So I have been to the Palouse Region of the Pacific Northwest numerous times. It is made of rolling hills that contains fertile soil for growing a variety of crops, but mostly Winter and Spring wheat, peas and lentils. It is in SE Washington, W Central Idaho and down to NE Oregon. It is home to several AgroLiquid Retail Partners as well as some research trials. But I had never been to Steptoe Butte. It rises 3600 feet above the farmland, and is made of quartzite that is over 400 million years old. The underlying rock of the surrounding land is Columbia River basalt that is only (!) 7 to 15 million years old. So it’s been there a while.
I was with SAM Eric and he hadn’t been up there for a while. I’m always anxious to see the sights. I didn’t think it looked that high up from below. But I changed my mind as we went up, and it took a while. From the top, the views were spectacular.
There used to be a hotel on top in the late 1800’s. I couldn’t imagine going up there by horse and wagon. The builder hoped to increase tourism, but after a few years it had to close as the people just didn’t come. It is a long ways from anywhere, other than the good farmland.
About halfway up there was the edge of a wheat field. I thought it would be scary farming on those lower hills, but this is ridiculous. I would be too scared to look around driving a tractor or combine on this slope.
So that was fun. We continued up to Spokane and I came home.
By the way, be sure to check out the research facebook page: @DrJerryTheCropDoc. You don’t have to be a facebooker to visit.