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Near Death Experience At Palouse Falls, Wa


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#1 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 09:59 PM

The trip back from Washington State University in Pullman was a little bitter sweet. Of course we followed the rural two lane roads. The beauty of the landscape was amazing in its green wrap, and Palouse Falls was in full flow. But the small communities along the way were struggling.

We hoped and expected to find a mom and pop motel where we might stay, but each was closed. Given anything approaching equal accommodations I always favor the mom and pop places, both for charm and to support family run businesses. But they have to be open to qualify.

We discovered some lovely places to camp or park an RV. One I recall was run by Whitman County on the Snake River, with a beautiful lawn and shade trees along the river bank. It was clean as a whistle, very well maintained, and I would recommend everything I saw. It was at Wawawai (46.6358, -117.3758) where a pioneer community that once existed was drowned under the waters of Lower Granite Dam. Fifteen dollars a night would have given you pick of the campsites, complete with lovely shade trees, table, Bar-B, water, toilets, and fishing. It was the kind of place you want to know about.

It was already late afternoon by the time we reached Lyons Ferry with its huge Joso Railroad Bridge (photo below)(46.5963, -118.2236). I wanted to catch Palouse Falls before we lost the sunlight, so we drove on and soon turned off the two lane onto the dirt road leading to the falls. There must have been a dozen cars at the parking site, the most I have ever seen there.




The falls (46.6634, -118.2234), while huge, are a tickle compared to the wall of water hundreds of feet deep that rushed over the entire background landscape during the Missoula Floods. The landscapes in large parts of eastern Washington are simply incomprehensible without some understanding of those almost unimaginable events. It took geologists many years to accept and understand the events, and one of the most famous hold outs was transformed into a believer right here when he observed the falls and the totally out of scale humongous canyon downstream, which carried some of the outflow to the Snake.





If course the young people who played with death at the unguarded brink of the falls probably had no idea of its history, nor apparently of the fact that they were mortal. Take a look at a true Near Death Experience HERE.




Dave

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#2 sit properly

sit properly

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 10:51 PM

The falls look great! I'll have to find my way out there sometime.

As for mom and pop motels, I realize it wasn't so close, but in Wilber, The Willows Motel is great! I stayed there last summer. In my blog, I write, "it's a good place run by some nice folks."

And for the floods, I've been reading Glacial Lake Missoula and it's Humongous Floods before bed every night. It's very well written, but dry (though not nearly as dry as I thought it would be). Thanks for the tip!

Is the Joso RR bridge still in use?

-Eric

#3 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:53 AM

QUOTE (sit properly @ May 11 2009, 07:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The falls look great! I'll have to find my way out there sometime.

As for mom and pop motels, I realize it wasn't so close, but in Wilber, The Willows Motel is great! I stayed there last summer. In my blog, I write, "it's a good place run by some nice folks."

And for the floods, I've been reading Glacial Lake Missoula and it's Humongous Floods before bed every night. It's very well written, but dry (though not nearly as dry as I thought it would be). Thanks for the tip!

Is the Joso RR bridge still in use?

-Eric


Eric,

Is that reference to "dry" and "not nearly as dry" a pun? laugh.gif tongue.gif You get it...floods....dry....I got a million of em!

Dave

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#4 sit properly

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 12:47 AM

Oh har har har!

I was hoping you'd find it punny. I finished the book last night. I skipped some parts, I admit, but would completely recommend it to anyone interested in that area. That's some weird geological history right there.

#5 roadmaven

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:22 PM

Awesome pictures, Dave! That trestle is very much like the Tulip Trestle down in southern Indiana:


#6 hutchman

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 11:26 AM

Dave, great pics of the falls. You captured that magic moment when the light was golden.




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