Road Trip Baker City, Part II: Rowena Loops

You have all seen the pictures of Rowena Loops. Between Instagram and Facebook there are probably thousands of pictures uploaded daily of the iconic, drastic loops that make for an incredible photo opportunity. Usually there are only feet in the photo, or a couple holding hands with their backs to the camera. Look down at our first picture for reference. Whether you knew the name or not, you certainly know that vertical view of a road that nearly makes a U-turn. Rowena Loops: beautiful, unique, Oregon.

What you don’t know from the pictures online is that it is more than slightly dangerous to get a good shot of the loops. There is a 4½  foot guardwall that you must hurdle, with difficulty. Once over the wall, there is only about 4 feet of slanted cliff to perch yourself. After those few feet is about a 100 foot drop that is cushioned with rocks, cement, and fencing. A slip could be fatal.

You may be wondering why I note the dimensions of the cliff rather than the beauty of the loops. Well, that’s easy: I took in every aspect of that meager tuff as I helplessly watched the love of my life falling forward towards its end.

Always the adventurer, though not as often the most careful; Megan hopped down from that guardrail like she was jumping into bed. No apprehension, no consideration of the declining patch of rock or the consequential pain she would if she went too far. Nope, none of that.

For seconds that felt like everlasting lifetimes I watched Megan hit the ground near the edge and start tumbling forward. My heart stopped. I stood in utter panic as she popped up and wiped the dust off her green pants. Every detail of our surroundings imprinted on my memory in those moments.  

Yep, that’s how I know the minute details of Rowena Loops. Can you feel my worried frustration resurfacing as I typed the preceding paragraphs? Ugh!

Oh well, all’s well that ends well. And look at these beautiful photos!

Oops. :0