We could not resist the opportunity to show off Smith Rock on our way out to the Bend cyclocross races this past weekend. Our friends Dan and Nathalie were in town from Philly and despite the fact that there are some great wooded areas near Philadelphia, there is nothing like Smith Rock. What is amazing is that this baby Grand Canyon is so close to the road, but still relatively hidden from view. However, the spot still manages to be not only one of Oregon's hotbeds of climbing and hiking, but also as outdoor brand photo shoot fodder. Name any one of the large outdoor brands you can think of and they have done a shoot here. So, why shouldn't we shoot some new stuff, you know, just for fun.
All those things combined into the perfect scenario to shoot the wool Redrum socks and Julie's new Danner Mountain Light boots. Plus, when you are on your way out to Bend, pretending to try and keep up with some of their mountain high athletes, this is a great spot to stretch your legs and run around the valley shouting "redrum, redrum." The locals loved it I'm sure. The park ranger seemed entirely amused.
The cool thing about Smith Rock - besides everything - is the ability to spend short amounts of time there and see absolutely new things each time. The light playing off the rock as the sun set in the distance gave us ample opportunity to ooh and ahh our way down to the riverbed and up the other side. The last time we were here I caught my first glimpse of an eagle attempting to fish from a perch high up on the wall. See? Something for everyone.
I, on the other hand, went with the ol winter weather standby — The Chrome 415 Workboot — and the Wildwood Trail Sock — which are getting their own facelift these days in preparation for another long run.
Here are Julie's notes on her new winter boot sock combo:
- Use the Danner provided heel cup for added stiffness.
- That small slot on the front of the tongue? Us that too to help prevent the tongue from sliding down the side of your foot every time. There's only a select few people that enjoy that sort of uhhh, thing. Thread your laces through and you won't regret it.
- This is the thickest wool sock that we have made yet and it goes great with a rugged shoe.
- Red and Yellow are fetching with the brown leather of the boot.
- "I looove this sock. We need to make so much more in this thick style."
It is hard to explain the magic that lies with Smith Rock. Words and photos do not do it justice. The only thing that really drives home the nail is the hammer of actuality. So, next time you find yourself whizzing down the road (not next to the road) on your way to Bend, make the left turn at Smith Rock State Park. You will not be disappointed.