Saturday, July 21, 2007

palouse falls

Palouse FallsMost of the localish state parks and hiking areas are more in the north and central parts of the state (and then of course there's the entire western side), which means a lot of driving. This morning I went for a drive to see just how long it takes to go x number of miles on these country roads—I knew it would take less time than Google Maps said it would, but I wanted to check it out for myself. True enough, when I went off to the Palouse Falls overlook (84 miles away), it took just over an 75 minutes and not the 120 minutes that Google Maps said.

Palouse RiverPalouse Falls is a state park but it's really just a grassy area for picnics and not-very-rough camping. The overlook is fenced off, but I read of some unofficial trails that you can scramble down to get to the bottom of the falls. Although I wanted to go to the bottom, I did not want to scramble down rocks filled with rattlesnakes. Not only are there rattlesnakes, but then there's the climbing back up. I'm not an idiot; I took my photos from the fence around the parking lot.

The Palouse River flows over this 200-foot waterfall and through the Palouse River Canyon on its way to the Snake River (just a few miles south). To get there, you have drive a few miles through a wilderness range. I didn't see any mammals in the range, but I did see two wild turkeys.

Once you arrive at the little park, you see signs about rattlesnakes. Given my incredible fear of snakes [childhood incidents], I always wondered what I'd do when actually faced with one [calmly step aside? run screaming like a little girl?]. Didn't know today would be the day I would find out! The answer is: I swear and quickly step away. Hey! No screaming like a little girl!

So that was kind of cool.