|Memorial at Manzanar Cemetery “Erected by the Manzanar Japanese, |
August 1943”, the front reads “Soul Consoling Tower.”
|Two barracks restored. Hundreds of barracks were sectioned into "blocks." |
Many families shared a single barrack, using bed sheets for some privacy.
|Morning at the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River near the Devil's Postpile|
|View on hike to Devil's Postpile|
|One section of the Devil's Postpile, a columnar basalt rock formation.|
|A view of some curved columns, |
believed to have cooled more quickly than the other columns.
|Another section of the Devil's Postpile|
John Day Fossil Beds in Oregon was my next stop. This site has 3 units of which I visited 2 -- Sheep Rock and Painted Hills.
The fossils found here help scientists understand the changes that happened once mammals inhabited the planet, as well as the climate changes. The John Day area mammals lived in a very wet climate 30 million years ago, lots of rain, humid, tropical jungles. The animals that lived then were mammals like us (vs. dinasours), but were mostly different from the animals we know today. Then about 15 million years ago, the climate in the area became more like the eastern part of the US, hardwood forests. Again, populated with mammals; and again, largely different from the animals we know today. The John Day area today would be called desert like. So, during the course of 30 million years, it's gone from a wet jungle to dry desert.
|Sheep Rock Mountain in the rain -- basalt rock top, dark band from lahar, |
and various colors and layers created by volcanic ash
During the 30 million years, the John Day areas has experienced multiple basalt lava flows, volcanic ash covers, and lahars (hot mud flows). Scientists explore layer upon layer of ash, lahar, ash, and lava in order to discover the fossils of animals and plants that tell their stories, millions of years old.
|Cathedral Rock in the Sheep Rock Unit|
In the Sheep Rock Unit, the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center is a must see. I first watched an introductory film, then walked through the exhibits that tell the 30-million-year story through fossil displays and murals. Another area of the museum provides a large picture window to watch paleontologists working on fossils. Further exhibits explain their methods of unearthing, preserving, cataloging, and understanding the artifacts. Way interesting.
|Colorful formation near picnic area in Sheep Rock Unit.|
I also visited the Painted Hills Unit. Here you have regular desert hills covered with sage; but, among the regular hills are the painted hills of red and yellow. Fossils were found in this area as well; but, I focused on the hills.
|View from Painted Hills Overlook|
"The red in the Painted Hills is from rusty iron minerals, oxidized by long exposure. The golden layers reveal of mix of oxidized magnesium and iron, metamorphic claystone minerals. Black hash marks are rich with manganese. Each color represents a different geologic process." (from infomation board at overlook)
|It rained hard off and on all day in the Painted Hills|
I took a short hike around the small hills at the Painted Cove. To keep the hills as untouched hiker's tramples, the park service built a boardwalk.
|A couple of hikers on the boardwalk at the Painted Cove|
|Close up of a yellow & red hill with pooled rain water|
|Close up example of black manganese hash mark|
|Rain runoff at Painted Cove|
The Painted Hills were totally amazing.