Palouse Photography Road Trip Day 3

Day 3, shooting images of the Palouse, started early with a trip to the top of Steptoe Butte for sunrise. Dave Horton and I had a route planned out with a stop later at Palouse River Falls for the sunset and the full moon rising.

 Sunrise from Steptoe Butte,

The light was very good this morning, but the wind was howling and making it hard to get a steady shot. Using up to a 420mm lens makes it hard to have a clean crisp image. However, we did manage to capture a few good ones.

Steptoe View during sunrise in late May

This image looks like earths zipper where the property lines meet. This one has different light on this one than the sunset shot in the last blog post.

Sunrise at Steptoe Butte in the Palouse.

You may not see the road, but if you follow the power poles you can see where the roads lead.

Sunrise from Steptoe Butte, rolling wheat fields and red barns

You can see the little valley, with the red barns,  zoomed out from this image.

Sunrise view from Steptoe Butte

 Palouse and Pullman Washington

Next we headed back to the hotel for some breakfast, the first time we took advantage of the breakfast room at the Best Western. Then after breakfast, a quick shower and checking out we were off to explore on the way to Pullman. Stopping in the town of Palouse we explored the outskirts and found some color along the rail road tracks.

Small town America, where they put up flags to celebrate Memorial day. Time seems to stand still in some of these places, the time hasn’t changed since I shot this clock on main street in Palouse.

The town of Palouse, Washington

One of the businesses along the main street in Palouse

Bagott Motors in Palouse, Washington

On the way from Palouse to Pullman we took a detour along the way. We came upon a crop duster spraying the wheat field. Brings to mind an old saying about the bush pilots in Alaska; “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots”. This type of flying really take some talent and knowledge of your whereabouts.

Crop duster going in over the power lines

The rolling hills make it appears as if the pilot is headed into the ground.

The rolling hill make it look like he is flying into the ground.

While having breakfast at the hotel I mentioned that we were headed to Pullman to look for some cougars. One of the ladies from our photo club looked at me with a surprised look on her face. I explained Pullman is the home of Wazzu, you know Washington State University. She still had a puzzled look on her face, so much for following the PAC-12. When I explained the cougar is the mascot for WSU she looked relived and said “I thought I was going to have to tell your wife”. We all got a chuckle out of that, so Rochelle, here is a picture of the cougar we found.

Washington State Cougars

The view north from a plaza near the library on the WSU campus. Kamiak Butte is visible in the distance.

View from an upper plaza at WSU in Pullman, Washington

Along the road to Palouse Falls

One of several Highland calves at a small ranch west of Colfax, Washington.

Highland cattle in the Palouse

Quite a few farmers have old equipment or trucks parked along their property. Makes for some neat images. I have heard that some photographers actually had helped the farmers paint some barns red. This is a nice area with lots of friendly folks, that cater to photographers, which in turn bring a lot of tourism dollars to the area.

Old trucks along the highway

Another back road to explore, this one with flowers and a view toward Steptoe Butte.

View toward Steptoe Butte

On the way to Palouse Falls we came across another crop duster.

I wondered if the curve sign applies if you are over the road and not on it, or if it just means look up!

Does the curve sign apply when you are not on the road?

I spent several hours pouring over Google Maps to find high spots and abandoned buildings. Saving the locations I found into a KML file and then I downloaded them onto a topographical map in my phone. This was one of the roads that I said “Take a left on the next road Dave” We drove to the crest of the road and looked back toward the wind turbines along the Snake River.

Take a left on that road Dave, lets see what the view is.

Next stop was Palouse Falls. This is a difficult place to capture an image at. We were standing on the edge that jutted out on a cliff that was wide enough for just the two of us. There was a very wide range of stops between the sky and the canyon The image below is from 15 different images blended into 5 images and then combined into a single panoramic image.

Moonrise at Palouse Falls, as the sun sets

After dark, we drove to Walla Walla, Washington to our hotel. The next morning we got up and headed home. Three days of photography, now we had to head back to our day jobs the next day. On the way we stopped off at the Whitman Mission National Historic Site.

Whitman Mission National Historic Site

A quick stop to watch a small (cattle) round-up and back to Eugene.

Cattle Round up






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