I drove east from Clarkston and the Snake River today, with a stop at Palouse Falls, WA. This part of Washington is nothing but rolling hills of wheat and grasslands. The road followed the Snake River for just a few miles, but it was impressive anyway.
The endless hills and "fields of grain" reminded me of America the Beautiful, but it looks also slightly like a kind of desert.
After about 70 miles, the back road I was driving on dipped down into a valley where the Snake River came into sight again. There was a railroad track to the left and this very impressive trestle across the river for another track. Believe it or not, out in the middle of nowhere, there was a KOA campground on the river near the marina.
This photo does not do it justice, but the height of the railroad trestle was really impressive.
Doesn't this look like an endless desert?
Finally arrived at one of the smallest state parks I have ever been to. But at the end of a very dusty dirt road, there was a parking lot with a short walk to these falls. The very strange geology is the result of cracks in volcanic lava flows and the many floods produced by the emptying of Lake Missoula.
Lake Missoula was a huge lake north of here that was produced by melting glacial ice during the ice ages. The lake was blocked by huge ice blocks that broke loose resulting in floods hundreds of feet deep traveling at up to 60 MPH. This widened the cracks and created some very strange looking country. Very nice falls, in any case.
This shows the downstream river where the falls emptied.
And the railroad trestle again.
I enjoy old bridges like this one, but was glad there was no traffic, as it was very narrow for my wide vehicle.
My GPS took me along a very deserted country road on the way to my next campground. You can see the lack of traffic on this route--just how I like it!!
Now this is where it got weird. I ran across several of these grain elevators. If you look closely, you will see that it looks as if the road originally went right through the elevator and under the grain chute. They apparently built the newer road around it.
Ditto for this one.
I just love to take photos of these empty long roads that go into the distance without stopping.
All in all, this was a great side trip and MUCH better than sticking to the main highway or a freeway.