Monday, September 13, 2010

Painting the Hills

I still need to finish blogging our family reunion trip from August! On reaching Oregon once again, instead of following the freeway or taking Highway 20 through west through Burns and Bend like we usually do, we took Highway 26 with the John Day Fossil Beds as a major pit stop for our budding geologist.

The area provides a remarkable visible record of about 40 million years of change and a fossil record of plants and animals never seen first hand by humans.

The National Monument is actually made up of three "units", all within about an hour of each other. Our first stop, and the eastern most unit, was Sheep Rock, where the visitor center is located.  Ann Marie became a Junior Ranger after a bit of homework.

Robin also made friends with a hansom ranger. In addition to being a visitor center, Sheep Rock is also an active paleontological research center, and we were able to watch the live microscopic view on a screen as a scientist worked on extracting a fossil from rock. 

The Painted Hills unit is a bit farther west. There were several easy hikes with breathtaking views of colorful formations. We left the third unit, Clarno, for another day.

Here is a panorama I stitched together from five separate pictures using an open source program called Hugin. The fossil beds were an amazing stop, well worth the time!


Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

We did that once and thought it amazing as well. You really turned that trip into an educational time for the girls.

Sweet Polly Purebred said...

This day was my favorite part of the trip. : )

Gail said...

Great stitching.

g said...


Neil said...

your forethought in planning this does you credit.

brenda said...

Amazing! I didn't think that last photo was real at first. I need to add the painted hills to my list. I saw at Costco today that you can get photos printed onto canvas and wrapped around a wooden frame. That would be a cool one!