Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Mitchell in Wheeler County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Pieces of the Puzzle

 
 
Pieces of the Puzzle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 9, 2010
1. Pieces of the Puzzle Marker
Inscription. The ground before you is like a puzzle. A long streak of color breaks off, then seems to continue in the next hill, but at a different level. To connect the pieces, look for similar color, thickness, and sequence in a series of layers.

Ash and pumice from the ancestral Cascades and local volcanoes buried this area layer by layer. The colorful layers before you were deposited 33 million years ago. Soil formation processes affected each layer differently. Clays were formed and deeply buried, turning to stone. Underground forces lifted and faulted the strata, interrupting the symmetry.

The red in the Painted Hills is from rusty iron minerals, oxidized by long exposure. The golden layers reveal a mix of oxidized magnesium and iron, metamorphic claystone minerals. Black hash marks are rich with manganese. Each of the colors represents a different geologic process.

This valley is a gently contoured theater of geologic change, with erosion from rain the latest sculptor.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 44° 38.991′ N, 120° 16′ W. Marker is near Mitchell, Oregon, in Wheeler County. Marker can be reached from Bear Creek Road 1.2 miles west of Bridge Creek - Burnt Ranch Road
Painted Hills image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 9, 2010
2. Painted Hills
View from marker
. Click for map. Marker is located in the Painted Hills Unit of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument at the end of the road to the Painted Hills Overlook parking lot and trailhead; the above directions are to the intersection of Bear Creek Road and the Painted Hills Overlook road. Marker is in this post office area: Mitchell OR 97750, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Deciphering the Forest (here, next to this marker); Painted Hills Overlook (here, next to this marker); A Matter of Survival (here, next to this marker); Fossils on the Frontier (approx. 0.8 miles away); Look Below the Surface (approx. 0.8 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Painted Hills. From the Mitchell, Oregon website. (Submitted on February 12, 2014.) 
 
Categories. Natural Features
 
View from Painted Hills Overlook Trail image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 9, 2010
3. View from Painted Hills Overlook Trail
The black hash marks are rich in manganese
View from Painted Hills Overlook Trail image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 9, 2010
4. View from Painted Hills Overlook Trail
The red layer is from iron minerals oxidized by long exposure
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 318 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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