I’m home, my darlings. I’m so tired I’m about to faceplant into the keyboard, but I shall not sleep until I have posted some pictures for ye!

We didn’t do all we meant to, alas, because we were too late getting out of the enormous and comfy hotel room (seriously, the Grand Coulee Center Lodge has some pretty magnificent rooms for a small town, plus the kindest staff), and we were too tired from Day 1 to climb to the top of Umatilla Rock. So we went off in search of varves, and found a maclargehuge dry waterfall instead.

Yeah, dat’s huge. If I have our bearings right, I do believe this is Lower Lewis Creek where it plunges into Grand Coulee. It’s incredibly hard to get to, so please don’t try unless you have extremely sure footing and really great medical insurance.

After that scramble, we headed down to Summer Falls State Park. We got delayed by a sweet gentleman who saw us walking down the road, taking pictures of where the thick, rich soils of the Palouse are rather abruptly stripped away by the Missoula Floods, leaving only scabland behind. He wanted to make sure we knew what we were seeing, which led to awesome good conversation about life, geology, and everything. Then we went on down to the falls, which are set deep in a canyon. The park has a beautiful grassy area with big shady trees, and the water thunders over the basalt, and wee blue mountain butterflies flutter absolutely everywhere, and it’s a perfect oasis. It also gives you some idea of what Dry Falls would look like if Dry Falls Dam went “Byeee!” and gave out.

You can click on the pic for larger versions if you wish to feast your eyes on all that lovely falling water, and you know you do.

We then went over to Dry Falls, and had huckleberry icecream, and nearly got brained by a speeding swallow (or swift – I dunno, they were moving too fast for me to figure out what exactly they were!). Then we slipped down to Deep Lake, had a nice hike along the canyon bottom, and saw about twelve trillion quail, baby geese, and even a solitary wild turkey. We then headed home, stopping at Rattlesnake Point for a break. From there, you can see all the way to the Cascades. If you look very closely, you’ll see a ghostly Mount Rainier in the dusk.

It’s in the center, there, under the cloud. It was hard for even human eyes to see, and my camera was all, “You want me to do what, now?” But you can find it if you squint. Again, you can click for a larger version.

I am going to go pass out now. Next week, thee shall have some lovely pyrite with actual gold in, and probably some Mount St. Helens, if the weather cooperates. Then, as long as Earth’s geology decides to behave itself reasonably well, thee shall have LIPs.