The town we are staying at (Culver)is about 7 miles south of Madras, and seven miles north of Terrebonne, considered Redmond area since that is the next biggest town to the south. It is the easiest to find on a map.
Nearby as we were driving to the campground, we saw this really cool gorge. So we went back to check it out. Apparently this big gorge used to have a small single lane wooden bridge across it, about a mile upstream. (sure am glad I did not have to cross THAT!)Roads were only dirt roads then. By 1926 they decided a decent bridge was in order so Crooked River (High) Bridge. That bridge is now for foot traffic and offers some great views of the gorge. The architect designed it to last into the 20th century which it did until modern heavier traffic once again required a new one. So they built another bridge. This one was started in 1997 and not finished until 2000. It was the first major cast in place concrete segmented arch bridge in the US. I learn stuff like this so I can share it with my son Jesse, who is an engineer and appreciates bridges. :-)
After getting blown by heavy winds and cold temperatures (in the 40's...we thought the desert was supposed to be warm?) we headed back to the rig for some R&R. Mike napped and read, and I got my little featherweight sewing machine out and worked on a quilt project.
We have also extended our stay here to three days. we have an issue with out leveling jacks on our rig so we are waiting for a local shop to squeeze us in on Thursday. Hopefully this is a quick thing, or else we order parts, and explore more while we wait. At least it gave us another day to see what we can. This time we went to Smith Rock State Park. We are only about ten miles from it. It is one of the most renowned rock climbing places in Oregon. They have 1800 different climbing routes. US Sport climbing started here. We saw a LOT of climbers there, some in pairs, some in climbing classes.
I found a geocache on a trail overlooking the area, then Mike and I decided to walk down, just to the bridge. Then we saw a trail, and Mike wanted to go up. Of course it was the hardest trail, and called Misery Ridge. I don't know why he picked that either. I said I would come up the trail a little ways, then let him go. Then I wanted to make it around the corner. The view was amazing. I followed a little more. At one point I told ike to go ahead. I was going to turn back and did until some young bouncy girl hopping up the trail said it was not much further and the view was amazing. So I turned around and continued. Then I was ready to quit again. I saw where Mike was ahead and said no way. He was sitting resting up there somewhere, and I was down there somewhere, but I could see he was not far from the top. I waited to watch him go. Then I decided that I could breathe again, and was not really having a heart attack, so I went up. Mike said I am a stubborn old woman. I guess I am. I made it to the top. I thank my knee doctor who did such a good job replacing mine a year ago, and also thank my Leki hiking poles. Love them! Oh and my hiking boots. Could not have done this without any of them. I wish I would have taken a minute at the top to see if a geocache was up there, but I forgot. Sure hope I did not miss a big pointer in my battle with Jesse!
We came back down the same trail. We probably could have come down the other side, but the wind was blowing up there, and it was hailing so we went back the same way. Someone told us later, we could have continued but it was 1 1/2 hours longer. Glad we did it our way. Besides, on the way back down, we looked up to where we just were and saw a Golden Eagle soaring overhead!
Finally back to civilization, Mike and I went to a Mexican Restaurant we had been hearing about with great food, Diego's Spirited Kitchen in Redmond. Food was good, cold beer was better. Great way to end the day.
Enjoy the pictures!