Tag Archives: River

Head of the Metolius

Deschutes National Forest

Near Camp Sherman

Activity: Sight Seeing, Nature Walk

Distance half mile, elevation change 30’, rated EASY

This is not really a hike. It is more of a nice little outing in nature. Just a real pleasant walk through Ponderosa Pines, to a quiet and tranquil scene of a slow flowIng river that started at that spot. Along with the spectacular river scene, which is absolutely idyllic, you will take in picturesque green meadows, beautiful fir trees and Mt Jefferson perfectly framed.  What a zen like place.

What is unusual about the phenomenon that is the Head of the Metolius is that most of the time rivers are started by mountain snow run off, or a bunch of springs all which join together over a pretty good chunk of land to form a river, that is not the case here. The Head Waters of the Metolius River comes right out of the ground right at that spot, and not in a trickle by any means. We are talking 50,000 gallons a minute.

After checking out this peaceful setting we stopped by the quintessential General Store type of establishment that is a must do. Just outside the doors the river runs by and there is great fishing to be had.

Really cool outing for the whole family.

Thanks to my good friend Bruce for sharing this enchanting scene as we adventured across Central Oregon, and thank you for joining us ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. If you liked the post then take a second and COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. If you glance up at the menu you will see that PBTA goes to many different locations you might just find a few to put on your list. Please note that each locations is a separate site and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. For the very best quality adventure gear stop by PBTA’s SHOP APPAREL.

Checkout the Free Drawing for Free PBTA Merch which runs through 11-15-20.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Burma Road Loop

SMITH ROCK STATE PARK

NEAR TERREBONNE, OREGON

Activity: Day Hike

Date: August 28, 2019

Distance: 7 miles, 1,253’ elevation change, 4.5 hours duration rated Moderate.

Smith Rock is one of those special places that is almost spiritual it is so beautiful. This was my second time to hike at Smith Rock, the last was hiking up Misery Ridge a few years ago with my fraternity brother Marcus, my son Alec, (then about 12), and a bunch of college guys, friends of Macus’s son. I found Misery Ridge to be aptly named for the crazy switch backs and quick elevation change, not only a challenge, but a stunningly beautiful hike and a fantastic climb.

Wanting a different hike and experience I chose the Burma Road Loop. The loop is made up of multiple trails: The Chute, River, Summit, Burma Road and Wolf Tree Trails. It completely circumnavigates Smith Rock so you view it from every angle including looking down at it from the neighboring ridge. So any thoughts that this would be easier than Misery Ridge would be mistaken. Actually it is less aggressive in my opinion as the elevation is more spread out and over a longer distance. That being said however, there is a section with some fairly challenging switch backs as well.

The trail drops down to the Crooked River which surrounds Smith Rock on three sides almost like a moat adorning an majestic castle. At this point the trail is easy following the awe inspiring walls of Smith Rock and along the River Trail, which is fabulous.

This was one of the hottest days of the year expecting to top out at 96 degrees. I was glad that I was getting an early start at 7:30 AM, which was most pleasant in the mid seventies, but by the time I completed my journey it was about 90.

As I mentioned, the Crooked River wraps around Smith Rock. On the backside I headed up into a high desert scene. This is where the elevation starts going up and at a pretty quick rate with a number of switchbacks until you have a wonderful view of the river, the valley, Smith Rock, and the Cascade Mountains off in the distance. Just an spectacular view and with the wonderful rock faces and formations of Smith Rock it is simply a must do.

As I dropped in elevation the single track trail joined a double track road that was steep and not interesting, well… aside from the adjacent view of Smith Rock. My point is taking the Burma Road Loop clockwise is the way to go because going up a steep boring road with no switch backs would not be as pleasant, but working my way down it quickly with views of the valley and Smith Rock was perfect.

Once down to the valley floor there are more rock formations to take in, a wooded area, and then back to a delightful adventure along the Crooked River with ducks and geese, and a beaver. What an adventure filled with wonder… when you are Pursuing Balance Through Adventure.

Wow, Smith Rock, ya’ just gotta’ luv it! Adventure and Balance is what we are pursuing so FOLLOW, LIKE, COMMENT, and SHARE so together we can accomplish this type of harmony.

Roger Jenkins Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Video Clips of Smith Rock ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure‘

Deschutes River Trail

BEND, OREGON

Activity: Day Hike

Date: August 26, 2019

3 miles, 140’ elevation change, 2 hours duration, rated Easy

Bend is Central Oregon’s largest city situated in the foothills of the Eastern Cascade Mountain Range, with the Deschutes River running through it. It is a meca for outdoor activities. In the winter Bend’s semi-arid, high desert location, means a lite and dry powder, compared to the ski resorts further West. Mt. Bachelor draws skiers and snowboards from the West and beyond with it’s great snow, terrain and blue bird sky.

There are activities year round in the Bend area with hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, climbing, paragliding, fishing, golf, camping, and white water rafting.

On this day I decided to stay locally in Bend and checkout a recommended hike right in town along the river, the Deschutes River Trail. Not expecting that much from a urban type of hike I started out at the River Bend Park. A lovely park with expanses of perfectly groomed lawns, flowers, sculptures, nice bathrooms, just a wonderful little park to spend an afternoon at. What makes it special is the Deschutes River and the walking trail along the river. There were people strolling, children playing, dog walkers, sun worshipers, joggers, folks paddling the river in kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUP). All very, very nice. But this blog is about hiking not parking.

I crossed a foot bridge which provided a great view of the river and the park. Afterwards I was making my way along the river on the footpath on the opposite side. At the moment I made it to the sign that announced the Deschutes River Trail it was as if I had stepped into a wilderness even though I was still in a city. What a grand taste of nature for the locals and visitors alike. Because this trail capture that essence, for those that don’t have the time or inclination to go out into the backcountry and experience what it is truly like to walk along an enchanting trail, smell the ponderosa pines, hearing the rushing water, view river and sky. Of course then you are brought back to reality for there are still the condos peaking through the trees on the above cliff, but hey you aren’t actually in the wilderness you are just getting to get a taste of it for crying out loud. But there are places along this well thought out route that do a pretty good job of blocking out some of that humanity with well placed strips of trees and forest so Deschutes River Trail is definitely worth a look.

Along this portion of the trail there is a nice educational piece regarding types of trees and fauna, Native American lore, the strange affect that animals have on trees and the funny formations they take as a result, a little history and even hydro power.

Wow, is this restful…

Thanks for joining me in this turn along the Bend, as I was ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ along the river flow. What you should do now before you forget is LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW, and SHARE, because there is oh so much more to do to inspire, motivate. Get off the couch, put on your hiking boots and just enjoy what God has given us.

Roger Jenkins, Pursuing Balance Through Adventure