The Columbia River Valley shares the same latitude as the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions of France, so great wines are being made here. We heard that Walla Walla has tons of wine tasting storefronts and that's something else to check out if you are in this area. You can visit more than 160 wineries within a one hour's drive from here! Holey Moley! We'd never make it back home! (Hmmmmm....maybe an overnight stay in a hotel is called for here!)
There are also ten golf courses in the Tri-Cities area, but we haven't checked out prices---too hot!
After some deliberation and being a little bored after laying low for a couple of days, we decided to take a road trip today....Highway 395 north to highway 260 east to highway 261, off to Palouse State Park where we heard there were some unusual geological formations of basalt and a pretty big falls, Palouse Falls which are 185 feet tall....The drive was there was through high desert country--barren and sparsely populated. The drive into the state park was more of the same. At the end of the destination, you come into a beautiful little park with hiking trails from the top of the trail down to the canyon valley and the bottom of the falls. And there are some spectacular formations of basalt rock which have been deeply carved out by previous ice age river floods. We had a nice picnic lunch there, then explored the canyon walls at the top. This was a beautiful little gem of a park in the middle of high desert country! Being high desert country, it's snake country as well, but we didn't see any! (Thank goodness! exclaims E. What is it with this woman wanting to see rattlesnakes!????) The park's unique basalt faults and basins and river were formed by ice age floods that roared through the canyons eons ago......They water the park picnic areas so it was like a little oasis in the middle of the desert......
We did a loop drive so on the way back, we headed back from Palouse Falls State Park through Walla Walla by way of highway 12, then highway 730 back home. We heard a LOT about all the wineries in Walla Walla Valley, but the grapevines were harder to spot than the wineries! We didn't stop in Walla Walla although there are plenty of tasting cellars to be found there....Instead, we just continued to meander through small towns and little burgs and wheat fields after wheat fields after wheat fields. I swear, it was like the Sahara Desert---amber waves of grain a plenty! Washington must be a huge wheat producer from the miles and miles of wheat fields we saw on the way back...
Sculptural silhouette representations of Lewis and Clark's encampment at Patit Creek in 1806.....with a plaque that tells who the actual 33 people were and what they were doing the night of the encampment, according to Lewis and Clark's notes, right down to details like "resting his sore back".
Very interesting! Dayton also had some interesting small town features...how about this lawn bike? I saw this right next to a tiny little general store where I bought some sweet Walla Walla onions. Heckuva way to get some exercise!
Had to take a photo of the railroad car slots while Eldy got gas for the car........
We went from high desert barren country, to basalt rocks, canyons and waterfalls to the Columbia River all in one day! Whew! Never a dull moment on a road trip with Eldo! Tomorrow the Gorge!
|Sailing on the river