For me, Smith Rock represents childhood. As a child, I lived on a cinder butte about 15 miles from this incredible rock formation. I looked at it every day. It encompassed everything thing I loved about the high desert. My family spent lots of time exploring these trails. This was back before Smith Rock was discovered by world class mountain climbers. Often we would have the entire park to ourselves. I'm glad we got the chance to spend a few hours here hiking and revisiting the area. It was a perfect sunny day and lots of climbers were out.
I remember climbing up to this hanging rock as a child. My dad took my sis and I up one evening and we straddled the ledge under the hanging rock. We could see for miles in every direction. It's one of my very favorite childhood memories. Now I look at the trek up to this spot and I wonder how I ever did it. It's kind of scary.
A favorite family tradition was to stop at Juniper Junction for Huckleberry ice cream. Sadly, they were closed when we visited.