Tag Archives: national monument

Steps Up The Trail

A leading line shot, Flood of Fire Trail, Foree Area, Sheep Rock Unit, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

It’s Saturday, folks! Or does it matter? For the past year, the days have all run together and I’m glad I have a calendar (a real paper one, no less) to which I can refer and find out what day it actually is ;).

This photo is looking up the very short .4-mile round trip Flood of Fire Trail in the Foree Area of the Sheep Rock Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, in Oregon. It was the last trip I made pre-pandemic, before things shut down. Not the last trip I made during the entire year, mind you, but the last regular trip I made prior to Covid.

Anyway, if you are ever looking for a nice little road trip to make, a trip to any of the three units within this national monument will allow you to stretch your legs, since the few trails in each of the units are short. I really wish there were more, longer trails, but I have a feeling that perhaps, national monuments don’t get quite the love (or money) that national parks get. Then again, national monuments probably don’t get the visitor headaches that national parks get – or do they?

Last year, I saw a post, either on Facebook or Instagram, by this national monument asking that people park responsibily in the Painted Hills Unit. Apparently there was a crowding issue, brought on by people wanting to get out and away from Covid for a little bit. Many of those people were probably the kind who are only accustomed to water parks or theme parks, and a trip to an actual, outdoor, in-the-wild-type park unit is a new experience for them – an experience for which they don’t know how to practice the Leave No Trace etiquette.

But, I digress. Central Oregon is a place of winding roads, slower driving (so as not to hit the cattle ranging freely), stunning geology, awesome landscapes for your camera, but few large towns or gas stations. If you prepare accordingly, it’s a great excuse for a road trip.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Parks, Oregon, Photography, Sony Alpha a7r IV, Travel

Fun Fact Friday 3-12-2021

Velvet Landscape, Painted Hills Unit
Folds Of Velvet – A Telephoto Landscape

Here;s a wide-angle and a telephoto shot of the same area in the Painted Hills Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, located in east-central Oregon. The telephoto image focuses more on those beautiful folds of maroon and olive hills, which was the objective with the telephoto shot. This is also to prove you can get some really nice telephoto landscapes, too. Telephotos are not just for wildlife, birds, and sports.

It’s #FunFactFriday , so here’s some interesting facts about this national monument located in Oregon. There are three units in this national monument, and each unit is about an hour’s drive from any other of the two units (the roads are winding so it’s important to drive the actual speed limit). The monument, as a whole, contains fossils of plants and animals that date back as far as 44 million years. The varigated colors of the hills denote periods of climate change, between wetter and drier periods. The darker colors of the hills represent wetter atmospheres, in which water oxidized (rusted) the iron minerals within the soils.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Parks, Oregon, Photography, telephoto lens, Travel

Take the National Monuments Quiz

Painted Hills On An Overcast Day 2

It’s time to exercise your national park brain muscles, folks, and try your knowledge on this latest quiz and trivia piece I’ve penned for the National Parks Traveler. Ah, but wait, the quiz and trivia are not about national parks – it’s all about national monuments this time! See how much you know.

To take the quiz, click on the image above

And, while you are there, perhaps you’d be willing to show the Traveler some love on this #GivingTuesday and help the Traveler continue to provide daily news coverage not only of our national parks and protected lands in general, but how this coronavirus pandemic is affecting them (and it is, believe me).

https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2020/05/support-news-coverage-national-parks-and-protected-areas

As for this photo – well, it was taken in the only national monument I’ve had a chance to visit (and photograph): John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This is from the Painted Hills Unit.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Monuments, National Parks, National Parks Quiz, National Parks Traveler, Photography

3 Days In John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Painted Hills On An Overcast Day 3

So, what can you do and see in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon, if you only have 3 days? Plenty! Check out my latest article published in the National Parks Traveler.

