Saturday, March 17, 2007


Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

Can you love stone?

Can you pass on that love? I think you can. I spent a lot of time with rock in my childhood, especially in Bend, Oregon. I can still remember the awe of visiting the Valhalla of stone...Smith Rocks, Oregon. The immensity of it, the challenge that it seemed to boom down at you from it's gigantic rock faces. I can still remember the thrill of getting to the top of one of its canyon peaks and gazing over the miles of area you could see from its top. There is something eternal in it.

As a kid I loved discovering rock, building with it, firing machine guns from behind it, crawling and hiding in it. I like the feel of rock...the stability of it. The coolness and roughness, the shapes, the toughness. I love the way they just sit where they sit. The strength of rock reminds me of bone, structure, foundation. Boys always want to climb them, conquer them and stand on them.

Have you noticed that?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel you bro! Where I don't share much of your love for hard rock music, I've got your back when it comes to rock rocks. The main reason I frequent the Dishman Hills Natural Area so much (besides it's close proximity to my house) is all the rocks. I can't get enough of the rocky terrain there. When I first moved to Spokane, it was hard for me at first to get used to all the Ponderosa Pine, the whole high desert scene. I missed all the Douglas Fir, but the thing that stood out to me right away is the rock in this area. That house right off I-90 near the Sprague exit that is built on a huge rock outcropping, the hotel downtown near the river that is the same way. I have always loved climbing on rocks, throwing rocks, skipping rocks...That hike that you told me about in Seven Mile near the ORV Park (Hidden Creek?) has the sweetest boulders sitting right in the middle of the valley floor like they grew out of the ground where they sit. One of the most amazing things I saw when I was in Greece are the monestaries of Meteora (worth a Google image search if you've never seen them) that are built at the top of huge pillars of rock. Whenever I drive back to Portland from Spokane, it's all I can do not to pull the car over and start climbing up the rocky slope next to I-84 in the gorge. Those cliffs are mesmerizing to me. Tina has had to shake me back to reality (and the road!) more than once when I'm staring at them. (that's where I saw the Big Horn sheep and caught them on video, I've always been amazed at how fleet of foot they are on such treacherous terrain) To me, rocks practically beg to be climbed. I don't have much experience with true harnessed rock climbing, but I'm a bigger fan of just bouldering anyway. Duffy Lake in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area has a butte about 1000 feet above Duffy Lake. You can see Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, the Three Sisters... Inspiring views just by climbing up some rocks. This summer I am determined to see more of the rock that the "Inland Northwest" has to offer.