Category Archives: Oregon

“What are men to rocks and mountains?” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

WP D7K_5425_26_27_28_30-EditA few weeks ago I was in Central Oregon’s high desert region for some golf and beer tasting (there are 10 craft brewers in Bend alone). In between the snow flurries I got in 4 rounds and a few hours of photography. These photos are of Smith Rock State Park.

Smith Rock State Park is a state park located in central Oregon‘s high desert near the towns of Redmond and Terrebonne. Its sheer cliffs of tuff and basalt are ideal for rock climbing of all difficulty levels. Smith Rock is generally considered the birthplace of modern American sport climbing, and is host to cutting-edge climbing routes. It has over a thousand climbing routes, many advanced. Some areas are bolted.[2]

The park contains the first U.S. climb rated 5.14 (8b+). The area is well-known for its challenging climbing routes so eventually all top climbers visit. Between 1992 and 2009, about 500 new climbing routes were added.[3]

In addition to the world-famous rock climbing, Smith Rock State Park is host to many miles of hiking trails, the meandering Crooked River and views of the volcanic peaks of Oregon’s Cascade Range.

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Port Orford Amphibians

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Port Orford is a small port hamlet located 28 miles (45 km) north of Gold Beach, Oregon, and 27 miles (43 km) south of Bandon-by-the-Sea, Oregon (home of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort), on U.S. Route 101. The city is tucked between the Pacific Ocean and the Siskiyou National Forest.

The port is an open-water dock (no natural protection) and boasts the only drydock port on the West Coast. The fishing boats are lifted in and out of the water by operated cranes (the yellow arm in the background), set on custom-made dollies and parked in rows on the dock (where they look like some kind of extraterrestrial amphibian creatures). As a result, it is known as a “dolly dock.”

In October 1941, then-mayor Gilbert Gable, frustrated with the poor condition of the state roads around Port Orford, which hampered economic development, suggested that a number of counties along the Oregon and California state border should secede and create the State of Jefferson. This movement came to an end with U.S. involvement in World War II. But signs declaring the State of Jefferson can still be seen in fields and on barns.