A free day.

A free day.

4/15/2023: A day with no plans.

I woke up on my own this morning. Finally, no alarm! After having breakfast, we decided to explore Prineville, a pretty small town. We stopped by a few scenic lookouts to admire the views. We randomly found Steins Pillar on the map, located in the Ochoco National Forest. It only took about 30 minutes to drive there, and let's be honest, we really had nothing else to do. The views on the way were pretty sweet, with a lot of horses, cows, and deer. I'm still trying my best to make friends with the deer, but no luck so far.

As we drove down the service road, there it was! The pillar was just kind of sticking up out of the side of a hill. Here are three unique facts about Steins Pillar:

  1. Stein's Pillar is a volcanic plug, which means it is solidified lava that once filled the neck of an extinct volcano. It is made up of basalt and was formed around 3.5 million years ago during the Pliocene epoch.
  2. The pillar is named after a local rancher named Christian Stein, who discovered the landmark in the late 1800s. Stein's Pillar stands at a height of approximately 350 feet (107 meters) and has a diameter of around 120 feet (37 meters).
  3. Stein's Pillar is a popular destination for rock climbers, who come to test their skills on its sheer walls. The first recorded climb to the top of Stein's Pillar was in 1937, and since then, it has become a favorite spot for experienced climbers seeking a challenging ascent.

Bonus fact: Stein's Pillar is surrounded by several mysterious legends and stories. According to one tale, a group of Native American hunters once climbed to the top of the pillar to escape a flood and were saved by a giant eagle. Another legend suggests that the pillar is haunted by the ghost of Christian Stein, who is said to have been murdered by a group of bandits.

Tomorrow, we will be driving to Bend, OR, until Friday. Andy's favorite brewery is there, so I'm sure we might visit it a time or two. 

Thanks so much for the emails, texts, and messages!! We are hoping to see as many of you as we can during our travels. Happy Saturday!