Saturday, September 01, 2007

A visit to Smith Rock with Alex

I got a reasonably early start along with tapir friend Alex, who was visiting Oregon and came to Bend with us over the Labor Day holiday. I'd been to Smith Rock before and wanted to get there ahead of the crowds and the heat. We didn't completely outmaneuver either one, but it was pleasant and beautiful as always. It was a bit hot going up and down the steep hill, but there was a fresh breeze if you were in the right location. The photo above is taken from just below the parking area.

Here we are just starting up the steep part of the trail. That's Alex in the orange shirt. We went up and down this "Misery Trail," or whatever they call it, and did not hike down the back and all the way around along the river. I've done that before. It was gorgeous, but my plan was to hike this spectacular shorter route up and back.

Here's the view from the top. It was too hazy to have a good look at the Cascades, so that was disappointing, but Smith Rock is always breathtaking, no matter what. I had the weirdest reaction when we got to the top. I haven't hiked like this on a new medication I was taking for a vascular problem that, as it turns out, was misdiagnosed (yeah, no illness!!!), but bad, I was on this funky medication for a couple of years. Anyway, I got white spots in front of my eyes so badly that I virtually couldn't see. While I was hiking up and down the mountain, they disappeared, but appeared only when I stopped to rest at the top and at the bottom of the mountain. I guess it could have been worse if it had been reversed. I didn't feel faint or dizzy, but it was disconcerting. When we got to the bottom of the mountain I asked Alex to drive us back to Bend because I could barely see. After about 15 minutes, it cleared up. Fortunately, as I write this in January 2009, I'm no longer taking the stuff.