Sunday, June 6, 2010

Palouse Falls of Washington

My brother John took us for a drive over the back roads and highways of Southeastern Washington Palouse Territory yesterday afternoon. That was quite the scenic drive, particularly at this time of the year when the rolling hills are green with ripening wheat fields. According to John and Linda those same hills at the end of summer will be yellow with wheat about to be harvested and the fallow fields will be quite brown and dry from lack of moisture. As we drove out of town the Blue Mountains could be seen off in the distance.
I just could not capture on camera the full beauty of the varied green colors of the hills contrasted with the blue and purple hues of the mountains and sky.  And. as we climbed out of the Walla Walla Valley into the the Palouse River area we started seeing a dramatic change in the topography of the land. The lush green rolling hills turned into lava plateaus with rocky outcroppings. We were soon viewing grand sweeping vistas of dry gray hills.
 Basalt faults now cut through the shinning waters of the Snake River. We stopped to hike around the falls at the confluence of the Snake, Palouse and Columbia Rivers. That location was at Lyon Ferry Park. We were told that any other time of the year the Palouse Falls would be a narrow trickle of water. When we viewed them yesterday they were an awesome tall rushing flow of water, complete with a rainbow to add to their beauty.
It was fun hiking around the falls and getting a perspective of their height  It was also enjoyable looking at the wildflowers and sage brush along the trails.
We saw a fair amount of wild life in the course of that day. Above the rivers we could see hawks, eagle and swallows. And while cruising around in the car, off in the distant hills we spotted deer,coyotes and wild turkey. We stopped after supper at Bennington Lake ( a lake on the eastern edge of Walla Walla created for flood damage reduction) and espied two noisy killdeers. By the way, we had a delicious Cajun supper at the Whoopemup Cafe in Waitsburg. We ate outside in a beautiful garden setting. My brother John and wife Linda are quite the tour guides! We have gained a lot by now of our knowledge regarding Washington state.

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