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Made the drive over the pass and down to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Painted Hills Unit near the very small town of Mitchell Oregon in between winter storms that were happening in December. Very cold drive in a soft top Jeep Wrangler but my daughter was wanting to go on an adventure as we like to do so we bundled up and headed East. I had read about the Painted Hills and seen some pictures as well and was thinking there was no way any hills not covered in vegetation were actually that colorful and vibrant but as we got there I discovered much to my enjoyment that my assumptions were wrong and I was glad to have made the drive with my camera.
The Painted Hills are in the High Desert of Oregon and even though some hardy Grasses Sage and a few scattered Juniper trees grow in the High Desert nothing grows on these hills. The few rains that do come through wash away any seeds from the clay hills and leave them barren and exposed. The beautiful colors come from different elements in the soil that stain it as they oxidize, each color represents a different look into the past at a geological time where the climate was much different than now. Using a tripod I tried to gather as many images with my Nikon D3000 as I had memory capacity for. all in all a wonderful father daughter adventure.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor