DH (dear husband) and I celebrated our thirty-second anniversary this week. We took a two night trip to see the sights of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, located in central Oregon. The scenery was spectacular and we learned so much.
After driving across Mt. Hood, we noticed quite a change of scenery. The hills became flat on top with interesting rock structures. DH wondered why someone would build rock walls on top of the hills. It didn’t take long to figure out that those were natural formations. We would later learn that they were called “mesas” and were formed naturally. The mesa rock stops erosion. Mother nature taking care of the scenery – very cool! We wondered what it would be like to walk on top. We imagined that it would be smooth and slippery to walk on.
Our first stop was the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center. Traveling mid-week when school is in session has its advantages. It seemed we had the entire park to ourselves. The park ranger at the Paleontology Center was friendly and eager to answer our multitude of questions. We learned this particular area of land has seen an incredible amount of changes through millions and millions of years. The hills are full of fossils and paleontologists are constantly finding new animals and plant species buried in the rocks. The specimens bring people from all over the world to study here. We were especially impressed with how these scientists can pinpoint within a few million years where each of these land samples and fossils originated from. At one time, the area was a tropical environment with elephants, crocodiles and palm trees residing here. Until 1975, anyone could dig and find fossils among these precious formations. The Department of the Interior then started managing and protecting this beautiful place.
A three mile hike through the “Blue Basin” was next on the agenda. The hill behind DH is actually made of lava. It was more of a sea foam green in color, rather than blue – but it was gorgeous! My camera did not do it justice.
There was water in the stream from rain the prior night. The erosion from the green lava hill made the water look like someone had dumped a can of paint.
Our hike took us up hill to where we could view the entire country side. The blue basin formation is to my left (your right).
There were so many colors! DH and I were overwhelmed with the colors that nature was dishing up – vibrant reds and greens. It was amazing!
Today is a good day!