John Day Fossil Beds Field Trip for Honors Biology!

A few weeks ago, my Honors Biology teacher introduced a chance to go to John Day Fossil Beds! I had to go! I love archaeology and dinosaurs, I love learning about them and how people find their bones in places. It's very interesting! So, of course I just had to go, but only 17 kids were going to be picked from each Honors Biology class... we were going to be put in a drawing and 17 kids were going to be selected from each class. That's what made me anxious. If you got your parent to drive, you were in automatically, and this is the kind of trip I thought my dad would like to go on, so I asked him if he would be willing to drive, and he said yes! I was automatically in. I was then worried my friends wouldn't be able to go, and wouldn't be able to ride in the car with me, I was wrong. 90 people go to go on the trip because so many parents offered to drive, so many kids and lots of adults! Ali and Libby got to go and could ride in my car! I was so happy everybody got to go, that wanted to go!
The itinerary was to be at school by 5:00 and leave at 5:15. I woke up at 3:00 and got ready. I love that time of morning, I am so chipper. I don't know why... and I am only chipper at that time of morning when I am going to be with friends and I get the option to rest and relax after I wake up at 3:00. Very few exceptions that I am chipper at that time of morning. I was chipper and hyper this time. My teacher provided breakfast for us, I took a bagel and cream cheese because that's what I ordered on the permission slip. 
We all piled into the car and drove! Only, the bus and a few other cars took a different direction and three cars (including my car) took a another direction the opposite way. The way we went was so much faster! as we drove, I was so obsessed with the road and how there were miles and miles of road, just straight away road and country side lining the road. It was beautiful and picturesque. I took so many pictures of the road! 
This is one that I was so proud of, it looks exactly how I want it to look! A vintagy look to it and faded. I love it! This was taken on the Warm Springs reservation, the country side.
 I took a lot of pictures! With both my camera and my phone. 
We got to see the sunrise, and the clouds were so pretty! I couldn't get over it. It was gorgeous!
As we drove farther into Warm Springs, we got to the canyon rocks. I am really in awe on Oregon's beauty and canyon rocks.
There are right there, surrounding the part of the reservation that the Native Americans live on. They are lucky to be surrounded by that beauty. 
As we were driving through the reservation, we saw a hawk flying really low. I managed to get a picture of it just as it was about to fly over our car. I was really happy I got that  picture!
Since I am reading The Sky Fisherman by Craig Lesley, and it takes place in the Madras and Warm Springs area, near the DesChutes River, I was really excited about driving through there. I drive through there every year to go to Sun River, but it's even more exciting that it was in a book I am reading, and a book that I love! 
I have been in this restaurant once, and I want to go again! 
And look at the gorgeous mountainous canyon rock. 
Alright, before this post gets sooo long, I will just tell you about what I saw on the car ride. So, we saw the DesChutes river and we saw more canyon rock and chiseled rock. We saw lots of road and such. We got to Crooked River Grasslands and I took this one road photo that I absolutely love! It even has an old car driving up a ways. It was perfect!
We drove farther and farther and got to Prineville, the McDonalds in Prineville. We had to use the facilities and my dad got some coffee and some more breakfast. We also saw my friends Shayla, Olivia and Serra, so we knew we were going to right way if someone we met up with someone else on the tip too. I bought some new sun glasses because I forgot my sun glasses, I got them at a gas station next door to the McDonalds. 
After the trip, we were supposed to stop there for dinner. That McDonalds is TINY! Trying to fit 90 people in that thing would be a nightmare, let a lone the wait. Goodness. 
So, we came up with a new plan for dinner. 
Anyway, we kept driving and we went through the little town of Mitchell, Oregon. It looks like a Ghost Town... it probably isn't even a mile long, we saw a dumpster diver and the only gas station was a trucker gas station, a Pacific Pride... and their novelty shop, "Whole In The Wall Curiosities Curiosity Shop", it was this shack with dirty windows and probably a 5x5 shack thing. My dad kept teasing if we needed to stop here to buy handbags or do our monthly shopping. When we first entered this town, I laughed and said, "This is where real hill billies live." And Ali and Libby laughed, as well as my dad. Quite an interesting town.
We drove on from there, and I read a lot. I started reading The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy, because I had no cell service for most of the ride and most of the trip. It's good so far! I'll have to give a review when I am done.
We then came upon these mountains! 
