Category Archives: Highways and Roads

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (Clarno Unit – Oregon)

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument – The Clarno Unit
~ 32651 Highway 19, Kimberly, Oregon * Phone: (541) 987-2333 ~

The Clarno Unit is one of three sections of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument that was designated by the United States as an area of special concern in Wheeler and Grant counties of Eastern Oregon. It is located within the John Day River basin and operated by the National Parks Service. The focus of the protected area is its geology and paleontology specializing in well-preserved layers of fossilized materials including flora and fauna. Most found here date from the late Eocene around 45 million years ago to the late Miocene at 5 million years before present. The Other two units are Sheep Rock and Painted Hills. The total designated area is 13,944 acres of semi-desert shrub land, riparian zones, and badlands. It was originally visited by Native Americans such as the Sahaptin who hunted, fished, and gathered roots/berries in the region. Then came the Euro-American visitors who established ranches, farms, and small towns along the river. Under guidance of Thomas Condon in 1864, geologists and paleontologists began digging in the area and making the discoveries that the area is famous for today.

Clarno is the westermost of the three units and is approximately 1,969 acres roughly 18 miles west of Fossil along Oregon Route 218. A breathtaking rest stop along the scenic Journey through Time scenic byway in Oregon is the geological features known as the Pallisades. It is located roughly 18 miles west of Fossil, Oregon. These cliffs and land forms are created by prehistoric volcanic lahars (or volcanic mud flows) roughly 54-40 million years ago. This landscape was quite different at that time – a lush semi-tropical rainforest with jungles, vines, trees, shrubs and mega fauna. After the volcanic cataclysms, the environment was turned into the arid desert it is now. Fossil evidence depicts a vast arrange of plant life from leavaes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and petrified wood of over 173 species of trees, vines, shrubs, and other plants. Numerous faunal fossil remains of crocodiles, mini four-toed horses, huge rhino-like brontotheres, and meat-eating creodonts were found. There are three distinct hiking trails all under a mile in length demonstrating the fossil and geological record. Picnic tables and restrooms make for a restful stay. Drinking water is available from the rest stop May through September.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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john day fossil site – clarno unit info board: “Few places in North America offer such a unique look into the distant past than the clarno unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. From the glimpses of the tropical forest captured in the rocks of the palisade cliffs to the spectacular nuts, fruits, leaves and twigs preserved in the one of a kind clarno nut beds, to the rhinos, brontotherese and hroses unearthed in the hancock mammal quarry pictured here. The fossil of clarno provide an extremely rare and surprisingly complex record of life in ancient oregon 40-54 million years ago. … massive brontotheres – left, primitive four toed horses such as epihippus center and hapiohippus right and a powerful bear-like predator hemipsaladon – upper right are just a few of the fascinating animals unearthed in the hancock mammal quarry. The quarry located only a mile from werhe you stnd may have been a watering hole where animals congregated in large numbers as in this artist’s depiction. Many fossil specimes unearthed here are on display in the Thomas Condon Paleontological Center near Dayville Oregon. “The Pallisades (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27413) – Clarno Unit – John Day Fossil National Monument (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27401). Volcanic Legacy: Chronicle 25 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Oregon. Photos taken August 2, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21521. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Journey through Time Scenic Byway (Oregon)

Journey Through Time Scenic Byway – Oregon
~ Oregon ~

This scenic route goes through parts of the state of Oregon spanning five counties and passing through Dayville, Mount Vernon, John Day, and Prairie City. It consists of Oregon Routes 7, 19, 26, 218 and U.S. Route 97 following much of the John Day River. Its purpose is to take tourists and drivers along the pioneer history of Oregon focusing on geology and paleontological history. It is 286 miles in length. You can start from Biggs along U.S. 97 through Shaniko to Antelope, then east on Oregon 218 to Fossil. Rest stop in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument then take it along Oregon 19 towards Kimberly, then east on U.S. 26 to Dayville, then through Mount Vernon, John Day, and Prairie City onwards east along Oregon 7 to Baker City. This route was established February 19, 1997 as a Oregon Scenic Byway.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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US California Highway 395

California US Highway 395

US California Highway 395
~ California – NEVADA – OREGON ~

Highway 395 runs from California, through Nevada, to Oregon over 556 miles in length. It was founded in the 1930’s. It runs from Interstate 15 from Hesperia, California to the Oregon State line in Modoc County near Goose Lake. It cuts into Nevada servicing Carson City and Reno. It services San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Owens Valley, Mammoth Lakes, and Mono Lake in California and gives access to Mount Whitney and Death Valley. The route has been used since the California Gold Rush and before obtaining this route number had many different names including the El Camino Sierra. California has designated it as a scenic highway from Fort Independence to Fort Springs Road in Inyo County and from Inyo-Mono County line to Walker as parts of the highway pass through “memorable landscapes” with no visual intrusions. From Lone Pine north to the Nevada state line occurs a high concentration of natural hot springs called the “hot springs jackpot”. Around Lone Pine the highway passes by the Manzanar National Historic district where Japanese Americans were imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II. The highway passes Mono Lake and the Sierra crest as well as Conway Summit. The highway also passes by the ghost town known as Bodie that still has items on shelves in abandoned stores. The highway goes over the summit of Devil’s Gate Pass at 7,519 feet above sea level separating the East and West Walker Rivers and passes by Topaz Lake near the California-Nevada State line.

The highway leaves California around Topaz Lake for 87 miles in Nevada connecting Reno and Carson City, goes over the Simee Dimeh Summit, exits the mountains to the receding escarpment of the Sierra Nevadas entering California as a freeway dwindling to a divided highway just past the state line following Long Valley Creek to Honey Lake heading north following a rail line built by the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway. It goes through Lassen County for 3 miles. The highway goes around the west side of the 73 square mile Honey Lake towards Susanville which it does not enter looping around the Susanville Municipal Airport. It then bends around Shaffer Mountain, crosses the Modoc Plateau, serving the towns of Ravendale, Termo, and Madeline in Lassen County parallels the South Fork of the Pit River to the confluence with the North Fork in Alturas. It then follows North Fork Pit River across Modoc County to Goose Lake and junctions with SR 299 in Alturas then for the last 50 miles parallels the east shore of Goose Lake crossing into Oregon at New Pine Creek, Oregon.

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