Tag Archives: Painted_Hills

The prophet Isaiah gives us hope

There is so much joy to come; we live in this world, but we are not bound to it!

From Isaiah 35….

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
    The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
 Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
    and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
    as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
    the splendor of our God.


With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
    and encourage those who have weak knees.
 Say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, and do not fear,
He is coming to save you.”

And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
    and unplug the ears of the deaf.
 The lame will leap like a deer,
    and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!

Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
    and streams will water the wasteland.
The parched ground will become a pool,
    and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.

Lake_Owyhee, Leslie_Gulch_OR

Midway_Geyser_Basin, Yellowstone
And a great road will go through that once deserted land.
    It will be named the Highway of Holiness.

 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
    They will enter Jerusalem singing,
    crowned with everlasting joy.
Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
    and they will be filled with joy and gladness.

Alvord_Desert, Steens_Mt_OR

Returning home through Oregon’s volcanic landscapes

Returning from Trinidad, CA to Oregon, Meg and I traveled a back road along the upper Klamath River, from Hwy 101 to Interstate 5.  After overnighting in Ashland, we continued into central Oregon by way of Lake of the Woods and Crater Lake.  Incredible past volcanic activity dominates the region. Mt McLoughlin reflects in the Lake of the Woods, a steep lava cone built on top of shield volcano, so named because it resembles the flat curve of a warrior’s shield.

Crater Lake, formed inside the caldera created after the massive explosion of Mt Mazama, is the deepest lake in the United States. Famous for its snow melt water clarity and deep blue color, the lake draws the visitor into an incredible serenity of silence.  We had never visited in snow conditions, so this time was especially meaningful.  An impending thunderstorm created excellent light and cloud effects.
We stayed the next night in Redmond. We spent the early morning at Smith Rocks, considered the birthplace of rock sport climbing.  Now an Oregon State Park, It offers over one thousand climbing routes. The rocks are “welded tuff,” formed when hot ash, exploded into the atmosphere, settles in thick sheets onto the earth’s surface, contracting and hardening as it cools.
Finally, we enjoyed the Painted Hills, volcanic ash that has tuned clay like.  The ash was laid down in different geological eras, and is colored according to the type of mineral it contains.  Whenever possible, we never miss a visit here . The intensity of the colors varies according to the time of day; each hour is its own beauty. The area is only lightly visited, and like Crater Lake, the vastness soothes mind and soul.

Lake of the Woods

Painted Hills

Smith Rocks

Upper Klamath River

Receiving God’s Love

Last weekend we took care of our friends’ goldendoodle, a cross between a poodle and a golden retriever.  Buddy was an excellent companion, mellow and loving. As we interacted, I was again reminded how much a dog tells us about loving God.  All Buddy really wanted was our love.  He reveled in being petted, positioning himself so as best to receive our touches and attention. He seemed to know that he did not need to do anything to “earn” this love other than just making himself open and aware of us. His purpose was not achieve us, but to receive us.  And so it is with our relationship to God.  How do we position ourselves, purpose ourselves, to receive Him?

“Use the things of the world, but long for things of eternity. You cannot be fully satisfied by material possessions, for you are simply not made to enjoy them.”  Thomas á Kempis
Painted Hills

John Day River

The Painted Hills and the beauty of the John Day Country

Like a heavenly paint spill, colorful layers of volcanic ash comprise the Painted Hills. Laid down millions of years ago, when this area was an ancient floodplain, a variety of minerals create this kaleidoscope. Black soil is lignite from vegetative matter, grays and greens are from mudstone, siltstone, and shale. The reds are laterite soil comprised of aluminum and iron oxides.  This area is located far from commonly traveled roads in Oregon. Meg and I have never seen more than three or four cars when we have visited. We continued to travel east through the John Day country and its shimmering yellows of cottonwood and tamarack trees. 

John Day River

Painted Hills

Picture Gorge petroglyphs 

Sheep Rock, John Day Fossil Beds

Tamarack or larch