A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

John Day Fossil Beds

A post made while on the road I mentioned visiting one of those places I've always wanted to visit, the John Day Fossil Beds in Oregon. I didn't know much about it; it was just a place on my map. I said at the time it wasn't what I was expecting - a bleak desolate place like most fossil bearing sites are. Instead it was like having the Painted Desert of Arizona in a grassy woodland environment. Unable to post pictures at the time, here are some now.
Most of the terrain was like this, the high desert of Oregon.
And then there were these areas.

That is an animal trail cutting across the face of the hill.
Lots of colors and textures like an artist's palette.

Please stay on the boardwalk people! This way others may enjoy the unspoiled scenery.
Take only pictures, leave only shadows.

An interesting side note is that the fossil beds national monument was named after a river, not the man. Most side river tributaries are named after the first person who settled in the area or perhaps an incident involving an individual such as their death. In this case John Day was a hunter and fur trapper in 1810. He was robbed and stripped naked by Indians along the Columbia River near the mouth of the river named after him. He survived the experience. He never set foot any closer than 200 miles to the area nor the town that now bears his name.


  1. and here i was thinking you proclaimed this particular trip as a 'john day!' :)

    those colors/textures are purely amazing! and LOVE the boardwalk too! beautiful place!

  2. This place is impressive!
    Have a good weekend! ;-)

  3. I think it's a beautiful area. I've never been there myself, but I have driven through the John Day Wilderness Area and found myself saying "I want to live here". it's high desert, which I love. your photos are amazing. in the second one it looks like a dust storm is blowing over the surface. the colors are truly splendid. but so dry. I need a drink of water just looking at these! happy day to you John.

  4. OK..You have now really done it!!! 2 years ago when we flew to Seattle to see son #2 and family we took all of our FF miles and went 1st class. BAD IDEA. We were over Philadelphia in lightening and windy rainy weather.....over 30 minutes of an USAir planethat was rolling and flipping from one side to the other...the stuff in the galley broke out and fell in to the floor. And we were in seats 1 AB....yep, at the bulkhead so could and see it all. The stewardess looked like she was going to faint. I Just help my head in my lap about to throw up I was so sick and SCARED. Bud...he looked out the window and went on about his business. I swore if I got back alive to the east coast I would not fly again. Now my son has bought a beautiful new farm on Bainbridge Island and you keep posting photos of the places I want to go. I wonder if there are enough pills on the market so Bud can just pour me on the plane and leave me there for the duration. These photos are to die for....but not via a plane. They are gorgeous. Just keep them coming, take care of Sinbad,I will look after jack, and just maybe I will get out there . genie

  5. I have been there... stunningly beautiful place... nothing quite like it anywhere else I've been... you've capture the spirit of the place well...

  6. What an interesting and gorgeous place. My husband would love this place, I'll have to tell him about it. Really nice photos.

  7. Wow!wow!and wow!again...what a fantastic landscape to see.
    It could be a view of Australia comparing images my son took on his travels around the planet a year ago.

  8. What a great place to explore. Thanks for sharing it!

  9. I missed this post earlier... Incredible! Excellent photos. Had no idea Oregon's high desert was so spectacular!

  10. I missed this post earlier... Incredible! Excellent photos. Had no idea Oregon's high desert was so spectacular!

  11. Really great photos. Looks like a wonderful place to see in person.

  12. You take such amazing pictures. WOW! (this pertains to your whole blog, by the way. I didn't comment on every post, but I saw all of them. Still WOW!)


I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.