As we mentioned in our last update we left La Pine and made our way to just outside of John Day Oregon and found a nice spot at Clyde Holiday State Park.
Our plan was to only spend a couple nights before moving on so we really only had one full day to tour the area. On the bright side we have stayed here before and was able to do a little touring so we wasn’t feeling too deprived. Here is a link to our last stay if you are interested. https://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/a-short-but-nice-stop-outside-john-day-oregon/
This visit we decided to drive 30 miles to the John Day Fossil Beds. There are 3 units (areas) of the National Monument, The Clarno unit, The Painted Hills Unit and the Sheep Rock unit. All units are spread out enough that it would be pretty rough to see them all in a day if you plan to do any hiking.
Our first stop was the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center which has a great collection of fossils from all three units of the park, as well as those from other federal lands in the area.
We probably spent over an hour touring the center which also had an interesting short film to watch. We found the stop to be very interesting and educational.
Then we were off and made a stop just down the road at the Cant Ranch which is now the parks headquarters.
In 1910, Scottish immigrants James and Elizabeth Cant purchased approximately 700 acres of land from the Officer family and established their own ranch.
By 1916, they and their four children were outgrowing the old house, and they ordered plans for a larger one through the mail. Built with lumber milled near the town of Mitchell, the building was completed in 1917.
Unfortunately the house wasn’t open while we were there to tour but we enjoyed walking around it and the surrounding grounds.
The old barn and out buildings are still in great shape and housed a few pieces of machinery which always catches my attention and the fruit orchard had a number of apple trees and plum trees with ripe fruit that you are allowed to pick, which we did. As well as a few pears that were not ripe yet but they will bowl ripen.
Over time land was added to the Cant property until it grew to nearly 6,000 acres. James Cant, Jr., and his wife Freda helped James and Elizabeth run the ranch until their deaths in the early 1970s.
After the ranch we drove and stopped in at any and every turnout we came across and hiked a few of the shorter trails. We stuck to the shorter trails because the temps were in the low 90’s and there was very little shade to be had. By shorter trails we mean trails that were under 2 miles.
While doing our short little hikes I couldn’t help thinking about our friend Brian who has been on the trail since July 2nd I think hiking the Pacific Coast Trail. My hat is off to that man!!! We simply couldn’t do it I don’t think.
After spending the day touring we made our way back to John Day and had dinner at the Outpost before heading home and calling it a day.
Thursday (7/21) brought another travel day, after our normal travel day morning routine we lifted our jacks and started rolling at 9am. We got on HWY 26 and headed east.
After being on the road a while and during a climb up a mountainside I saw 3 motorcycles turning into a rest area. My mind immediately went to 3 friends that I knew were in the area someplace on a scooter ride but could it be!!?? Well heck yes it was.
By the time I realized it was them I was pretty much committed to not making the turn into the rest area safely so all I could do was to slide the window open, lay on the air-horn and wave like a crazy man as we went by.
The next thing I knew a scooter was coming up fast in my mirror and it was Jim, one of my old riding buddies. He pulled up next to us and motioned for us to pull over as he sped away up the mountain. Before long I saw 2 more bikes I our mirror and we came across a pullout where we all shot the bull for close to an hour I’d guess. WHAT A TREAT!!! And once again, what a small world.
They had been on the road about 5 days and were on their way back home when we happened across each other, a ride I’m sure I would have been on if we stilled lived in the S&B’s. Once we said our (see ya latter’s) we all hit the road in different directions. I had a smile on my face off & on the rest of the day thinking about our stumbling into each other.
We stayed on HWY 26 until we hit I84, then took it south east for about 20 miles until we reached our exit and made our way to Canyon Springs RV Resort a few short miles out of Caldwell Idaho. And that’s where we will be until we leave on the 28th.