Park Manager Scott Brown is moving south—to La Pine State Park, that is. After 9 years at Smith Rock, Brown has seen an exponential rise in visitation, doubling since he’s been here to close to 900,000 people per year. He’s been at the confluence of competing groups of park users along with area residents as they hammer out a new Master Plan to address that growth since the last plan from 20 years ago. But that’s not why he’s chosen to leave.
If you didn’t get a chance to experience “In a Landscape,” (IAL)—a confluence of music, nature, and technology, last year at Smith Rock, now’s your chance. The first performance in July sold out before we could tell you about it, but another has been added, for September 11. Hunter Noack performs live outdoors on his 9-foot Steinway grand piano. He hauls it on his performing platform to the middle of forests, fields, calderas and historical sites for classical music concerts. And back by popular demand, to Smith Rock.
Free parking and camping? You heard that right, along with fresh fruits, cookies and lemonade at the Welcome Center between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM on June 1 while supplies last.
Just a couple of weeks ago we were encouraging you to take advantage of the scopes to see the Golden Eagles nesting set up at the Northern Point by volunteer and birder Steve Lay (AKA “The Snake Charmer of Smith Rock”). Hopefully you got a chance to take a peek at the activity then, as the eaglet has died sometime since then.
The spirit of Smith Rock is something hard to put your finger on. It’s been described as soul-filling—a deep connection to the volcanic energy that formed its walls, and the river that shaped its valley. Maybe that’s why 200+ volunteers show up each year at the Smith Rock Spring Thing to give something back to this magical place. This weekend was no exception, but it was more than expected. One of those times when all the bad stuff in the world melts away with a simple act of kindness.