Palouse

Steptoe Butte, the power mountain

 

Steptoe Butte is the tallest natural feature in the Palouse region of southeast Washington. Today it is a state park that provides a spectacular view of the wheat and other fields of this mostly agricultural area north of Pullman. According to some sources, this more than 3,,612-foot-tall peak, was sacred to indigenous groups, going by the name Eomoshtoss. Native residents reportedly visited the location to engage in vision quests. It is well worth a visit. And all that crop you see? That is wheat-miles and miles of wheat, just before harvest. (Click on the photo to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

Grain Silos in the Palouse

 

Washington’s wheat, barley, and lentil country is dotted with silos that hold the crops til they find their buyers on the national and international markets. Some of that grain eventually arrives where I live, in Seattle, and is moved onto ships that sail off to faraway ports, in China, Japan, and wherever the market dictates. In many ways these silos serve as landmarks to the global trade upon which nearly all of these farmers and this state are dependent. (Click on the photography to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)

The rolling hills of the Palouse

 

Southeast Washington extending into northwest Idaho is home to the region known as the Palouse. Rolling hills that extend for miles in all directions host some of the nation’s most productive farmland. Farmers grow wheat and lentils, and the region hosts the annual and world-famous National Lentil Fest. (Click on the photo to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)