While in Oregon, we went to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, a place that preserves many plant and mammal fossils. The area had lots of grasslands, clay, rock formations, little streams, and of course, fossils. While Daddy, the two oldest boys, and I hiked Blue Basin Overlook Trail there, Mommy and my youngest brother went on the Island in Time Trail. Blue Basin Overlook Trail was very steep, winding through the mountain to the top of a peek. It was moderately challenging, 3.25 miles, and rose about 1,000 feet in elevation. It was cool and had rained recently, so the clay surfaces were slippery. A section of the trail led through a privately owned property, called Johnny Creek Ranch. Shrubs surrounded the path, and there were more and more juniper trees the further up we ascended. At the top was Spur Overlook, where we could see the Island in Time Trail below.
Island in Time Trail was cool, and not so sunny as the one the rest of us went on, because it was shady. There were many metal bridges here, and supposedly rose 200 feet in elevation. It passes through Blue Basin and is 1.3 miles.
After, we all went on River Trail together, leading through Cant Ranch and passing through a historic orchard on its way to the John Day River. The trail was paved, easy, and only 0.6 miles. Cant Ranch was owned and farmed by the Cant family until the late 1900’s.