We pulled out of the Applegate, with the Cruise America motorhome piloted by Brian and Parker behind us. We stopped briefly to get gas and meet up with our adopted grandpa Nick before setting out on the first leg of our journey. Our route would take us through Medford, up Crater Lake Highway on highway 439 before turning North off on US 97 towards Bend. Along the way we stopped at an overlook to gaze at Mt. Thielsen which towered over Diamond Lake like Disney’s Space Mountain.
We made our way up Highway 97 to Terrabone before taking a side road to a secret camp spot on a high bluff overlooking the Deschutes River with long range views of several Cascade volcanoes. We had camped in the same spot a couple of years ago with the spawns and it was every bit as beautiful as the first time. We disconnected and unpacked while the camera crew did their prep, Nick set up his camp chair, and pulled out his binoculars, Frankie took a load off.
As the sun set over the volcanoes, we turned in.The next morning we packed it all back up and headed out to Smith Rock. Smith Rock is the birthplace of extreme rock climbing in the US and even has a name for the type of rock featured there…. “Smith Rock Tuff”. It is a massive outcropping of basalt with spires up to 550 feet tall. We did a short hike with Frankie and the crew before Nick, Frankie, and I went to the overlook parking lot while Cate took more photos down in the valley, and Parker did his job….