We chose to head inland on Tuesday morning, to the Painted Hills section of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in central Oregon. You won't find many fossils there, as the rocks revealed are less than 30 million years old. The beauty which can be seen resulted from volcanic ash from the Cascade mountains along the western edges of Washington and Oregon erupting and sending clouds east.
The rapid deposits of ash preserved the remains of plants and animals living in the region. Because ash and other debris fell during varied climatic and volcanic conditions, the sediment layers in the fossil beds vary in their chemical composition and color. Fossils found in the area include a wide variety of plants and more than 100 species of mammals, including dogs, cats, saber-toothed tigers, horses, camels, and rodents.
To see the photos we took on Tuesday, click on Tuesday, Sep 3rd. Our journey ended on Tuesday in Bend, Oregon at the CrownVilla RV Resort.
On Wednesday, we drove northeast from Bend up into the mountains around the Sisters and Brothers, local pair of mountains which have also been volcanically active in the past 60 million years. Lava flows interrupt the highway, and recent fires and re-growth of trees amidst them create an eerie environment.
To see the photos we took today, click on Wednesday, Sep 4th.
Tomorrow, we've chosen to end the day somewhere around Weed, in northern California. It's supposed to rain, so we aren't planning on many outings during the day. We'll have an easy trip home from there on Friday or Saturday.