My goodness, they were breath taking.
We finally arrived at the John Day Fossil Bed museum and we were there way before the bus. We just hung around, and talked to our class mates. Had a good time, the bus came and a whole lot of kids came pouring out of the bus. And the boys went over to the cargo part under the bus and was carrying boxes and boxes of snacks. We were set on food, I can tell you that. I was in group 1-3 with Libby. We were so sad that Ali was in 2-4. We missed her on our hike. We drove a little bit to the hiking area, the Blue Basin. We walked a little ways, and then came upon this blue-ish rocky mountain.
I touched it, we all touched it, we were touching 'dinosaur germs' as some of the boys call them.
I took these pictures with my camera... but my camera died during the hike. SO GLAD I brought my phone, so that I could take pictures with my phone. 
We walked onward, and I could not believe the beauty I was seeing. It was so gorgeous! 
My dad took a picture of Libby and I up there, with the view of the Blue Basin!
And Libby took a picture of my dad and I up there with the view of the Blue Basin.
Right then, my camera died... well a little ways away as we were trekking through a trail... my camera completely died! I was so disappointed. I had my phone though, so I was okay. 
We walked through such beautiful area! The breeze felt nice, because the sun was beating down on us. I brought two coats with me on the hike because I figured it would rain, because that's what was predicted of the weather. 
The weather people were so wrong! It was HOT! 
It did sprinkle a little bit, but it felt nice.
We walked on, and got to a spot to where you could look down on the Blue Basin. I had to take a picture of it. It was just simply beautiful. Really, everything was beautiful up there! 
The Blue rock is where they find the fossils. The blue basin is the fossil bed!
Toward the end of the hike, there was some really slippery ground, like dusty slippery. I slipped so many times and tripped over rocks sticking out of the ground, some people fell. Nobody got hurt though, it was just funny actually! 
We loaded on the bus after the hike and drove back to the museum for lunch. Ali, Libby and I met up and ate on the pavement behind my car and we ate with my dad. It was nice to not be with everybody on the pavement outside of the museum. To much noise. 
After lunch, we split up again, it was Ali's turn to go on the hike and Libby and I for the museum/classroom. We entered the museum, and went into a class room to watch a video about the horses changing through time... then we walked around the museum for a split second and were shoved into another class room with bones and fossils on four tables. We were doing a lab. 
I have to say... the lady was a bit interesting... (mean). I'm not going to go into detail... we had been up for almost 12 hours, it has been a long day and yeah, we were squirrely, but we were tired and bored of the class room! I wanted to look in the museum. We barely got to look around the museum because of the stupid classroom time. We could have learned that stuff in the museum. Awh well, something to talk about now! 
After the museum, we all huddled around the 'turn out', it's what it looked like to me, and it was like a view ledge, but on ground. There was a wall, and we all stood or sat on the wall for a group photo. I was pulled on the wall with Libby's help and I accidentally knocked off Ali's clipboard! Off the wall! Luckily, the wall was probably only 4 to 5 feet, and she could jump down and grab it off the ground. It didn't fall on our side, it fell on the side that you can't really access unless you jumped over the wall. Ha! She got it and all was good.
After the several group pictures were taken, we headed back to our cars or the bus for some kids and we headed for the Painted Hills! It was about a 45 minute drive from the John Day Fossil Beds museum to the Painted Hills. When we entered the Painted Hills, there were these kids running and there were like three groups of kids. Just running on the side of the road.
I have a little story to tell about them a little later down the post.
We kept driving a little ways, the clouds perfect and we got a glimpse of what the painted hills were going to be like.
We finally arrived at the painted hills and everybody started acting weird because we had been cooped up in the cars for so long, and we were tired and hyper. 
We found Mrs. Quirke, our Honors Biology teacher and asked her if we could go into Madras for dinner instead of the tiny McDonalds in Prineville. She said that we were our own car, and we could do whatever we wanted after we saw the Painted Hills. We were like, "Booyahhh!"
This is not me being weird, I was fixing my head band, so I stuck my phone in Ali's pocket and she started taking pictures of me! Bhahahahaha
I promised her I would put this picture up...
I too a picture of Ali and I at the Painted Hills since I took a picture of Libby and I at the Blue Basin..
The painted hills were gorgeous! Natural art like that, and natural scenery is just breath taking and leaves you awe struck!

