We are ahead of schedule so we have become very flexible with our plans.
Given the heat, we made this a short day to get one large hill behind us and save the second for the next day. This seeminly small hill with a final elevation of just 2785′ took us a full 1′ 30″ to climb. There was followed by a very steep decent that eventually crossed a junction of historic footpaths still called 3 Forks. These trails connect the Columbia and Snake Rivers and were some of the most heavily traveled footpaths in the West, with their divots in the ground still clearly visible. The Lewis & Clark Expedition used them to shave a number of miles off of their route when heading home in 1806.
We only traveled through 2 towns today. Pomeroy has the undeniable distinction of having the largest FFA chapter in Washington state. Its rich agricultural land and particularly the barley fields brought Jacob Weinhard, nephew to the brewer Henry, to neighboring Dayton to establish his own brewery. His legacy is still apparent in many of the buildings in this hip little town.
This region in the Lower Snake Valley is now covered with wheat fields, cows looking for shade, and lots of windmills. This region is perfect for windmills, a necessary addition to the grid since electric utilities in Washington with 25,000 or more customers being required to generate 15% of their power supply from renewable resources by 2020 . In addition to these regions having very high winds, these windmills leave 99% of the area open for agriculture and grazing, provides a number of jobs, and itis the largest property tax payer in the county.
We stopped along the road for the day near Palouse Falls State Park, the location where Tyler Brant kayaked over a 189′ waterfall in 2010, the largest run to date. The video of this run is added to the top of this post.