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.
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.