Departing from Bend at 8am. Traveling North on Hwy 97 to Willowdale. You will start riding on Hwy 293 which is a low traffic secondary road to the world famous city of Antelope. This is the Jct of Hwy 218 to Fossil that takes you through the Clarno Fossil Bed Unit. For the next 3 days you will experience all three John Day Fossil Beds National Monuments. This all-inclusive package is just what you have been looking for, transportation, food service, lodging, and support. Good Times at Treo.
- 3 days 2 nights
- A new route each day – 60+/- miles per day
In the mid-19th century, Antelope was along the wagon road connecting The Dalles on the Columbia River with gold mines near Canyon City. After about 1870, the wagon road became known as The Dalles Military Road. The road crossed the Deschutes River on Sherar's BridgeHwy 218 to Fossil
History of Antelope
In the 1980s the town grew again when followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who had started the city of Rajneeshpuram on the nearby "Big Muddy Ranch", began to move in. Rajneeshpuram was an intentional community (or commune) of Rajneeshees. On September 18, 1984, Antelope's charter was amended by a vote of 57 to 22 to change the name of the city to Rajneesh. In November, Rajneesh, who had originally pleaded innocent to charges of immigration fraud, changed his plea to guilty and was allowed to leave the United States under the terms of a plea bargain.
The city was located on the site of a 64,229-acre Central Oregon property known as the Big Muddy Ranch, which was purchased in 1981 for $5.75 million. Within three years, the neo-sannyasins (Rajneesh's followers, also termed Rajneeshees in contemporaneous press reports) developed a community, turning the ranch from an empty rural property into a city of up to 7,000 people, complete with typical urban infrastructure such as a fire department, police, restaurants, malls, townhouses, a 4,200-foot airstrip, a public transport system using buses, a sewage reclamation plant and a reservoir. The Rajneeshpuram post office had the ZIP code 97741
Within a year of arriving, the commune leaders had become embroiled in a series of legal battles with their neighbours, the principal conflict relating to land use. Initially, they had stated that they were planning to create a small agricultural community, their land being zoned for agricultural use. But it soon became apparent that they wanted to establish the kind of infrastructure and services normally associated with a town. The land-use conflict escalated to bitter hostility between the commune and local residents, and the commune was subject to sustained and coordinated pressures from various coalitions of Oregon residents over the following years.
On November 6, 1985, the remaining residents, both original and Rajneeshee, voted 34 to 0 to restore the original name, which was never changed by the Postal Service but had been changed and was subsequently restored by the United States Board on Geographic Names. The ranch, 18 miles from Antelope, is now owned by Young Life and has been converted into a camp known as "Washington Family Ranch”.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a U.S. National Monument in Wheeler and Grant counties in east-central Oregon. Located within the John Day River basin and managed by the National Park Service, the park is known for its well-preserved layers of fossil plants and mammals that lived in the region between the late Eocene, about 45 million years ago, and the late Miocene, about 5 million years ago. The monument consists of three geographically separate units: Sheep Rock, Painted Hills, and Clarno.
History of Clarno Fossil Bed Unit
The units cover a total of 13,944 acres of semi-desert scrublands’, riparian zones, and colorful badlands. About 184,000 people frequented the park in 2014 to engage in outdoor recreation or to visit the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center or the James Cant Ranch Historic District.
Before the arrival of Euro-Americans in the 19th century, the John Day basin was frequented by Sahaptin people who hunted, fished, and gathered roots and berries in the region. After road-building made the valley more accessible, settlers established farms, ranches, and a few small towns along the river and its tributaries. Paleontologists have been unearthing and studying the fossils in the region since 1864, when Thomas Condon, a missionary and amateur geologist, recognized their importance and made them known globally. Parts of the basin became a National Monument in 1975.