Put Palouse Falls on your Bucket List

Paloose Falls
Marvin at Palouse Falls

6/22/2012

“I would like to see Palouse Falls someday,” said Marvin, “It’s on my bucket list.”

We were planning field trips for the summer. It’s unusual for Marvin to make a request so I was taking his suggestion seriously. Usually he is content with letting me decide where we go.

“Tell me why you want to go there.”

“It’s the official State Waterfall for Washington… The falls are about 200 feet high… that’s seventeen feet higher than Niagara Falls… It’s geologically significant… the result of Missoula Floods… the Palouse river used to be tributary to the Columbia but now it’s tributary to the Snake River…  I’d like to take a few pictures.”

“You have done the research. Pack your camera gear and let’s go… are you going to bring your kayak? I’ll take your picture if you run the falls.”

“Nope… Tyler Bradt has already made that plunge and set the record… being second spoils the appeal for me… but it would be quite a ride.”

“The falls change height depending on the water flow… as much as 12 feet… so maybe you could pick a day when there is more water and reset the world record.”

“Rafa Ortiz tried that too… but he was disqualified because he didn’t stay in his kayak during the free fall portion. He didn’t try again… once was enough.”

“Two tries and both lived to tell about it… that’s pretty good odds…”

“It helps to be young and skinny… no one will accuse either of us of that.”

“Do you know what “Palouse” means?”

“It’s what people now call the Native Americans that lived near there… In their journal Lewis and Clark called them ‘Pellotepellows’…  they were related to the Nez Perce and raised horses referred to as ‘a Palouse horse’… now Appaloosa.”

“Those are beautiful horses… We should go horseback riding while we are there…”

“I’ll take your picture if you ride one… bareback.”

Watch Tyler Bradt do the plunge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyb3As78YfM

Story and photo byLarry

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