Day 12 Boise, Idaho - Bend, Oregon
Today we had a choice - we could shoot straight for Bend, Oregan along Hwy 20 and be there in 5.5 hours or go on hwy 26, adding an extra hour to our drive but taking in the John Day Fossil Beds and The Painted Hills (no... not the Lassie movie!)- aka the John Day Nation Monument. The choice was obvious - gotta do the National Monument!
This felt really off the beaten path. Hwy 26 was just a normal two-lane road that even had bends in it as it snaked between onion fields.
We felt like explorers which was pretty apt since we were going to "John Day" an explorer from the 1800. The story goes that he and a fellow trapper/explorer while in this area were set upon by thieves who stole their clothes. John Day and his friend lived to tell the tale. Every time they passed that bend on the river, John Day pointed out where they'd been robbed, until eventually the river came to be called the John Day River.
|An attractive information stand along the road.|
Such excitement in the car when we came across this sign. Time travelers as well as explorers!
The driver was grinning when he pulled in off to the side and we passed him waving frantically. We were the only car on the road. The only vehicle we'd needed to pass was his!
And waiting for us around the corner - his mate with this message series flashing
At the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center (Aka the John Day Fossil Beds visitor center) I learned that the green rocks were not malachite. In fact, they were a celadonite, but the ranger said everyone asked that question and she had a nifty poster to explain. Here's the science...
I thought they did a great job with the art work!
Even the insects that got smooshed on our car here were like palaeomegalithic (okay, I did just make that word up!) creatures, providing a meal for the local carnivorous wasps. By now, our car qualified as the dirtiest car in the USA. It was getting hard to see out the windows!