After I had spent almost two hours just in and around the Painted Hills Overlook area of the monument, I had some extra time before it would be getting really close to sunset time. Man, this time of year sunset comes late! So before returning to the overlook area and also doing the Carroll Rim hike I headed further into this unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and visited the Painted Cove area.
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!
A boardwalk path leads you up close and personal through the hills with very detailed interpretive signs to offer a wealth of learning about the geology of the hills. And most amazing yet again, here I was....and all alone. Not a single other person came back this far into the monument during the hour of lovely light I had here. Not one. Seems only tourists doing drive-by sightings at the overlook visit on Sunday evenings!
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!