“What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.” Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Those who knows about the John Day Fossil Beds in Central Oregon will likely tell you to visit the Painted Hills. While the Painted Hills are beautiful with its Mars-like landscape and rolling hills of ochre and burgundy, it often overshadows it’s neighbor: The Blue Basin.
If you travel far enough east in the Oregon desert, the rolling hills will rise unexpectedly into mountains. In those mountains lies a gem, a droplet of a basin compared to the Grand Canyon. Splashes of color line the trail, a hint of grey here, a splash of green there. Fossilized shells and bone line the path from centuries past.
Also known as the Sheep Rock portion of the National Monument, the Blue Basin is a small but gorgeous canyon of rich cerulean mixed with gray teal. The closer the sun is to the horizon, the more vibrant the colors become. When the light hits the canyon just right, the stone comes alive with streaks of robin’s egg blue and sea foam green. It is magic in the truest sense of the word.