The Palouse

Instagram Palouse Falls
The Palouse Falls

One of the things that we are becoming increasingly aware of as we’re just getting up an running is that we are learning different things at a rapid pace.

Because we’re sort of limited by our location, time and Chad being in the Navy – we’re “confined” by the Pacific Northwest and how big of a loop we can drive in a matter of a few days in a weekend. This weekend we planned on leaving Saturday, early afternoon and heading east over the Cascades toward Idaho.

Well… over the course of the last few weeks, we’ve learned you have to be flexible, especially when something goes wrong, and take it as a sign that there might be something better in store. On Friday, we planned on heading to the Brad Paisley concert in south Seattle. We pounded through rush hour traffic and made our way to the depths of the Seattle “boonies” if you will. When we parked we walked about 10 minutes from the parking lot to the entrance of the amphitheater and not so subtly joked “I bet it takes us longer to get from our car to the concert than we spend inside” haha

Have you ever seen the T-Mobile commercial where the main guy gets excited about his music festival and because of his “poor service” gets left behind by his seemingly egotistical friends while awkwardly standing in line while some girl claims “mine works!” just to push the point across just a little bit more? We lived it and luckily we didn’t have any friends to worry about. So as the 10 minute joke came to life, we walked slowly back to the car watching a beautiful hot air balloon gracefully glide through the air above us. That’s right – add it to the bucket list.

As we drove the hour drive back to our apartment, frantically trying to figure out how to salvage the evening, we were having very little luck developing and executing any sort of plan that didn’t involve binge drinking or melting in our top-floor, air-conditionless carpeted apartment. At about 9:30PM we decided to pack our bags in a matter of minutes and bolt east. About 90 minutes later, we landed at a Motel 6 in the center of the state in an minimalist, air-conditioned room. Being just a little bit closer to our destination took a weight off.

On Saturday, we woke up and sluggishly made our way to breakfast at a quaint little Perkin’s in Ellensburg. Pretty routine and easy. Next on the list was driving north about 80 miles to Wenatchee, the “Apple Capital of the World” to see an old friend. Wenatchee is semi-flourishing city in eastern Washington that sits on a small spit of the Columbia River. We spent about 2 hours in Wenatchee catching up with our friend and being underwhelmed by another city in the state. Next up – off to JT’s heartland and college town of Pullman, Washington. Located on the very eastern edge of the state of Washington, Pullman is home to Washington State University, home of the Cougars where JT did graduate in 2015.

Once again, underwhelming because not only was it summer but it was a holiday weekend which means we saw a total of about 7 students and 3 Pullman residents. But it did give JT the opportunity to show Chad around with little to no distractions and have dinner and beers at a local bar before turning in to Moscow, Idaho (home of the University of Idaho just 8 miles east of Pullman) for the evening. Consider it a travel day… but make no mistake we will be back to Pullman to experience everything this campus and student body has to offer. Go Cougs!

The all-around purpose of the this trip, however, was to make our way to one of the most beautiful hidden gems in the state. The Palouse Falls which is conveniently located 15 miles North of Starbuck, Washington. We were disappointed to her that no, there is no Starbucks located in the poorly named city in the state of which the company was founded (yes, we’re aware that the city was probably named after a fictional character in the acclaimed novel, Moby Dick… but still – come on, not even a drive-up stand?)

But we digress. Probably the biggest bucket list item on Chad’s list of places to visit is the Palouse Falls. As you can see in the photos, the nearly 200 foot tall waterfall splashes into a small pool about 2 miles up a spit off of the snake river. The state of Washington is so much more than the majestic Mount Rainier and the glimmering skyline of Seattle.

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Nearly 220 ft atop the Palouse Falls

Farther east, there sits booming agriculture and winding rivers. All one has to do is explore a bit to find these places. The Palouse Falls are a prime example of the less traveled beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

So as we took photos from far away, it was easy to see the majesty of this natural structure, but one of the things that we are learning is that there is always a way to get closer. So we walked up a cliff, down a steep ravine and on the side of the river that lead up to the waterfall. About an hour later, we found ourselves at the very top of the falls, able to look not only down but out to the canyon created by the river. Again, though a smaller adventure, it fed our wanderlust and hit us just a little more that these sorts of trips and views are what make us happy.

 

Snake River
The Snake River from atop the Palouse Falls

 

We highly encourage anyone who find themselves struggling to find things to do, to hop in the car and make their way to the Palouse Falls and witness the beauty that Eastern Washington has to offer. It’ll be worth it we promise. Next stop – Walla Walla, Washington for some wine tasting and then headed home to enjoy independence day with friends and JT’s parents on Lake Washington!

 

Be Bold. Be Intrepid!

 

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