Detroit Dam, Benham Falls, Smith Rock State Park, and Yoga - A Girl's Weekend Away

by Jodi

A couple of weeks ago Carissa and I were invited to join three other friends in Sunriver, Oregon, to celebrate Rose's 40th birthday and Kelly's upcoming wedding.  We had a lovely time filled with relaxation, exercise, laughter, tons of amazing food and great conversation.  I think each of us came back refreshed!
So blessed by these friends: Rose, Becky, Carissa and Kelly
Today I asked Carissa to "do a quick write up about our Smith Rock State Park hike."  It started some text bantering.

C:  "Oh Jodi.  'quick' and 'write' do not go in the same sentence for me like they do for you.  I wish they did."

J:  "C'mon.  We hiked.  It was beautiful.  We slid down the backside.  Had a tripod issue.  Took a lot of pictures.  Said we'd be back.  And came home."

C:  "Let me just cut and paste that into Blogger."

So that's the short version.  Here's the slightly longer version.

I got to be the chauffeur for the weekend so when we came upon Detroit Dam on the way to Sunriver I stopped and invited Kelly and Carissa (Rose and Becky drove separately) to walk across it since they'd never had that treat before.  We saw a bald eagle playing in the wind and I even introduced them to the cleaner, less smelly outhouse on the other side of the dam.  (That's me sharing my Secret Tips with all you Sole Sisters!)

We stopped just outside Sunriver, Oregon, and hiked a lovely, flat trail along the Deschutes River past Benham Falls headed toward Dillon Falls.  It's twisting the truth (in my opinion) to call this a "waterfall" since it looks more like river rapids but apparently the river bottom drops almost 95 feet in this section so if you squint really hard, it kind of looks like a waterfall.
This is just past the "falls" portion
We loved the wide, soft easy trail and how it transitioned from right on the river's edge to venturing out into the woods to some quiet, still waters.  This would be an easy trail to run or ride a mountain bike on. We ran out of time and had to turn around before we made it to Dillon Falls, so I added that to my list of things to do next time I'm in Sunriver.  The only negative about this trail was the THREE snakes we saw just off the trail all curled up together.  I screamed bloody murder and ran ahead while Kelly and Carissa hovered over them staring.  Crazy girls!
Saturday morning was a relaxing, quiet, unrushed trip to the spa.  After lunch our friends headed into town to go shopping and Carissa and I headed out of town to Smith Rock State Park, one of the seven wonders of Oregon.

Smith Rock is world-renowned for rock climbers and has been on my Bucket List of places to visit since we moved to Oregon almost six years ago.  I have no idea why we have never ventured there before, especially since on the drive I realized my Dad and his wife live a measly thirty minute drive from this paradise.  I am definitely bringing my family back.

Smith Rock State Park did NOT disappoint.  It was everything I envisioned it would be.  And then some.  I don't even know how to describe it.  The words "majestic" and "awe inspiring" come to mind.  Deep river canyons and vast rock faces.  Bright blue skies.  Scrubby desert bushes and exquisite wild flowers.  Hiking trails and climbing faces all over the park.  It was awesome.

Trying to act miserable even though I was SO excited!
Carissa was pumped

Carissa saying "Hi" by Monkey Face on our descent down the back side of Misery Ridge Trail.
Carissa and I took the Misery Ridge Trail up to the summit and back down the other side.  It definitely lived up to it's name.  Slow and steady is the way to approach this climb.  The trail is dry, packed dirt with loose gravel on top making it really slippery for the steep descent on the other side.  We decided a controlled fall would be easier on our quads then slip-sliding down, so we baby step/jogged/free fell down the back side of the Misery Ridge Trail.  It was comical.  So comical that I almost wet my pants laughing at Carissa leading the way.  Then almost bought it because I was so busy belly laughing that I forgot to watch my footing and maintain my balance.

Once we were back in the canyon, we followed a peaceful trail along the river.  I wasted at least twenty minutes trying to set my camera (with a too-heavy lens) up on the tripod that I lugged along for the entire hike.  Carissa waited patiently while I groused and complained and mumbled under my breath and we both laughed when I finally gave up and just took a picture of her with the rock face in the background.  And she took one of me being a monkey since Monkey Face was behind me.

It's one thing I love about Carissa - she laughs at my jokes, puts up with my idiosyncrasies, and says yes to every wild adventure I present her with.  ***BONUS***  I got her to take a Silly Selfie with me.  It might just be her first one ever. (This is for you Devon!)

Sunday morning we headed out for a run but turned around with our tails between our legs when it started raining big, cold rain drops on our uncovered heads and hands.  It was like a bad brain freeze. We swapped out running for group yoga in the warm, cozy house as the rain pelted the windows.  Such a fun treat!

So there you have it.  If you find yourself in central Oregon, make sure you visit Smith Rock State Park.  And bring your family to the kid-friendly Benham Falls trail.  Both were super fun!

P.S.  Tell one of your Sole Sisters you love her today.  Carissa, Kelly, Rose, Becky, Devon, and Tanya - love you!!!!!!

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