Our escape to Bend, Oregon for a couple of days “away from it all” found us on a (rather long) day trip to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in the high desert region northeast of the city. Although the drive was beautiful, it seemed endless as we wound our way along the two-lane highway. I was beginning to fear my brilliant suggestion was a terrible mistake when Reg finally pulled in and parked the truck at the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center.
Across the road, 3,360 foot Sheep Rock (above) provided a glimpse of the fascinating landscapes yet to come.
At the suggestion of the park ranger, we walked the 1.3 mile Island in Time Trail (pictured above) which took us along the floor of the Blue Basin Canyon.
Our next stop was the Painted Hills, a region so colorful and unique, we could hardly believe our eyes. A gravel road led to several parking areas where short walks allowed us closer views of the topography.
All in all, it was a good day at John Day. If you go, be sure to fill up your gas tank, pack a few snacks and get an early start. You’ll be glad you did!