As we continue eastward, we are very much in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains. The short grass “Palouse” area was mentioned in the journals of Lewis and Clark for the shortage of wood for their campfires at night. The lush trees we found today were planted and irrigated in Lyons Ferry State Park and in Palouse Falls State Park. Water continued to contribute to our highlights of the day as we traveled to Palouse Falls, where the tumble of water into the massive plunge pool carve about 10,000 years ago by the Bretz Floods continues to impress us. A bookend to the falls, the calm waters of the Palouse River. There we navigated upstream winding our way through cattails, bulrushes and a bit of tree debris left by a busy beaver. In all it was a lovely, crisp fall day to be exploring in the wake of Lewis and Clark.
National Geographic Quest
Today we had the opportunity to experience the brisk wind on our faces and pelting of cool, occasional raindrops as we visited Cape Disappointment in Washington and the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon. This was nowhere near the level of discomfort the Corps of Discovery endurred when they explored these same grounds in the fall of 1805. As the Corps came west, they were excited to get to the Pacific Ocean, but that excitement was literally and figuratively dampened with the white-capped waters of the Columbia and miserable weather that initially pinned them and their canoes to the Washington shoreline at a campsite to be later named Dismal Nitch. A most notable feature was the sound created by 30-knot winds as they swept through the needled branches of Sitka spruce and the leafy limbs of Red Alder. We ended our day taking refuge on National Geographic Quest , warm, dried off and with a glass of wine to enhance our internal warmth. Our journey has been diverse and that has been reflected in the weather as well as the landscape and the flora and fauna that call the Pacific Northwest home.