A few friends and I took off the other day into the desert of eastern Oregon. We headed to Painted Hills, which is part of the John Day Fossil Beds (which are full of fossil remains of early horses, camels and rhinoceroses). A few miles northwest of Mitchell, Oregon, Painted Hills is named after the colorful layers of its hills that correspond to various geological eras, formed when the area was an ancient river floodplain. The black soil is lignite that was a vegetative matter that grew along the floodplain. The grey coloring is mudstone, siltstone and shale. The red is laterite soil that formed by floodplain deposits when the area was warm and humid. It was desolate and spectacular: the photos definitely don't do it justice. Shot with an Olympus XA.
The town of Mitchell, Oregon
Shot with an Olympus XA and Provia 100 cross-processed