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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Photography Workshop, Palouse, Washington: June 15-21, 2021

Early this year we signed up for a photography workshop in Palouse, Washington, because we could drive to it and it was mostly outside. Both points seemed reassuring in the midst of a pandemic. By the time the dates for this workshop arrived, we had both been double vaccinated, and had also signed up for a trip to Tanzania which would begin just 6 days after we returned home from Palouse. It was a little crazy, but then, I'm married to an obsessive traveler.

So we headed to Palouse with two overnights on the way. We met up with some Mormon Crickets in Nevada. They were on the road and covering shrubs in the desert landscape. We stopped to see what it was that was everywhere. Seeing them everywhere was very disconcerting. In some places the road was  slippery with smashed Mormon Crickets.

Our route took us into Nevada and Idaho before crossing into the Palouse area of Washington state where suddenly there were green fields of wheat and yellow canola fields. 

The Palouse is a distinct geographic region of the northwestern United States, encompassing parts of north central Idaho, southeastern Washington, and, possibly parts of northeast Oregon. 

The hills of Palouse were formed over tens of thousands of years from wind-blown dust and silt, called "loess", from dry regions to the southwest. Seen from the summit of 3,612 foot high Steptoe Butte, the rolling hills look like giant sand dunes because they were formed in much the same way. In the spring they are lush shades of green when the wheat and barley are young, and in the summer they are dry shades of brown when the crops are ready for harvest. 

We stayed in a hotel at Washington State University at Pullman, Washington. Most of the major photo ops took place at different levels and different facings of Steptoe Butte. The elevation of Steptoe Butte summit is 3612 feet. Mornings came very early and it was often cold and windy at the top of the Butte. In the afternoon, we visited other parts of the Palouse area. Late afternoon we were back on Steptoe Butte standing in a spot where the setting sun would provide side lighting.

We went to Marvin Wells Road viewpoint one of the last afternoons. The light was pretty spectacular but the scenery wasn't too varied. But, I did get this one shot I liked with its rainbow of light.

View of Steptoe Butte from Marvin Wells Road as the light fades
One late afternoon we drove to Palouse Falls State Park to photograph 200 ft high Palouse Falls at sunset. While the hazy, cloudless sky didn't pick up any color from the setting sun, it was still a beautiful view. The falls are on the Palouse River about 4 miles from the confluence with the Snake River. It's a bit of a drive from Steptoe Butte but we weren't driving.

The schedule was kind of grueling with being up at 3am or 4am to drive to Steptoe Butte and be there before the sun began to rise. Shoot photos until the sun was too high off the horizon. Go back and have the hotel breakfast, download photos, have an afternoon outing, return to the hotel for a small break before heading out to catch the late afternoon light. Shoot until almost dark. One night, after a long day and a 2-3 hours of sleep, we were headed back out around 11pm to drive to Freeze Church in Potlatch, Idaho, to work on night shots. When we arrived, someone was flying a lighted drone above the church. That's my favorite photo of the night. Then back to sleep where we were granted a bit of a reprieve and didn't have to get up for a pre-dawn event.

Freeze Church, Potlatch, Idaho
The workshop finished with a last early morning shoot on June 21. We came back to the hotel, finished packing, and headed home. We had one overnight and the next day we were home in time to pack for our Tanzania trip and get our pre-departure Covid-19 test 72 hours before arriving in Tanzania. Whew! This is why it has taken me so long to get back to these Palouse photos and put them into a blog.