10 day road trip, almost 2000 miles (Reunion at the beginning, Wedding at the end... well not quite.)
Day One after flying to Spokane, getting thru a most difficult car rental situation because I'm an idiot and had rented a car from Phx to Portland rather than Spokane to Portland , ended with dinner and visiting with cousins Maxine and Joan in Spokane. Day Two we drove part of the Palouse Hills Scenic Byway:
Thousands of acres of wheat blanket the rolling hills. A viable agricultural region, the area holds the largest concentration of wheat per acre in the world.
Barley, onions and 30 percent of the world’s lentils are grown here.
The peculiar and picturesque silt dunes which characterize the Palouse Prairie were formed during the ice ages. Blown in from the glacial outwash plains to the west and south, the Palouse hills consist of more or less random humps and hollows. The steepest slopes, which may reach 50% slope, face the northeast. The highly productive loess ranges from 2 to 51 inches deep. Large areas of level land are rare.http://www.palousescen...
Next we hooked up with some more cousins at the Keuterville Pub & Grub followed by a third cousins Reunion in Greencreek. Day Three we enjoyed a second cousins visit at the Kaufman farms in Lewiston ID before continuing our course of following the Ice Age Floods route.
And the reason for the epilogue is what brings us to this hike as we followed more of the ice age flood route to Lewiston from Cottonwood and past Lewiston along the Snake River to one of the cooler sites leftover from the floods. I think the photoset will best tell the story. We did stop at Lyons Ferry to get up closer with the Palouse River and checked out the Joso Railroad Bridge which was incredible as well.
The automobile line to get into the Park itself was quite long but then again, it was Memorial Day Sunday. The rangers walked back to the vehicles and collected the $10 and also gave you the option to park in an upper area rather than going down to the parking lot. We opted to do that. Once down to the park and after crossing the cattleguard and bridge to the main park area, we hung a left and headed to the bluff area where I could see a wide trail. We walked between the tall grass before finally reaching the side of the deep canyon where we hung a left again.
I kept hoping if we walked just far enough and look back we could see the top of the falls from this angle. However, we couldn't and I don't know if you could if you walked all the way down to the lower Falls and looked down the narrow canyon. So we u-turned and headed back toward the Park area alongside the canyon. And soon, as you round a corner, there IT is
. And they were flowing pretty hard. Not the prettiest because there was a slight tint to the water. Anyway, you have quite the viewpoint here and just a little further where you're looking straight down and then over to what they call castle rock. As we moved along the top, the rainbow by the waterfall actually switched sides. There is an unofficial trail way down there too. In fact there are two unofficial trails, one takes you all the way down to the river while the other takes you to the castle rock and the top of the falls.
We made our way over to the Park and took pictures along the way. The Park is a nice grassy area with trees which is pretty nice for being in the middle of the Washington desert in the middle of nowhere. We continued up and around a corner to where there were some very nice interpretive signs and provides some great visuals of what the area would have looked like during the flooding. We hung out here a bit longer before making our way up the hill and to the make shift parking area. I tell ya, it would be a blast to do 3 of the unofficial trails but we got there a little late and my cousin isn't into that kind of hiking.
Here is the video of our time at Lyons Ferry Park near where the Palouse River dumps into the Snake and then our hike around Palouse Falls:
If you want to see it raging check out a little bit of this video https://youtu.be/v1qlE...Wildflowers
there was lots of that low-lying purple vetch of some sort.