Smith Rock, October 2010

trip report by Colleen Hinton

OK, OK, I know – nothing like a trip report almost 4 months later!

But, we did want to fill in enquiring minds about a rocking trip to Smith Rock in the Fall. Hosted by Mary Yocom, a long-time WCNer who grew up in Redmond, Oregon and returned to live there several years ago, these regular – if infrequent – trips to central Oregon have become permanent fixtures on the WCN trip calendar.

For the uninitiated – Mary’s pad is like stepping back into the 60s – it’s a trip! She has pretty much retained her parents’ original décor and the house is literally a trip down Memory Lane – a very personal one for her no doubt, but for those of us who actually lived in the 60s and 70s, it’s still a generic trip down Memory Lane! From the turquoise leather couch to the wood paneling and pictures on the walls – a true classic! The attendees are asked to draw a number and each person gets to choose a room and a bed or sleeping spot on the floor based on the number she has drawn. Sometimes people set up a tent in the garden for the true camping experience.

The participants on this particular trip were:

Sonja Bring
Dawn Chapel
Traisa Skarbo
Nancy Kim
Laurel Fan
Chris Gan
Colleen Hinton
Clare Parfitt
Michele Sexton
Paulina Varshavskaya
Mary Yocom (natch)
Carla Schauble and Amy Recker met up with us at various points – they were staying with their friend Eve in Bend.
Robin Brower, fresh off the summer Alaskan guiding circuit, who joined us for dinner on Saturday night on her way down south.

People carpooled and drove in at various times throughout the 3-4 day weekend.
Everybody went rock climbing at Smith on Friday. One of the firm traditions of these Oregon trips is to have great food, with people organizing into tag teams for each meal. We have come to expect to wake up to freshly baked goods served by Mary – what a treat! Traisa and Dawn prepared a wonderful soup and salad on Friday evening.

Nancy and Colleen, Wherever I May Roam

Nancy and Colleen, Wherever I May Roam

On Saturday, the weather gods did not smile upon the entire central OR area and it rained on and off. Nancy and Mary went fishing on the Metolius River, Dawn and Traisa went mountain biking just outside Bend, Sonja, Colleen and Chris went hiking along the Metolius River; while Laurel, Michele and Paulina into practiced some aid climbing in the drier territory at Smith.

Paulina Belaying in the Rain

Paulina Belaying in the Rain

Saturday was a festive evening as Clare joined us after her long solo drive from Seattle (and getting caught in awful traffic in the middle of nowhere) and Colleen and Nancy prepared Colleen’s famous garbanzo bean curry. Unfortunately there was a bit of an error with the spicing of the Spice Pussies’ pot and they ended up getting something that was rather hard to differentiate from the Spice Queens’ version. Poor, sweating Paulina V could finally call herself a Spice Queen, if only for a night. Robin entertained us with guiding stories from her summer in Alaska, and as the evening wore on, a spontaneous karaoke event unfurled, with Michelle and Dawn providing the guitar accompaniment.

On Sunday morning after a long, lazy breakfast, some of us went back to Smith for a few more pitches of climbing before hitting the road back to Seattle. The morning brought lovely sunshine but it was looking rather threatening again by mid-afternoon when we packed it in.

All in all, a very pleasant weekend. Thanks again to our gracious hostess with the mostess, Mary, for hosting our large, boisterous group yet again.

Check out the photos on Facebook!

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