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Roaming at Steelhead Falls, Oregon

roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.

This is Steelhead Falls, one of my top favorite places in Central Oregon to visit in the summer. The dog can run for hours off leash, splashing into the cold river when he gets too hot, and besides the incredible waterfall and swimming hole, you can spend the whole day geeking out on plants. In the Great Basin, some of the most beautiful places (at least to me) are those where the steppe and water meet. Rivers are the lushest places around, and just 20 feet from the bank of this river, the sagebrush and juniper take over. There are tall, ancient cliffs here where ravens and bald eagles nest in safety. On this day, an osprey circled us multiple times before landing in a tree a little ways off. Central Oregon is good fishin’, for mankind and wildlife.

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Roaming in the Painted Hills, Oregon

roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.

I love to roam.

I recently made the trip out to a spectacular spot in Oregon’s “high desert” region called the Painted Hills. The Painted Hills are one of three spots in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, which includes the Sheep Rock Unit loaded with fossils and an AWESOME fossil museum, complete with a glass wall where you can watch paleontologists chipping away at the remains of some million-year-old-something. *drool*

The Painted Hills were an ancient floodplain home to small, ancestral horse species and other early mammals. Erosion has wiped away the more recent layers of soil to reveal this amalgam of clay and minerals, which, true to its name, looks like it was painted with a big red brush.

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