Amy Sue Matthews, AKA “Summit Trail Amy” as dubbed by SmithRock.com for her great trail conditions reporting on the Summit Trail Loop that started with last winter’s snow dump, is Smith Rock State Park’s biggest fan. Now a volunteer for the park, she attends every learning event she can to expand her knowledge to provide visitors the best experience that she can assist with. Last weekend, during the American Alpine Club’s Smith Rock Craggin’ Classic, she met up with Alan Watts, a name synonymous with the birth of sport climbing in America on his annual Walking Tour of Smith Rock for the Craggin’ Classic.
Just after we joined the Bald Eaglets on Sunday for Happy Hour and watched them waiting on Mom and Dad for food, we saw them trying out their wings to join in the catch. Jeff Seaman of Bend followed up with subsequent daily visits and captured the moment for at least one of the pair.
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 full title of the book says a lot. “Hangdog Days: Conflict, Change, and the Race for 5.14.” In it author Jeff Smoot weaves an intricate story around some of the characters he hung around during the period of arguments, fistfights, and even death threats that were part of the painful birth of modern sport climbing. At the center of the controversy, local Alan Watts, was one of the revolutionaries that pushed back against the climbing traditionalists of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s to use another approach to get American climbing routes up to the coveted 5.14 gade.
After pouring over the proposed Smith Rock Master Plan maps and descriptions to provide feedback to Oregon Parks and Rec before the December 15 deadline, we were still a tad confused. We thought you might be too. We asked Scott Brown, Smith Rock State Park Manager to take us to some of the sites of the biggest proposed changes.