Even though it's the beginning of the Pacific Northwest rainy season, I still have been managing to squeeze in a few more photo outings, both far and near. One morning in the third week of October I got up at 4:00, left the house at 4:45 heading east, crossed the Cascades
and had breakfast in Sisters,
then kept on heading east through Redmond
After about a four-hour journey, I finally arrived at the Painted Hills Unit
of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
As you can see from the photo to the right, the hill really DO look painted! I was so excited to find such stunning landscape in Oregon, not too, too far from my home. Everywhere I turned, there was another incredible view just begging to be photographed! I spent the rest of the morning there, had a late picnic lunch, and then headed east 35 more miles to the Sheep Rock Unit
of the same national monument park.
During my afternoon exploration, I stumbled upon an otherworldly canyon of pale blue-green cliffs, that wound its way for more than half a mile back into the hills. Each few steps was another breathtaking view! I just couldn't believe the gorgeous variety of colors and textures! After finally making it back to my truck, I didn't have much time left, with the sun getting lower in the west and a long, long drive ahead of me.
Eventually I arrived again in Sisters at around 7:00 PM, this time to enjoy a nice dinner at Bronco Bill's Ranch Grill,
located in the historic (built 1912) Hotel Sisters. I had eaten there a couple of times before, so I knew that their six ounce filet mignon with blue cheese butter on top is really killer! After that feast, a two-hour drive west over the Cascades brought me back home at 9:45, 17 hours after I had left in the morning. All in all, I drove nearly 500 miles — just about the distance from Albany down to Sacramento! Whew! What a long and awesome day!
I took so many photos that it took me over two weeks to sort through them and process the keepers. I've narrowed it down to 143 of the best, including 6 gorgeous panoramas which help give you a sense of the beauty and vastness of this amazing corner of Oregon.