Canada 16, 16th July 2006

I went to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. I'm not really into fossils but the museum was superbly presented.

The skull is looking to the right, you can see teeth and tusks when you get a grip on looking at it. The fossil in the background at only 18 years old is umpteen millions of years newer but I'll bet it's done more miles.

My photos inside the museum were disastrous. But I'm hoping to lift some from their web site, we'll see............

(Later. I found the museum site but couldn't find any museum photos.)

I took the pretty route again.

There was a much better view further on, but nowhere to stop to take a picture.

Those rocks in the middle really are green.

There's a house just behind the tree on the left. What a view to wake up to each morning.

I'm now parked in the National Forest and low on petrol. At the last - expensive - gas station I thought I had more in the tank than it seems I have. We'll see................

I was quite high up so I was able to coast most of the way down into Prineville next day where after buying petrol I checked out their excellent small museum. They had several firsts for me, one of which was a collection of over 50 mouse traps. An amazing variety. The one I loved had a mouse wheel at the back. When captured the mouse enters the wheel, turns it, and this drives the whole contraption out into the middle of the room so you can see you have caught a mouse!

I was heading to Bend to meet up with Bill Arras and Janet Folkes and took the pretty route.

The whitish bumps in the distance are mountains.

I arrived late, but we went for lunch. Nice view from the restaurant.

Janet paid. Thanks Janet. Neither she nor Bill are exactly balloon novices. Janet, who is English, holds a bunch of World records in Cloudhoppers and Bill has been World Champion. They won the Americas Challenge gas balloon race last year, flying 1500 miles from Albuquerque to Canada. Now they are building a gas airship and have a 6 metre long model floating in the living room. Bill is into other forms of flying too. That's him on the right. I guess he flew for around 30 minutes, maybe longer.

Everyone stayed around to chat until it got late. Those little bumps on the horizon are mountains.

It's handy having your home on your back. I stayed were I was. Bill and Janet had a 40 minute drive home.

Best regards

David Barker
On the road in the USA

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