Picturesque Painted Hills

Something I've always, always wanted to do was visit the Painted Hills of Oregon to take pictures. Three years ago, a man won a contest in the Oregonian for taking a very beautiful, but candid picture of his daughter while vacationing in Central Oregon and visiting the Painted Hills monument. Before that, I had never even heard of it before. Since then, I've always wanted to visit and figured slipping in that card to our "summer date jar" would be worth a shot. Well, it paid off. ;) Last night we drew our card for the day, and, much deservedly after a day spent cleaning out our office {yawn}, we drew the spontaneous road trip card to the Painted Hills! 


This morning we woke up to drizzly rain {pretty sure it's supposed to be July 21st here...} and headed south to Mitchell, Oregon, which is about an hour east of Madras. It poured the ENTIRE time we drove until we got to Mt. Hood...

 The number on that temperature gauge at 10am was pure ridiculousness...

Ta-da! Glorious life on the other side of the mountain. I forgot what heat felt like...

The Painted Hills are a part of the John Day Fossil Bed National Parks, which actually span about 30 miles around central Oregon. It's about 4 hours away from Beaverton, and was the perfect distance to just get in the car, drive, catch up on This American Life podcasts, feel the sun, veg out on snacks and coffee, and enjoy the absolute glory that is God's creation in Oregon. Even after traveling all over, Oregon still has the most beautiful landscape I think I've ever seen. The Painted Hills definitely affirmed that. 


The Painted Hills were formed by volcanic ash settlement thousands of years ago, and has resulted in a beautiful display of colorful hardened clay/ash strati unlike anything I've seen before. Definitely make even a day trip down there sometime if you can! Totally worth the drive.


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