The Painted Hills of Oregon

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Off in the North East corner of Oregon lives the John Day Fossil beds.  An amazing place full of prehistoric history and geological wonders!  

My husband and I took a long weekend and headed out to see what the place had to offer.   So off we went (the long way around – through Madras), ready for a scenic road trip!  We stopped first at the Indian Head Casino for breakfast.  The prices were reasonable and the food was good – your standard breakfast fare but well made.  I won $100 in casino before we headed out for Prineville.

We stayed two nights in the City Center Motel – Run by two sisters, it’s an old place but super clean and inexpensive.   We were quite pleased with the place and the service!  MOTEL2_800x577_op_600x432

(For other places to stay click here for a link to the downloadable brochure from Prineville Chamber of Commerce ).


We spent the next day trying to make the whole loop of the entire John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.  It can’t be done in a day.  However we did cover some ground, and on our way saw a rare “shoe” tree!

Rare Shoe Tree

Rare Shoe Tree








First stop – the Painted Hills.

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Located 9 miles NW of Mitchell, this unit of the monument features beautifully colored hills.  The layers were created more than 33 million years ago streaked with colors from the volcanic eruptions and the changing climate.  The Mitchell website has some great historical info (click here)






After some great hikes we left the area and headed East to the Sheep Rock unit.


Although the scenery was not as spectacular as the Painted Hills,




the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center  IMG_7915 IMG_7901IMG_7851IMG_7781








and the Historic Cant Ranch were both pretty interesting.




By now it was getting late, so we headed back to our room.  The plan was to grill some steaks, but we were both too tired!  So we got BBQ take out from Toni’s Bar-B-Que (2751 NE Third StreetPrineville, OR 97754).  It was quite good and required no dishes!   1NcwXoU3URx73j

The next morning we took advantage of the cold cereal, fruit and coffee offered by the motel and then headed home.  It was a fast trip, but a lot of fun!


Chronicles Of A Cold Texan

About Helen Fern

I live in the upper Willamette Valley with my amazing husband and four very spoiled cats - three adopted feral cats and one shelter baby. We have lived here since the dawn of 1991 and love every inch of the region.
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6 Responses to The Painted Hills of Oregon

  1. Ashley says:

    Those hills are gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing on FTAF!

  2. Wow, what amazing views! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  3. Hi Helen, wow that was a whirl wind trip, those are always fun though, I miss those kind of trips. The shoe tree is funny, I saw one of those and have a pic on my old phone, I forgot until I saw yours. Thanks too for stopping by Weekends Are Fun. Be watching it coming again soon.

    Cant wait to hear what your next excursion will be. Enjoy your weekend!!

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