Monday, September 24, 2007


What a beautiful drive we had yesterday!

Richard Dopp, our friend in Canby, did everything in his power to get us out on his favorite scenic drives through central Oregon. Richard, you were absolutely right about the Painted Hills - breathtaking!

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument consists of three separate units in remote locations in central Oregon. Our first stop was the Painted Hills unit, six miles off the main road. We pulled into the picnic area driving Scoopy and pulling Jules, enroute to our stop for the night. We made a good decision when we parked in the picnic area instead of continuing up a gravel road to the overlook and the hikes.

We had the picnic area to ourselves - plenty of parking for our big rig! We unhooked Jules and drove a mile or two to an overlook and were so inspired by the scenery that we hiked two of the trails before lunch.

It was perfect day for hiking, calm, sunny, and cool, with big clouds moving quickly overhead. I took a photo everytime the light changed, about 60 in all. No self-control!

Back at the picnic area, we took our sandwiches and Luna over to the picnic tables just out of sight on the lush, green lawn. She LOVED it; stuck a paw down every gopher (or ??) hole, climbed trees, tore around the lawn. So, we all got some exercise.

We ended our travels in the tiny town of Dayville at a darling little spot called Fish House Inn & RV Park. As soon as we settled in to our site, we jumped into Jules and went to explore the Sheep Rock unit of the national monument and take another short hike into a "badlands" area where lots of fossils have been unearthed. It was late in the day and once again the play of light and shadow was the star of the show.

I took this shot on the road between the national monument and our RV park. It is very typical of this area of large ranches and deeply folded hillsides.

None of these photos show the other aspect of our drive that was so beautiful - the forested mountain passes we traversed. I have LOTS of photos of those, too - but the Painted Hills and open ranch lands were the most striking of the varied vistas we enjoyed.

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