps as the rest of us.  At one point Buddy was scrambling around (looking for rattlesnakes) and started to slide off the trail.  He slid a few feet and luckily his fall was arrested by a sagebrush.  It was actually pretty scary, especially since I had seen a similar story on the news earlier that week of a boy not quite so fortunate.

 The summit!  The famous "monkey face" rock in the to the left.

Buddy spent the entire time looking for wildlife.  At one point he caught a lizard which latched onto his finger and bit him.  We weren't sure if it was dangerous  or not, and it wasn't letting go on it's own, so we shouted for Buddy pull it off and drop it.  He was mad at us the rest of the time for making him lose his "pet" lizard. 

Sambo did fabulous as well.  He didn't complain either.  The closest he came to whining was informing us "This is a really bad idea!" or that he didn't "want to come here ever again!" anytime the walk would get especially steep.  But he is a trooper and made it the entire way without being carried.

One thing about this hike was how beautiful the rocks and scenery were all along the way.  It made the hike especially rewarding that around each switchback was another gorgeous view.

On the car ride home Buddy took a poll, asking by the show of hands, who was proud of themselves.  We all raised our hands.

1 comment:

Myndi said...

Sambo is so cute in these pictures I can barely handle it. And, is Buddy wearing aviator sunglasses? Sweet scenery. Hey, maybe I will live there someday:)