Friday, May 30, 2014

Day Trip: The Painted Hills of the High Desert Area of Central Oregon

Mitchell, Oregon

Judy and I took a day trip to see the Painted Hills Thursday.  It was the first time we had driven east on hwy 26 since we arrived at Madras.  It was a lot easier not pulling the fifth wheel.  It was about a 75 mile drive there. The Painted Hills is one unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The hills had a Martian Landscape look to me.

I copied the below  summary from Eugene Outdoors travel magazine online.

Central Oregon’s famous Painted Hills were born in a fiery cloud of ash approximately 33 million years ago and are a spectacular display of the colors of nature’s palette. A series of low clay hills striped in bands of orange, red, black, green, blue, and lavender, the Painted Hills invite visitors to explore the fragile area with designated hiking trails and interpretive signs.

History: The unique colors of the Painted Hills were formed by volcanic eruptions that sent clouds of ash to settle over much of Central Oregon. Over time, layers of ash formed with different mineral compositions, which led to the bands of color seen today.

As the climate in the region changed, the layers of ash were covered by water and formed the bottom of a lake bed. After millennia, the lake eventually dried, and geologic motion in the earth’s crust thrust parts of the lake bed up, allowing wind and rain to begin the process of erosion. Exposed to air and water, the minerals in the volcanic ash oxidized and transformed into the vividly-colored claystone we see today.

Here are some of the pics we took (remember Click to enlarge)

Painted Hills 1      Painted Hills 3

Painted Hills 9       Painted Hills 12

Painted Hills flower

      Painted Hills Judy


John Day Fossil 1     John Day Fossil Sisn

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Next Blog: about a week

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Busy Days at Pelton Park

The week before Memorial Day weekend we were very busy getting the park “spruced up” and making sure all utilities throughout the park were in good working order. All sites (64) had been reserved weeks in advance so we knew a lot of people would be in the park.

Most of the campers were checked in on Friday.  With a full house, my partner Jim and I were busy keeping the comfort stations clean and stocked with supplies. In the evening we patrolled and delivered firewood to campsites, and of course we were available to take care of the needs of the camper. Luckily, we did not have to do much “rule enforcement”.

Full House!                                                          The Marina was BUSY too

Mem Day Full house 1       mem day marina

The park also sponsored kid’s activities and a horseshoe tournament  for adults. Both of the events were very popular with the park campers. Many of the campers are already looking forward to their Fourth of July visit just so they can participate in the activities again.

Park Activities

Making a pine cone bird feeder               Judy making kids picture button

Mem day Bird Feeder    mem day button 1

mem day button2

Horse shoe Action                                             Fun at the playground

Mem day horseshoe 1       Mem day pground

Tue only three campers remained in the park. Judy insisted on helping me with the park clean-up. By the time we finished, you could not tell any campers had been at the park. We cleaned all 64 sites and comfort stations. At the end of the day we were both tired and ready for our two days off.

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Next blog: in about a week

Friday, May 16, 2014

Day Trip to Round Butte Overlook

The park Judy and I are working at is a Portland General Electric (PGE) Park. PGE produces hydroelectric power. The company has a network of power generating dams throughout Oregon.  Lake Simtustus, where Pelton Park is located is formed by Pelton Dam and  Round Butte Dam eight miles south. The lake is fed by the Deschutes River.

Judy and I took some time to drive up to the Round Butte Dam overlook a couple of day ago and were amazed at the beauty. PGE has a day use park that is often rented for weddings and other gatherings. The park is located five hundred feet above Lake Billy Chinook (south side of Round Butte dam – Lake Simtustus is on the north side of the dam.).

Here are a few pics. - “click to enlarge”

Round butte sign        round butte sign 2


rond butte dam 5      Round Butte dam 1  

Round Butte dam 2    Round Butte dam 3

                                                                      Ariel View of Round Butte Dam

round butte dam 7   Round butte dam ariel view

round butte turbine

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Next Blog: about a week.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happenings at and Around Pelton Park

Madras, Oregon – 44’ Clear

Judy and I have been busy here at the park this week, but not so busy that we can’t have a good time!  We have gotten the park routine down and things are coming naturally now. 

A good time was had by all.

Tue., Lynne and Jim our co-host invited us down to their place for a fabulous evening meal. Jim is a very talented “Grill Master” we found out. They also invited some fellow workampers assigned to other  PGE Parks. They have all worked together in some fashion in the past. Judy and I enjoyed meeting Richard & Judy, Terry & Rose, and Larry a lot. We owe Lynne and Jim a GREAT Big Thank YOU for hosting a lovely evening.

Jim Ribs     Ribs 2

Ribs3  Larry provided the entertainment    ribs 4 larry

 Training at PGE’s Timothy Lake Lodge, Mt. Hood National Forest

Wed. and Thurs. Judy and I, along with approx. 30 other workampers attended PGE’s annual training for workampers. The usual topics were  covered; safety,first aid,park policies, and how to interact with campers when things seem to be going “south”.  The presenter for the going south portion was very good and a dynamic speaker. He was Ranger Kevin(Showtime) P., a parks supervisor with Oregon State Parks.

Training 1       training 2

training 3 Kevin Price     Training Lodge pic

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping By.

Next Blog: Next weekend

* Remember, there is limited internet/cell service here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Road Trip–Bend, Oregon

Madras, Oregon

On our two days off (Wed. & Thur.) each week Judy and I are going to try to take at least one day trip.  The are plenty of interesting opportunities in Central Oregon.  Thursday, Judy and I traveled fifty miles south of Madras to Bend, Oregon.  Bend has experience a lot of growth over the past few years. Many people like the small town atmosphere and alpine climate. The small down town area has many trendy shops, restaurants, and night spots.

We visited the “High Desert Museum” located five miles south of Bend first. It was very well laid out with indoor and out door exhibits.  The three and a half hours we were there provided ample time to see all the exhibits and special presentations.

High Desert Museum, Bend OR.   (remember to “click” pics to enlarge)

                                                     Tepee made of reeds

HD Museum FS TRK 2         HDM reed Tippe

Sheep herder’s wagon                 Did you see these guys?

     HDM Wagon 1    HDM Wagon ducks  

HD Museum PoP1       HDM PoP

We had lunch at Drake’s Restaurant in Bend and then walked around and checked out many of the shops. Judy probably enjoyed that more than I did. We are looking forward to our next visit.

A Pic from the Park


That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Next Blog: in about a week