Tuesday, June 30, 2009
There are two trails that make up the Blue Basin area - the Island of Time shorter 1 mile trail that stays low and goes into the canyons that make up the Blue Basin. I did that one, but not until first hiking the 3+ mile loop trail that climbs fairly steeply to the hillsides above the basin to offer long views in many directions up and down the John Day River Valley, down into the Blue Basin, and complete with a canyon hike to get up there.
After thoroughly enjoying the hot hike above, I came down very steeply to join the Island of Time trail and hiked up into the basin as well. Wow. What color, what a landscape! Previous days thunderstorms had the wash that flowed out of the basin showing signs of having really been roaring with water, but now was dry again which I found fascinating on this hot day!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Central Oregon roamings, part 6 - Sheep Rock Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds-John Day River areas near roads
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Yet again I was stunned with the geology of this area and what a better way to see it up close than in Painted Cove!
I did find one small plant growing near the edge of one hill - otherwise they are void of vegetation in this clay hard "soil" that holds/absorbs no water.
After this short loop hike and an hour of photography it was time to head back for another hike before sunset - that comes up next!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
The drive down from US 97 at Shaniko to bisect SR 218 at Antelope was spectacular in its own right - what a winding road of fun!
Then after a long climb up, SR 218 does another fascinating drop on winding roads through a mix of juniper forests and sage lands, all the way down to crossing the John Day River and then in just a few more miles reaching the Clarno Unit along the highway. The Palisades are the main attraction here, huge cliffs that were formed from the result of massive lahar outflows from ancient volcanic times. That's the necessary requirement to preserve what today are some wonderful fossils to view - a very rapid burial of debris under pressure. Indeed, this is the best location to easily see many fossils of leaves, many areas of petrified logs in the cliffs, and the interpretive part of the trail does an excellent job of helping you find the easy ones!
I was humored too by the "cute" signs around the region to remind you to watch for rattlesnakes. I only saw lizards here but saw many rattlesnakes along the roads nearby that I drove around. Just as I came down from the Clarno Arch I did get buzzed by a rattlesnake which I was never able to locate. The rascal - spook me but not let me photograph it!?!