Casual Friday – Painted Hills

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TGIF. I don’t have work pressure any more, but Friday seems always to be the day, I feel, it is the beginning of a short vacation.  Just for the mindset, freedom and relaxation come to play. I am still aiming one blog a week. If I add something on Friday, I like it to be something casual, random, and light weight.  Let’s start with a cup of tea and breathe in the aroma of the flower.

When I lived in California, I came to Oregon for a short vacation and I fell in love with this place.  I still do after 19 years. Initially my girls complained that there were not enough sunshine, not enough shopping malls and the boys here all looked pale (lack of suntan), and there is only one luggage carousel at the airport etc.  But now we are so used to it and we love all the outdoor activities that Oregon can offer. There are not many tourist destinations in Oregon, but we have continued to discover places that are truly natural, beautiful but not crowded with tourists.

Most people know Crater Lake, Multnomah Falls, Columbia River and wind surfers know Hood River, but I am not sure if non-Oregonians know much about Painted Hills. It is not a historical landmark, not a tourist destination, but it is certainly worth a visit. I felt that I was encompassed by large scrolls of paintings when I was walking down the road.  We were there twice, one time under bright sunlight and other time in a cloudy day. The coloration seems to vary with the change of the temperature. It is deeper in the morning and lighter after bathed in the sun all day. If it rains, I won’t doubt that colors will be even more stronger.

These ‘paintings’ are all different from one section to the other. You can walk to different spots of the road looking forward or backwards and you will know what I meant about scenery is changed. The area is big, but you can drive your car through the whole region and only walked a little to find your favorite viewpoints.  
This is a desert area and gets really hot in summer time. It is now a good time to visit. If you don’t want to sweat, avoid July and August. However, extreme heat can ‘steam’ the hills and re-trouch the colors.  It may be even more interesting. Above pictures were taken in September, and I think, moderate colors. 

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