I got the call today from the urologist. My CT scan was perfectly normal, no tumors, kidney stones, nothing out of the ordinary. He said it’s possible I had a very minor UTI that could have caused some bleeding but didn’t show up on a urinalysis the day I went to Urgent Care. Mystery unsolved, but at least my urological organs are healthy. Lots of money spent on probably unnecessary tests, but peace of mind nonetheless.
So on to our regular life, which yesterday included a wonderful afternoon spent at Smith Rock State Park just north of Redmond, Oregon, about 25 miles northeast of Bend. We had read about this place on several blogs, and a few other people emailed and told us not to miss it. We are so glad we went!
We spoke with the very nice volunteer couple who gave us a trail map and a description of the trails. She said most of the hiker injuries that occur there involve people who slip and fall on the steep Misery Ridge trail coming down. So we opted for a loop where we would go up Misery Ridge, pass by Monkey Face rock, come down on the Mesa Verde trail, and back to the parking lot via the River trail, a four mile loop.
We knew the Misery Ridge trail was going to be a tough climb up, 700 feet in a half mile. And it was.
But what great views once we caught our breath. Crooked River.
We took a short detour to get a better look at Monkey Face. No, it didn’t look at all like a monkey. At least not from that angle.
This is some gorgeous scenery. We both agreed, we enjoyed the trails through the redwoods, but we’ll take a hike like this any day over hiking through a forest of tall trees where there are no views.
We even spotted a couple houses we could see living in.
We aren’t sure it was any less steep going back down the other trail, but we were glad we each brought two hiking poles.
Finally down on the Riverside trail, we saw where Monkey Face got it’s name.
It actually looked more like a gorilla face.
The last mile or so along the river was level and very pretty.
And we got to see quite a few climbers. This is a famous climbing destination, very popular with foreigners.
Crutches and a litter, just in case.
I have a hard time watching this.
This is a great park, not what we imagined for central Oregon, and well worth a day trip if you’re ever in the neighborhood.
Oh, and of course after our workout we had to check out one of the four breweries in Redmond. We chose Cascade Lakes Seventh Street Brew House. We really liked their beer. Jim tried the new Misery Ridge Stout and loved it but they aren’t bottling it. He did buy a 6 pack of Monkey Face Porter which was almost as good.
Now we have to figure out where we’re going the rest of the summer. Back to the coast, stay inland, Washington, Idaho? Decisions, decisions.