Thursday, July 4, 2013

Glacier National Park Road Trip - Day 05

Our pleasant journey on this patriotic day began at 7:37am as we left Redmond, Oregon. We spent most of the day on two-lane roads and saw very few other vehicles. It was interesting to see various red, white and blue displays both in the little towns we passed through and in the countryside. The most attractive display was in Prineville, Oregon where folks were obviously getting set for their July 4th parade. The streets of downtown were lined with hundreds of flags. There was a well-preserved old-fashioned courthouse and town square.The Kiwanians were having a free pancake breakfast but we had already eaten. We stopped at the Prineville Starbucks for coffee and John made a new friend who gave him information about the Fossil Beds National Monument (one of our stopping points today).

Outside Prineville we came to a picturesque farm with a mostly wooden windmill and pulled over for a photo op. The farming couple was out moving irrigation pipes and came over to the fence for a friendly chat, telling us all about the windmill we were admiring. It is an S&W Zephyr over 50 years old that they moved from another location. They wished us safe travels.

By 10:30 we got to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. John was delighted to take Linda's photo by a sign instructing visitors to not remove fossils from the park. The trail guide is called A Walk Through Time since it is a 40-million year story of how prehistoric animals and their environment is has been revealed in the remains they left behind. Where there is now an arid sagebrush steppe, there was once a lush, tropical jungle. There were once rhinos, elephants and sabertooth tigers in the area. On the Leaf Hill Trail thousands of fossils have been found but Linda did not give into temptation and take any. Besides, she couldn't find any. There were some fossils on display in an exhibit case. On the Painted Hills Overlook Trail some incredible panoramas of the colorful Painted Hills were on display and both of the old buzzards were snapping lots of photos. The Painted Cove Trail was a nature trail with interpretive signs explaining the various parts of the geologic story as you are very close to the different colors making up the formations. John took six photos of some of the painted hills and converted them into the panorama shown below:

Painted Hills panorama in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Before leaving the park we stopped at the picnic area for lunch. It had a beautiful lush green grassy and clover lawn and some nice picnic tables in the shade. Lunch was pepper turkey & cheese sandwich, boiled egg, cheese stick, nut goodies, chips and Dr Pepper.

Back on State Highway 26 we had lots more beautiful country and many several small towns to go through. We stopped several more times along the way to photo old buildings, a quirky sign or two and some old farm implements

Suddenly we were in Mountain Time and lost an HOUR. Another mystery solved! John had been puzzling as to why the GPS was showing that it would take a whole HOUR longer than he was expecting it to take to arrive at our destination for the evening. Fairly soon after that we were almost to the eastern edge of Oregon.

How time flies when you are having fun, which brings us to the Song o' the Day: “Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) by Carl Sigman and Herb Magidson, 1948 (found in Linda's Daily Ukelele Songbook). Let's take it up at the end of the 2nd verse: “. . . Next year, for sure, you'd see the world, You'll really get around. But how far can you travel when you're six feet underground?” Chorus: “Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think. Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink. The years go by as quickly as a wink. Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.”

We reached Ontario, Oregon by 6:30 Mountain Time and were soon settled into our Motel 6 suite. Really, if you haven't tried a Motel 6 in a while, you might be surprised. Our last 2 have both been very new and clean and have had a fridge and microwave. Coffee is served in the lobby starting at 6am. Oh, and the most important thing....all Motel 6's are pet friendly at no charge!

John felt like having breakfast for dinner so we settled on Denny's after our first choice, an Irish place, was closed. Being the patriot that he is, John ordered the Red White and Blue Plate Special (eggs, blueberry pancakes, bacon and hash browns). I guess the red was the ketchup he put on his hash browns. Linda had a chicken, pecan, cranberry salad with balsamic dressing.

Photo gallery of 72 images from Day 05 can be viewed by clicking here.

Rest well!

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