Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Day at Smith Rock

Smith Rock.  How did such a spectacular place end up with such a boring name?  Because its name is so forgettable, I didn't take it very seriously even though Smith Rock is one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon.

But our jaws dropped when we rolled into the parking lot last weekend and saw the view.

How this massive rock formation got its name is far from boring.   In the mid 1800's a U.S. Calvary Private by the name of Voke Smith, fought in many skirmishes here against hostile Indians.  One version of the story is that he leapt to his death rather than get captured.  Another version is that he fell off a cliff during a battle.  At any rate, don't you think Voke Rock would have been more interesting than Smith?
Mother Nature doesn't care about names and we have her (and nobody else) to thank for this exquisite landscape.  The combination of  volcanic ash towers and a meandering river creates an environment of pure bliss for us hikers.  There are numerous trails, both easy and difficult, throughout the park.

The geology is fascinating.  The color in the rock is known as "tuff" and is the result of hardened ash.  Millions of years ago, a nearby volcano exploded and a thick layer of ash settled here.  From a distance the giant spires rise above the landscape like a Gothic cathedral.  Even the Crooked River that winds through the canyon was pushed here by heavy basalt flows.  One day is not enough to explore this incredible place.  We will be back for more.

It is truly a Wonder.  And totally unforgettable.


  1. Fascinating!
    I would love to walk here.
    I just flicked over to your Uluru post. Beautiful poem!
    Xo Jazzy Jack

  2. Yes, this place reminded me of Uluru. The red color and the way it rises out of the flat landscape.