Whoosh! I’m bushed.
Jan (daughter) and I took a road trip to Fossil, in eastern Oregon, to deliver and help hang some of my oil paintings at an exhibit at the Oregon Paleo Lands Institute Store and Gallery.
Jan had never seen much of the John Day Fossil Beds country, and, as some of you know, I’m a relentless, heartless, tireless tout for the area. As it turned out, Jan has exactly the same reactions to the landscape and the geology/geography as I do. So what we thought might be a short out-and-back, with time out for the reception at the opening of the exhibit, turned into a marathon of sightseeing and photographing.
We stopped at the Warm Springs Museum, turned into any number of widespots in the road to take photos, did the walks at the Painted Hills, with requisite photographing, and took the mountainous Route 207 from Mitchell on Route 26 to Service Creek (Rt. 19) on the John Day River, photographing the Donnelly Basin along the way. For Jan, taking photographs is a way to slow down the journey, to breathe the sage-scented air, to spread her arms, and then to capture the scene, the experience, the awe.
Fossil is claimed to be about 3.5 hours from Portland. Jer and I can make it in 5–6 hours. It took Jan and me 12 hours, 7 AM to 7 PM Tuesday to get to the tiny town. Wednesday was exhibit day, which we filled with photographing the town of Fossil, the IOOF cemetery, and the hanging of the exhibit as well as the reception.
And it took us 14 hours to return home on Thursday, having to go to the far ends of the Fossil Beds Monument area and do a quick run-through of the Interpretive Center. We got back to Portland at 11PM. We spent 20 minutes between Spray and Service Creek, on the way home, in silence. The rest of the time we talked.
So I’m not only bushed but I’m hoarse.
But it was all a joy and a delight and a success. And I will try hard to winnow the 312 photographs that I took to the 10 or 12 that I can fit into the blog over the next week or so. You can be grateful: I made Jer look at all 312.