Portrait of a Monkey. Face.

I have photos of Monkey Face from every time we've clambered over the Misery Ridge Trail in Smith Rock State Park outside of Terrebonne in Central Oregon (north of our old hometown of Bend). It feels like a reward for making it to the top of the park.

 A couple of monkey faces

A couple of monkey faces

This iconic pillar of ancient volcanic rock in Smith Rock State Park has stretched his little simian face to the sun for eons, more or less untouched by humans, until rock climbing became popular as a weekend pastime. Now the poor monkey is infested by dangling and crawling humans every day from Spring until late Fall. He must be so bummed that there isn't another monkey nearby to snuggle up next to him and groom the human nits out of his skin, and so happy to feel the first snow of winter. Finally, peace for a few short months. (Rock climbers don't climb in winter, do they?)

 (c) Janice Tracy 2014

(c) Janice Tracy 2014

I used a palette knife to apply paint to this one. It seemed fitting to have a little less control, and leave a little more angular and jagged lines to imitate the stoniness of the stone. And yes, the stone does have that peculiar pink shade. And no, I didn't paint in any rock climbers. Let Mr. Monkey have this day at least. And yes, you should come visit. It is a beautiful park, becoming more popular every year.