Friday, April 17, 2015


I left New Mexico and worked my way northwest, visiting Meteor Crater and Valley Of Fire on the way.  My route took me along the Great Basin Highway and the Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada.  There were times where I would drive for an hour without turning the steering wheel, or seeing another vehicle.

I made it to Oregon on time, and hindered down in Riley, waiting for clear weather to cross the Santiam Pass.  Each night, the pass was getting snow, up to 10", so I waited.

Wednesday, the forecast was clear, so I went up and over.  Here I am, perched above the MacKenzie River at my favorite boondock site.

From here, I can make out Mount Jefferson to the north.

To the northeast, Three Finger Jack and Mount Washington are visible.

The best view, though, is to the east, of the Three Sisters.

It's good to be home.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Valley Of Fire

Early in our earth's history, the oceans contained a tremendous amount of dissolved iron.  As plant life began to build, it shed oxygen.  That oxygen combined with the iron to form iron oxide, known to most of us as rust.  The iron oxide joined with grains of sand settling to the ocean bottoms.  Thus formed the great sandstone deposits of the American southwest.

As iron concentrations changed, so did the resulting sandstone colors, leading to the varicolored layering seen so often.

When concentrations were high for a long time, the resulting rock formed a uniform red color, but the layers remained.

One of the characteristics of sandstone is that the layers often vary in hardness, and erode into remarkable shapes and forms.

Two legs topped by a deformed butt?



As the desert sun pokes into the carved alcoves and tunnels, the reflected light makes the rock glow as if it were luminous.

In the Valley Of Fire the wind, blowing tiny bits of sand, has carved all these shapes, forming holes, tunnels, and even alcoves covered by curtains of rock.

Backstage behind the curtains...

Rubber duckie?