This image was taken with a Nikon on a spring visit to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
Twickenham was a vital area in the Clarno Eruptive Zone some 45-40 million years ago during the Oligocene. Here, what you see at Twickenham is massive Basalt flows that covered the area from these vents and volcanoes. There were some volcanoes of the Clarno Zone that erupted Rhyolite, but these are commonly seen as you drop off of the summit of the Ochocco mountains from the west along Hwy. 26 and Prineville, about an hour's drive, and enter the huge valley that begins your tour through the John Day Country. The remnants of White Butte, Marshall Butte, Black Butte, and Bailey Butte are the necks and plugs of those same volcanic features that once spewed ash and rock that is still visible on the terrain today. There is a large area named Round Mountain located off to the left of the summit once you have dropped into the valley that holds the most rugged rock spires in the area, and this desolate region stretches for many miles to the south and west.
Twickwenham is best known by fisherman and bird hunters as the John Day River crisscrosses this area of wheat fields and cattle ranches.
In the summer months the basalt spires and blocks seem to be rugged and unapproachable, but in the spring, when any measurable amount of precipitation has fallen, you will witness the true velvety appearing treasure that we all search for as photographers as waterfalls treasure from the highest cliffs and eventually fall at your feet amidst the greening of many types of vegetation and mosses that cling to the walls of the basalt.
This side trip from the Painted Hills can be best approached during dry weather once passing the turnoff for the Painted Hills along the dirt road pointing the way to Ashwood and turning to the right for Priest Hole, a boat launching site on the John Day River. You will cross over the Rimrock of the Sutton Mountains and of the true Carroll Mountain, not the one named today at the Painted Hills Unit.
You can also turnoff Hwy. 26 to follow the signs pointing to the town of Fossil, just before reaching the town of Mitchell if driving east, and once you have taken this and driving north, it is approx. 10-12 miles to a sign on the left stating "Priest Hole Boat Launch."
Twickenham is one of the best side trips from the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National, the Sheep Rock which is located the Thomas Condon Paleontology Museum, Goose Rock, Cathedral Rock, Sheep Rock, the Blue Basin, and the two remaining Units of the Clarno Pallisades and the Painted Hills where Twickenham is located between.
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Bergenphotos (2610) 2010-12-19 16:43
This image is not really how I imagine Oregon. Looks like Arizona decorated with vegetation! Very nice indeed. I especially like the color of the trees spread around.
dta (66518) 2010-12-20 2:52
Hello Steven ,
Ah Ah ! For me , Twickenham is the famous english temple of rugby ! But I'm not sure that this sport and this place are well known in USA :)
In any case , I like a lot this outstanding coloured landscape . I suppose that it must be a pleasure to have a trek in such a place .
photoray (12155) 2010-12-24 9:29
Interesting image for the plantlife reclaiming the volcanic landscape, varying green and brown tones.
Have a great holiday season,
axiotea (21649) 2010-12-25 12:42
A beautiful landscape with lovely and natural colour tones well rendered! I'll add it to my fav :)
I wish you all the best my friend
shevchenko (19279) 2010-12-26 19:04
A lovely spring view, good frame to show the beautiful geographical feature, nice tones of color too, distinct photo, thanks for sharing a relaxing natural view.