The (Mis)Adventures of Smith Rock: Part I


We arrived at Smith Rock full of excitement after hearing how amazing everyone in the climbing world thought the place was. Gotta say, the scenery is pretty barren and foreboding. Really unique- I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the great big rock rising up in front of me from seemingly nothing.

As we drove in, we noticed the little climbing shop we had heard about at the entrance to Smith Rock. We needed to check out a guide book to get more familiar with the area and thought this would be the place to do it. However, it was about 5:00 pm, so we weren’t sure if they’d be open- nope. No sign of their hours, either.

After taking a short ride around the camping area and noticing that it was $5/per person a night, we decided we’d rather look for free camping. We caught word of potentially free camping at the BLM area in a place called Skull Hollow.  The campground there was $5 flat but with no amenities and if we were going no ammenities, we were going free. So we pulled into a spot ½ mile away from the campground (as instructed on the sign going in) and found a spot that had a fire ring already established.

As soon as we pulled in, the wind picked up like crazy.  We were both starving and I tried to set up a sheltered area in which to cook, but it was nearly impossible to keep the burners going, even with the windscreen up. I finally got everything made (Mexican tonight) but as soon as I brought it into the shelter of the car, the handle slipped off the pot and rice, beans, corn, peppers spilled into every nook and cranny of the car.


Steve took it all in stride and started cleaning it up as I just stared at it. I think I lost my brainpower for a minute. Then I snapped back into it. We salvaged what we could and had a decent amount of dinner.  The wind stayed around until it was dark, so we didn’t do much except get the tent ready and play some Gin Rummy.

P.S. Does anyone know why this tree was covered with shoes?  (As seen on the way to Smith Rock in Oregon.)

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