Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trip to John Day

At this point, we knew we were going to be leaving Oregon to move to California within a month so we decide to squeeze in one last trip. Below are the shots taken from our visit to the John Day Fossil Beds.

Most of the trip was geology driven as the earth revealed millions of years of its history, one color at a time. However, we also enjoyed insight into the culture of the small town, Eastern Oregon lifestyle. Most of the towns were nearly ghost towns with seemingly very few residents.

We camped for both nights along the John Day River, which was for the most part very desolate and peaceful. However, a large family of locals showed up shortly after us and quickly took over.  Although we would have preferred the quiet serenity we were expecting by camping so far away from any populations, we said, "it is what it is," and let it become a part of the experience.

The nights were beautiful, with wispy cirrus clouds painted different shades of pink, purple, and finally dark blue. Coyotes were yipping in the distance and there were so many starts to gaze upon! As we were falling asleep to this peaceful setting, we suddenly heard guns firing...very close by. After carefully poking our heads out of the tents, we could see a spot light dancing around the rock face across the river from us and then it would stop and shots would suddenly fire again. Our camping neighbors were firing rounds into the rock right next to us! I was completely flabbergasted that someone could be so ignorant, but what were we going to do...walk up to them and tell them to stop?! Fortunately, the target practice didn't last long and we were able to get a good night's sleep before exploring the Painted Hills on our last day.

The Painted Hills were definitely our favorite part. The colors were fantastic! Their yellow, black, and red hues are constantly changing shade depending on the humidity and lighting. It's hard to believe they're actually real and not something made up for the set of a science fiction movie. To put it bluntly, they really look like colorful velvet blobs melting in the desert sun. I wish I would have taken a photo of what these formations looked like up close. They have a much drier, cracked, and uninviting appearance than the soft, squishy hills I captured.

Sheep Rock

Escaping the heat by taking a dip in the John Day River

 Escaping the heat by taking a dip in the John Day River 

Mouth-deep in the John Day River

Almost looks like an erupting volcano

And this is why cirrus clouds are my favorite

More sunset

View of the John Day River near where we camped

The amazing Eastern Oregon color pallet 

Albino matis?!

pretty desert flowers

Yay for the Painted Hills!

 Painted Hills up close

They look so soft

 Painted Hills melting