Sunday, September 4, 2011

Last blast of summer

When most people think of Oregon they think rain. And we do get more than our fair share of the wet stuff along with gray days. But what it gives us is a lush green landscape - another thing people often comment on when they visit our little corner of the world.

What many people don't realize is that Eastern Oregon is quite different. On the other side of the Cascades lies an amazingly beautiful high desert. We took the kids there for the first time as a final trip of the summer.

Here we are at the Painted Hills. You can see that the sky looks a bit hazy due to the dozen or so wildfires that had sprung up from lightening strikes in the surrounding areas.

We met this little critter as we were hiking along one of the trails at the Painted Hills.

The landscape is pretty spectacular with all the different colors, each made from various mineral deposits and revealed by erosion over millions of years.

One of our favorite stops along the way was a museum which is part of the John Day
Fossil Beds. Park Ranger Molly talked with us about how they use fossils to discover
what the area was like in the Age of Mammals. Mostly the kids just thought the skulls
and teeth were cool.

As this little one heads off to kindergarten and his sister to preschool, this was a great vacation for capturing the last fleeting days of summer.

And just to prove that I'm still crafting, I have some back-to-school sewing to show you next time!

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