Many of the great places we've seen this summer have been fun surprises, found because they were en route to somewhere else.
Others have been destinations we were looking forward to. One of those is John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Eastern Oregon. Bill majored in Geology, has a small collection of fossils he dug himself, and we both love interesting earth art.
There are several places to stay in the area, and I originally had us at the state park in John Day. While visiting with Allison and Tom in Snoqualmie River, she told us about a small park in Dayville, just 8 miles from the monument. I called and booked four nights.
Fish House Inn and RV Park is a small craftsman-house-turned-lodge, and six FHU RV sites in a beautiful park-like setting. The owner, Mike, has a lovely and peaceful spot here in this little town. Level gravel sites with 50 amp hookups, large laundry room, immaculate restrooms with big, free showers, and a lot of green space. There's even a hammock with pillows hung between a couple trees :-) Fairly good WiFi, half of the sites pick up satellite, but we have no AT&T service.
|Easy access to six gravel sites|
|Shade and satellite :-)|
|Pretty park in Dayville, Oregon|
Photos and descriptions from other bloggers are why I want to see this amazing place. But they can't compare to seeing it in person. We spent all Saturday saying "Wow!"
The monument is three different "areas", the closest being Sheep Rock. This is also the only area with a visitors' center. More than just a VC, the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center tells the 44 million year story of the area through fossils and geological layers.
|Fossils are displayed with murals called "visual hypothesis"|
|On-site lab continues to make new discoveries|
By mid afternoon the temps are in the 80's so I figure the next morning will be a better time to take the walk back into the Blue Basin. This turns out to be a bad decision....
Without satellite last Sunday we missed the first week of the NFL season, so there is no doubt that this week our Sunday will be spent watching every game!
We're out the door by 8:30 AM heading to the section of the monument I am most looking forward to - Blue Basin. The hints of blue from yesterday's drive have me even more excited about this earthly marvel.
About half way up the trail it becomes apparent the lighting is all wrong this time of day. Some small spots of light blue are visible along the way, but the basin is very disappointing. What should be creamy blue walls are more dull gray. Still interesting, but not what I was anxious to share with Bill.
Although I'm sorry to miss the real blue, it's nice to get out for some fresh air early on what will be an "indoors" day. And the drive through the monument is beautiful in any light.