Saturday, July 13, 2013

John Day Country

DAY NINETEEN: John Day was a hunter/trapper in the Old Oregon Country back in the years immediately following the Louisiana Purchase. He left his name all over the place, including the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This is another amazing landscape - as "unworldly" as Craters of the Moon, but much more colorful. The JDFBNM exists in three locations. Last year, in late July, we stopped at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, which is closest to the highway and has a fascinating Visitor's Center where you can learn everything you want to know about fossils. (Go back to my July 27, 2012 blog). This time we went a little more out of the way to the Painted Hills Unit. (The third unit,  the Clarno Unit, is even more out-of-the-way). There are rest rooms (always welcome!), a small information hut, a lovely picnic grounds, shaded and cool, but of course the main feature is the landscape.We took a short trail up a ridge that afforded spectacular views of layered, bare, colorful hills which tell a complex geological story.

Going back - we started out from Boise today. The day got off to a difficult start. I was slicing apples for oatmeal with a very sharp knife and  inadvertantly sliced the tip of my left ring finger. Ouch! Fortunately we found some Band-Aids and ointment and with Ellen's help, I got it bandaged up. Just before that happened I got this nice shot of Ellen, Mimi, Christian Petrach (our host) and Ella and Fritz on the back steps.

Today's trip took us across Oregon. It was a beautiful, cool day and the scenery was gorgeous. In addition to the stop at John Day Painted Hills, we had a little picnic out of our food box at Unity Lake State Park, and for supper stopped in Sisters, OR at a favorite ice cream place, which also has food. Mimi had a cheeseburger and Ellen and I both had fishburgers.

Unity Lake State Park

Sno-Cap Ice Cream place

We got to Salem - at the home of our friend JoAnne Elizabeth Seibert - at about 10pm. A welcome haven after a long, but good, day of travel. When I unwrapped my finger, it looked ok. The air in the bedroom was fresh and cool - promising  a good night's sleep.

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