What a treat to ride out East and visit some of the scenes which inspired my path to majoring in Geology. Ten or so years ago I took my very first geology class, college or otherwise, and was so taken aback by the science it changed my life’s path. During this first geology class, Evolving Earth 103, taught by Dr. Greg Retallack, the crescendo was a two day trek through some of the high lights in John Day National Monument. And let me clarify, the Painted Hills is not the only epic landscape to visit in this monument. There is a whole loop moving East (past the Painted Hills) and then North to experience as well. I didn’t even realize until I was out there driving the highway that the loop I visited is also a scenic bike trip!
To top it off, outside Clarno, where the bridge crosses the John Day River just East of town, Mic and I found a mile or so of flat water. We put in and with a bit of jerky I was able to coax Mic into his first full on paddle trip atop the Reveer. In the past he has mostly followed along the shore. I can not express in words how proud I felt. The river had far less water when we reached the southern stretches near Dayville in Picture George.