August 18, 2013: The Oregon Nobody Knows
Woke up in beautiful Bend, Oregon where it was a perfectly clear day. Had a wonderful home-cooked breakfast with Gary and Janet before heading off on the road. Our first stop was the Painted Hills, formerly a state park, but now a unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. It (surprise surprise) looked like the Painted Desert in Arizona, which is to say beautiful multicolored hills in the desert. When talking to the ranger, he called the Painted Hills the kodak moment portion of the Fossil Beds, although this part of the park has turned up no fossils.
The car started to have a small problem. When I accelerate at high gears, there is a grinding sound. Luckily, we were headed to a major city tonight with a Subaru dealership.
Our next stop, another two hours down the road, was the Sheep Rock Visitor Center, the main portion of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and saw the fossils discovered in the fossil beds as well as the farm where the first fossils were discovered. The most striking thing about walking in this area is the array of colors in the rock.
From the Fossil Beds, it took another 4 hours to get to Boise, where I went to the Western Idaho State Fair with my Wash U friend Katy. She was president of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) back in high school, so she knew everyone at the fair. Very fun. The people watching at the fair was amazing with incredibly sunburnt white trash, Cali bros, black men with unbelievably baggy clothing, Hispanic men with spiky Mohawks and way too much cologne, teenage girls wearing shorts so short that you can see the bottom of their pockets, wannabe bikers with lots of black leather, couples with at least 200 combined tattoos, and white families with matching John 3:16 t-shirts were all in attendance. State fairs definitely bring all the weird people of a state together. The standout food items were ice cream potatoes and rocky mountain oysters. Another highlight of the fair was seeing all the items that a judged, which included, cakes, cookies, pies, photography, and children’s poetry (my personal favorite).