September 22, 2005
We are waking up to a beautiful sunrise and 39 degrees in The Cove Palisades State park with a fantastic view of Mt. Jefferson. Since we decided to just relax and take it easy today we had a lazy get up and nice breakfast.
We wanted to explore the area so we headed out starting along the Crooked River Canyon. There's a power line road that parallels it for about three miles with many turnouts to view the canyon. Along our way we saw a fox hiding in the sage brush. We tried to get a picture of him but he out foxed us.
The canyon is about three to four hundred feet deep and meanders all over the place. The Crooked River in the bottom of the canyon is fairly wide and you can see a couple of marina’s and boats on the water. We'll check out the bottom of the canyon later on today.
Next stop was a visit to the first car bridge across the canyon built in 1917 and the first railroad bridge built in 1911. They are only about 1/4 mile apart and they go over a part of the canyon that is 295 feet deep and about 1/4 mile wide. There is a new car bridge beside the old one and the old one has been closed to cars. The railroad bridge is still in use.
After the bridge we headed for Smith Rock State Park which is a unique rock formation where people go to climb the rocks. We spent a lot of time there watching quite a few people climb the sheer faces of the rocks. It is really amazing how they climb straight up using only their finger tips and toes to hang on. They all climb with safety ropes but it's still quite a feat.
It was lunch time and we saw a little greasy spoon burger shop in the town of Terrebonne that looked good. The service was slow, the customers were mostly local farmers, and the food was good. That was just perfect for a couple on vacation. There was a thermometer outside the window that we wondered if it was indicative of the weather. It went from -60 to 120 degrees F.
With our tummies full it was off to the bottom of the canyon. There were several park areas that are very nice and well maintained. The day use picnic areas included swimming areas and docks to tie your boat. They have group camp areas as well as trailer camping with water and electric hook ups. There is also a small restaurant that wasn't open. The boat launch and parking area is very big and in the summer must get a lot of activity.
There was a petroglyph that was on display along side the road. No one has figured out what it means or what the symbols are but it was interesting to see.
The road out of the canyon is nice black top but quite steep. We were glad to be staying where we were even though either place would be good camping. The highlighted area shows the road up.
It was clouding up a little bit and we got one waning shot of Mt. Jefferson with some red clouds behind it. The ending to a perfect day.