To read the article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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It’s Trivia Tuesday, 3-31-2020

Sheep Rock And John Day River On An Overcast DayThe Rocks Of Sheep Rock

According to the NPS, Sheep Rock (that pointy-peaked mountain), in the Sheep Rock Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, gets its name from the bighorn sheep that once populated its slopes. At the top of Sheep Rock is the Picture Gorge Basalt. That brown line across the middle part of the mountain is the Picture Gorge Ignimbrite (pumice and volcanic tuff). This ignimbrite makes a nice marker bed by which geologists can place and date geologic events. The green soils you see in the second image are colored by the mineral celadonite. Celadonite comes from the French word for “sea green.”

And now you know.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under 5DS, Canon, Geology, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Monuments, Oregon, Photography, Travel, Trivia Tuesday

It’s Fun Fact Friday, 3-27-2020!

Painted Hills GeologyPainted Hill Badlands And Sutton MountainsRed BedTwo Red Beds

It’s Fun Fact Friday! Here’s some interesting facts for you if you happen to visit John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon.

In the first photo, that’s the first hill you’ll see that will get your attention as you drive past the sign welcoming you to the Painted Hills Unit. The top of this hill is capped with a volcanic tuff called the Picture Gorge Ignimbrite. This tuff is 28.7 MILLION years old.

The other images show other sides to this same hill as you drive further along the gravel road into the Painted Hills Unit. The red and tan soils are called paleosols, and the red paleosols are indicative of a warmer, wet, tropical to subtropical climate, while the tan soils represent a cooler, drier, more temperate climate.

Those blue-ish shadowed mountains in the background of a couple of the images are the Sutton Mountains.

And now you know!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Fun Fact Friday, Geology, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Parks, Oregon, Photography, Travel

It’s Take A Trail Thursday

The View Along The Story In Stone TrailThe Leaf Hill TrailThe View UptrailThe Path To The PalisadesWhere Will That Boardwalk Take You

Ok, so how about instead of Throwback Thursday, let’s make it “Take A Trail Thursday.”

Can you guess which trails these are? Hint: they are all from a national monument in Oregon.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Landscape, National Parks, Oregon, Photography, Travel

More National Park Campground And Facilities Closures

Late Afternoon Storm Clouds And Sunlight Over The Painted Hills

Afternoon storm clouds and sunlight over the Painted Hills Unit, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, in Oregon

Hey folks, if you are considering a national park, national monument, national recreation area, national historic site visit anytime soon, you might want to check out the latest article in the National Parks Traveler, with a list of more campground and facilities closures.

To read the article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel

Where The Road May Take Me In 2020

Park Road Past A Teepee

In 2018, the road took me from southeast Texas up to central Washington, with stops in places like Petrified Forest National Park, in Arizona, as seen in the photo above.

In 2019, the road took me to Mount Rainier, Olympic, andYellowstone national parks in addition to the North Cascades Complex.

This year, 2020, I believe the road will take me to several places. I’ve already made reservations for a cabin in May outside Crater Lake National Park, in Oregon (yes, I’ll take my snowshoes). And, I was talking to my National Parks Traveler editor, Kurt, yesterday, who gave me a list of some lesser-visited places about which he’d like to see stories written, and I think I have a plan, now.

You see, here in the Pacific Northwest, I live closer to more national parks and national monuments and national recreation areas and national historic sites than I ever did in southeast Texas, and I’d like to explore a little “closer” to home, within driving distance, this year. So, I think I’ll make trips to Lake Roosevelt NRA (with a side trip to Grand Coulee Dam), and John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. I’ve seen spectacular landscape images of that Oregon site.

I’d also like to make a longer road trip to follow (and photograph) the 38 sites (or most of them, anyway) of the Nez Perce National Historical Park. This covers four different states (WA, ID, OR, and MT) and would certainly be an undertaking. This, though, hinges on what happens to me in April. You see, I applied for one of three Artist-In-Residence positions in Glacier National Park. They are supposed to notify their choices in April. I’m definitely not holding my breath on this, though, since last year’s applicants numbered around 600, I believe I was told. Six hundred applicants for 3 spots. That’s quite a bit of talent from which the Glacier staff can choose. So I’ll do a little alternate planning in the meantime.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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