Ochoco National Forest, OR to McCall, ID
Start: 88620 miles
Disaster -- averted!
Catastrophe -- avoided!
The road leading north from Deep Creek Campground to Mitchell and the John Day Fossil Beds National Mountain (Painted Hills Unit) is a one-lane, gravel road -- Forest Service Roads 42, 3010, and 22. For brevity, an oncoming truck and I barely missed becoming a single piece of metal while rounding a blind turn around a hillside rock embankment. The picture of his wheels cocked to a hard angle away from the direction of the road to evade a collision is still burned in my mind (however, I could not describe the color of his vehicle, maybe green?). A few unstable oscillations in and out of the ditch, and a gallon of adrenaline later, all is well, albeit more cautious. On to the Painted Hills and Idaho, in one piece, and very thankful for the opportunity to drive on.
From the 1.5-mile trail marker, Blue Basin Overlook, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument:
"What is it that urges a man to risk his life in these precipitous fossil beds? I can answer only for myself, but with me there are only two motives, the desire to add to human knowledge, which has been the greatest motive of my life, and the hunting instinct , which is deeply planted in the human heart. Not the desire to destroy life, but to see it...
It is thus that I love the creatures of other ages, and that I want to become acquainted with them in their natural environments. They are never dead to me; my imagination breathes life into 'the valley of dry bones'...
--C. H. Sternberg, paleontologist
Gas: Dayville, OR
$28.00, $2.499/gal, 11.203 gal
335.3/88684 miles, 29.93 mpg
Patch at Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, $4.00