Every state has its stereotypes and its secrets. When people think of California they usually think of tan surfers in LA or tech startups in the Bay, but not of the desert in the south, the lush redwoods of the north, or the central mountain ranges. Similarly, when I passed over the Bridge of the Gods (by the way, my favorite bridge name of all time) from Oregon to Washington, I had no idea what was in store for me. My preconception of Washington was of a chilly and overcast landscape, but as we traveled East towards Palouse Falls, it proved to be quite different.
I cruised across open landscapes of wheat fields and impossibly large grain silos while my windshield massacred countless bugs. The air was hot and the earth was dry. I began to wonder if this waterfall that we'd been driving 3 hours East to see even exsited. To our delight, the Palouse Falls did in fact exsist and it was a glorious reprieve from the heat.
After a harrowing hike down into the valley basin carved by post-ice age floods, you're met by a refreshingly cool water hole and a waterfall whose beauty is matched by the ferocity of its downpour. I did my best to swim under it, but the blinding mist and pummeling stream make it nearly impossible.
Driving back west across the dry lands, I was amazing by the beauty of the landscapes and sheer number of incredible natural structures, all of which I'd never heard of or seen online.