Absolutely beautiful. 
We walked back, and Ali and Libby were being Ali and Libby. I had to take a picture of them.
We walked back to our cars, said good bye to everybody and everybody loaded up into their car or bus. 
We drove back down and we saw the same runners! My dad said that we should ask if they were from the town of Mitchell, and if they were from that high school. I was little wary about that, but I figured, 'what the heck!?', so we  passed a few kids and then came upon this one kid and my dad slowed the car down, and rolled down the window. My dad said, "Hey!" and the kid (he was Asian) took his ear bud out and sort of nervously smiled. He lifted his hand and said, "Hey." With a thick accent of some sort. So my dad says, "Where are you from?" and the kid says, "South Korea." In a thick, heavy accent. Libby, Ali and I begin to laugh. The kid attempts to put his ear bud back in and he continues to run but my dad doesn't keep driving on, he slows the car down and catches up with him, officially making creeper status and my dad asks, "Are you training?" and the kid goes, "Yeah." and runs away. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ali, Libby and I laughed sooo hard. My dad really isn't a creeper. He really isn't. He was just curious. 
Left the Painted Hills and drove for a long time... until we hit SNOW! I was reading, and all of a sudden my dad says, "Look, it's snowing!" and I look up, and there it is! White fluffy flakes coming at us, and accumulating on the side of the road! 
That was a bit crazy! 
We eventually drove out of the snow, and we quickly got to Madras where we pulled into a Dairy Queen and had some dinner. Ali, Libby and I all ordered the same thing! A chicken strip basket with 4 pieces and 2 slices of toast and lots of fries! I also got some Dr. Pepper. I haven't had soda in so long! It tasted delicious!
Ali, Libby and I discussed the types of fast food and where you can get 'quality' fast food. 
Dairy Queen,
and a few others, but I forgot them. There are few places that you can get fast food and the fast food doesn't weigh heavy on your stomach.
I instagram'd it so that people knew we had reached 'civilization'. haha. 
It was a really good dinner! I like Dairy Queen food. 
Along the drive home, I took many more pictures of the road. I pictures of country side and fields. This one picture I loved in particular was a field with two silos. I was really proud of myself that I got that picture. 
We ended up dropping off Ali and Libby at their houses, and we got back to my house at 9:45! We were scheduled to get back to school by 11:00 PM! We beat the bus! I was so glad we didn't return at 11. So glad! 
It was  a very fun trip, and I will have many memories of it. I hope to return to John Day Fossil Beds and explore more. 
It was lots of fun!
I'm sorry for such a long post, it was a long trip and I wanted to include everything for my readers! 
I left a lot out! Ha.
Hope you enjoyed my pictures! 
I enjoyed taking them. 


  1. Sounds like an awesome trip, how fun that your class got to go. The pictures look great, sounds like a wonderful place to visit, quite a drive though. How wonderful that the story you are reading takes place there, I love that, sounds like an interesting book too. Great post! :)

    1. It was a wonderful trip, and so worth going, so worth skipping school to go! So worth getting up at 3:00 in the morning. It was fantastic and so exciting! I loved it! It is cool that my book takes place in the Warm Springs/Madras area. I love that area!


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