Bands, Beer (organic), and Brauts (gluten-free, vegan)

I feel like I'm in an episode of 'Portlandia'

As numerous as raindrops or tall trees, small craft breweries pop up everywhere in Portland.  The North American Organic Brewers Festival is a 3-day, more intimate precursor to the huge Oregon Brewfest (pouring over 80 craft beers from across the country) held at the end of July.  The NAOB features around 60 organic beers represents over 30 breweries (mostly in OR, CA, and WA - but a few from Utah, Minn and Montana).  

It is SO Portland - to quote the NAOB website: 
"Festival attendees sample beer from reusable and compostable cornstarch glasses made from domestically grown corn by a zero-waste, solar-powered company. Onsite composting and recycling stations are provided for festival waste, and food vendors are required to use compostable cutlery and plates. Electricity needs are met with a combination of biodiesel and solar generators. Volunteers wear organic cotton, bamboo and hemp t-shirts, and all event signage is reusable."

The bands were loud and pretty good

It was brutally HOT - the second day of weather in the upper 80's - low 90's.  VERY hot for us Pacific Northwesters.
So, of course, the mister was VERY popular!
And, of course . . .  the beer.  This picture shows just one of the 3 long tents serving up delicious little tastes of all sorts of beers and hard ciders.  For the designated drivers, there was a craft root beer garden.

My favorite had to be Bison Breweries "Honey Basil Ale" - "infused caramel malts with basil and honey, creating an herbaceous, floral and virtually hops-free beer".  It was spicy and amazingly good!

Elliott Bay's "No doubt Stout" is a reliable oatmeal stout that I've had before and can never pass up.

Wildwood's "Mystical Stout" was also really good.

Even though I attended with a friend (so we could share our "tastes" for double the variety) we ran out of capacity before we could finish our lists of beers to try!   The "Bacon Brown Ale", "Beet-nik" (yes, it's made with beets and is very red, and a "Peach Hefeweizen" will have to wait for another time.  Or . . . maybe tomorrow!

After a lovely, if hot, couple of hours of music and beverages,  we mounted up on our urban scooters and puttered our way home.  Nothing like a couple of 'women of a certain age' on scooters.

scored tickets to the Portland Thorns vs Seattle Reign!

Women's soccer is new to Portland . . . but the Timber Army shows up

The 'Timber Army' is the fanatical fan base for the men's team, the Timbers.  They're on their feet the entire game screaming.  It was a great game, the Thorns won, and fun was had by all.

Good parents protect their kids hearing from the decibels generated by the Timber Army!

I think these little fans should be known as 'splinters', older kids could be'kindling', eventually they could grow up to be'timbers'.

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Unfortunately, I was there and so I did hear it . . . 

. . .  and saw it . . . . and was almost squished flat by it!  Molly and I were walking along when we heard a loud 'CRACK' and the canopy fell about 15 yards in front of us - astonishing!  I'm glad it was a relatively small tree and happened so fast that neither Molly or I had time to be more than a little startled.
Here you can see where the trunk snapped!

Other than randomly falling trees, the campground was quite pleasant

There are a series of Forest Service and county park campgrounds along highway 19 and 402 between Fossil and Monument.  The Wheeler County Parks are in a fully grown Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir forest. They had picnic tables, fire rings, and centralized water, toilets, and trash cans.  They were very reasonably priced at $10 for the first night and $5 for subsequent nights. I found them a bit dark - had to hunt at Shelton Wayside Park to find my site along a meadow within the tall trees.  The Forest Service campgrounds had picnic tables, vault toilets and fire rings, but no water or trash pickup.  They were $5 per night. The ones that I checked out were close to the highway (very little traffic though, so the noise was minimal) and generally more open and sunny as you can see in the picture.  All the campgrounds were nearly empty even though I was there on a weekend.
The view from my campsite at Lone Pine FS Campground, just east of Kimberly, OR
Well, I was alone with a great view until these guys drove in about 7pm.  Oh well, at least they were quiet and parked on the far side (campsites set out in kind of a semi-circle along the river).

this story starts 5 million years ago . . .

I decide to visit the John Day Fossil Beds

There are three separate areas or 'units': Clarno, The Painted Hills, and The Sheep Rock unit.

Clarno has a very informative 1/4 mile interpretive walk from one parking/picnic area to another.  One way to look at this is that every step you take, you travel back 17,000 years! In addition to the massive red cliffs, signs along the way describe how the area was formed, as subtropical forest with small 3-toed horses and wetland vegetation gave way to this current, arid landscape.  Along the path you can see lots of leaf fossils preserved in the rock walls.

The Painted Hills unit has more, and longer, trails and overlooks of the area.  'Painted Hills' is an apt description!

For my money, the most spectacular area is Sheep Rock.  There is a visitors center (check the hours- the sequester has caused some cutbacks) which is also a paleontology museum.  Most amazing to me was the presence of a blue green layer of rock - really, it was mint green! I've never seen anything like it.  

Blue Basin has a short 1/4 mile trail into an amphitheater surrounded by blue cliffs; there is also a longer 3.5 mile walk around the rim - neither is suitable for dogs as there are frequent metal bridged areas that could cut feet.

Cathedral rock is another imposing feature seen from the highway (395) as you head north away from Sheep Rock.

The roads linking the 3 units and beyond are designated 'the Journey through time scenic byway' - and it more than lives up to its name.  Unfortunately, the roads are generally narrow, winding and slow - so its better to be a passenger than a driver - I was riveted on not driving off the road.

The day ends, not in geological 'long time', but in savoring the moment.

My day ends listening to a river and the birds who live near it.  So hard to grasp the long time when life is lived one short moment at a time.

Shelton Wayside Park, east of Fossil, OR

mom, its hot and my feet are getting stickers!

Molly says its time to move on!

Molly got 4 grass burrs (nasty stickers) in 3 of her feet at the same time.  She's threatening a strike.

There's limited walking space here along the Deschutes.  Just small campsites down off the road along the (really quite beautiful) river.  Great for rafting and fly fishing, but Molly and I are used to more hiking.

The solar panel is working great here - lots of uninterrupted sun!  I can even run the TV for a couple of hours in the evening! I can see that I might want more storage capacity than 1 12V battery for rainy days though.

Actually, we have already moved on - but didn't have cell coverage - so I'll have to catch up on the cool places we've been!