When Daddy was in Afghanistan, we would dream of climbing vacations. We discussed numerous locations but one seemed to be just right for us...and Uncle Mark...and Grandma & Grandpa A...and for an ultra super secret 40th birthday party for Uncle Dan.
OREGON it was!
Before we knew it, it was time to stop dreaming and get packing!
We scored a great rate at Eagle Crest Resort which is located just outside Redmond, OR. Redmond is north of Bend and about 25 minutes from Smith Rock. We found a three bedroom condo which was gorgeous and turned out to be just perfect for the 5 adults and 2 kids spending a few weeks together.
Here's a little view of the place.
|Sweet for future girlfriends to see...heeheehee|
|Lucas day dreaming and super relaxed!|
|Grandma A brought the boys so fun toys so Axel was using his building skills with the Constructs.|
We had 14 days to play with before the big surprise party in Portland. To maximize our climbing, we decided to climb every other day. On our "rest" days, we hiked, took photos and let the boys climb. It turned out to be a pretty good balance but by week two, our bodies were exhausted from the one day on, one day off schedule.
Climbing with 3 adults (who had all very different objectives) became a true science in scheduling, timing and teamwork. Uncle Mark had his sights on "Just Do It" a 5.14c on the famous Monkey Face which required a long hike. Getting an early afternoon to warm up meant catching the cool afternoon shade. Daddy was working "Scarface" a 5.14a on the front side Smith which was also shady in the afternoon. It worked out because the longer it was in the shade, the cooler it was. Cooler rock is always much "stickier" and definitely preferred. Mommy found a climb called "Full Heinous" a 5.12c right next to Daddy's climb which also fell in the shade afternoon.
Our typical climbing day would start with a lazy morning around the condo. Around lunch time, Uncle Mark and Daddy would hike over to the Monkey to help Uncle Mark climb. Then, everyone would meet up later, the the front side, so Daddy and Mommy could climb. It actually worked out pretty well but required a lot of hiking. We don't get much hiking here in Florida so we weren't complaining.
The boys got to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa at the condo playing at the park, splashing in the hot tub, challenging each other in various board games and getting a little homework done along the way. On the days Grandma & Grandpa has to be back in Corvallis, the boys would hang out with Mommy until it was her and Daddy's turn to climb. We made sure to squeeze in some hiking, library time, relaxing at the condo and numerous trips to the local ice cream shop. :)
Grandma A joined us for some rest day activities...
|Here Axel learns all about Smiths pockets and knobs. This volcanic tuff is truly unique!|
|You go Axel!!|
|Grandma & Daddy watching with proud smiles.|
|The jagged edge seen in the back ground is the iconic "Chain Reaction." This is a beautiful climb Mommy belayed Daddy on years ago in our pre-kid phase. :)|
|Lucas testing out his new rock shoes.|
|He did a great job of watching his feet land on all the cool knobs.|
|Axel trying another climb near by.|
|Mike and his Mom in Bend enjoying a real rest day.|
|My little ham!|
|Lucas?! Where are your sunglasses?|
|Tumalo Falls is just outside Bend. It's barely a hike, huge and gorgeous!!|
|A quick hike brings you to the top.|
|Lucas loves learning about science so he was intrigued by the interpretive signs. Axel missed out, he opted for a nap in the car. Luckily, he was awake last summer when we first discovered Tumalo Falls.|
|Here's the car, a sweet mini-van. We fell in love with it and if they got better gas mileage I believe we would own one.|
|Lucas and Mommy in the "back of the bus" hanging out.|
|Grandma suggested we hit the Pine Tavern for dinner. A little nostalgia for Grandma, she came here with her parents as a little girl. The boys could hardly believe that there were two real trees inside the restaurant. And the food? AWESOME!!!|
|Grandpa A, Axel and Lucas enjoying time together back at the condo.|
More to come...