On the Road with the Kidds! travel blog

A view of the area. A lot of grassland and rocky high...

Crooked River Gorge RR Bridge built in 1920s - Oregon Trunk Line

Crooked River Gorge

The RR bridge

The new (1970) bridge

Two road bridges, the closest is now pedestrians only

These little ground squirrels were all over the park

A visit to a local restoration place called "Canned Ham Heros"

They also restore things like this old Willy Mike had to stop...

Typical spotty showers today...these are hail.

Black Billed Magpie

Sticky getting hailed on

Smith Rock State Park...geocache over that way...

Smith Rock and Crooked River

Climbers...look close!

View from the easy overlook trail.

Even kids get to climb here

Beautiful Smith Rock State Park Oregon

A view from the bridge..before taking on the trail...still smiling!

Misery Ridge Trail Head. I should have known better!

So I climbed.

and climbed. Steep trail. Not really a fan oof high places!

squeezing through

So THAT is what is on the other side!

A rock climber. Nice gear. Glad he had so much in case...

And I said "Bye Mike! be safe!" then climbed some more.

Mike on that rock up there...zoomed in.

Mike on rock zoomed out - photo zoomed not Mike

This is part of the trail we went up.

Almost to the top

Mike on the top...maybe not so far for me to go?

OK maybe a little far...Mike at the top. So I trudge on

This lttle tree grew in the top.

Goats eye view of the trail.

At the top..selfie challenged!

Trying not to look over the edge...

View from the top

Hey! Look where I am!!!

Zoomed out. Yup. That is me!

Back down. Then I think...someone had to carry all this wood up...

Trail head... I had to read it again just because.

View from the bottom again

Back to bird watching..this one is a Townsend's Solitaire

Yellow Bellied Marmots laying on the rocks.

Yellow Bellied Marmots. Kinda like rock ground hogs.

The biggest osprey nest I have ever seen!


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!

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