We are headed to family camp! Maybe we should be more organized and have our meals planned but we like to celebrate small victories and not stress about the rest so we are celebrating getting on the road! The first leg of our journey is a coming together. Chad, me and the kids with Stephanie and Cyrus and Suzanne, Jeremy and their kids. We had decided on a meeting place of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument with a plan to head south from there. The GPS said 4 hours 20 minutes. We were up at 6:30AM taking showers, getting dressed and loading the car took a little while and some motivating YouTube Tetris music. Finally deciding we would have to leave the kayaks behind seeing no way to fit everything. Stephanie and I had seen a few blow up “kayak”s that hold two people and were on sale at Fred Meyers so she went and got two of them as well as a quick breakfast that the kids could eat at the shop while we hooked up the trailer. We left the house at 8:30 thinking that was pretty good time. We had a few hiccups hooking up the trailer and were still feeling like we were making good time leaving Salem at 9:30. I put in our destination to google maps giving us a 2:30 ETA. With lunch and traffic we were not making the kind of time we wanted to. Heading first after following a sign to the painted hills section of the park we backtracked and were relieved to finally make it to the paleontology center at 4:00PM. Stephanie and Jayson met us in the parking lot as Jayson headed back home to hold down the fort. We also got to see a few faces from our past! George and Jerry Lunsford (high school teacher and youth pastor from our past lives in Cambridge Idaho) now they may regret making a special stop at the national monument, but we sure did enjoy catching up with them.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is know for its vast range of fossils of both plants and animals as well as number of fossils that are still being found there. All this is fun and interesting making me eager to learn the real truth behind the Grand Canyon, the continental drift, and now 15,000 feet of fossil layers in the middle of eastern Oregon. I am guessing that the answer to many of my questions will have to wait until the other side of the pearly gates as I do not buy into evolution and millions of years. After the main visitor center we enjoyed the farm house for a little while before heading to John Day.