Being 40, Day 3, The Painted Hills and Fossil Beds of John Day

With no real plan other than to get home eventually, we took a look at our map and decided that a stop at the John Day Painted Hills and Fossil beds was in order.  I've always been curious about the sites but they're far enough away from home and not the right spot for backpacking that we've put off going there.  But this trip was to celebrate my birthday, so I made the call: we're as close as we'll ever be... we're going to John Day!  The drive out of the Alvord Desert was beautiful - moody skies, sharply contrasting colors of vegetation and land and sky, and not another soul for miles and miles.  When we finally reached the first fossil bed site, I was blown away by the colors and shapes that are nested in the middle of Oregon - so close but so far from where we live.  We spent the night nearby and got up early to get to the Painted Hills.  They're just silly with their intense layers of color.  We hiked around a bit, made several cups of coffee on our camping stove, and watched clouds lift, lower, and lift again above the hills.  One more long drive took us to the other fossil bed site where we marveled again at the beauty in this state.

That was all a month ago.  Now we're home, figuring out how to get through a dark, grey, rainy winter.  I'm thinking about where I am (geographically, emotionally, spiritually), how time passes (because milestone birthdays tend to take me there), and daydreaming about where I'll be next.


Carolyn said...

holy crap. gorgeous.

house on hill road said...

sounds and looks like an epic and great trip!