The Palouse River runs through a narrow cataract and drops 200 feet to a churning bowl. From there, the current moves swiftly, through a winding gorge of columnar basalt, to its southern end at the mighty Snake River. Carved more than 13,000 years ago, Palouse Falls is among the last active waterfalls on the Ice Age Floods path. This natural wonder was named Washington’s state waterfall in 2014, when the state Legislature passed a bill written by local schoolchildren, who advocated for the designation. It is an absolutely stunning place to take in. Find out more here.
We will take a drive around Lyons Ferry and the town of Starbuck. These are very small rural communities. We will make a stop on the river for refreshment’s if you would like and take a look at the Lyons Ferry bridge. This bridge is one of the most fascinating bridges in Washington State. The bridge was originally located at Vantage, Washington, where it was built in 1927 to cross the Columbia River. In the early 1960’s, the construction of the Wanapam Dam was going to raise the water levels and a higher bridge was needed. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
On May 2, 1806, Merriwether Lewis and William Clark and the Corps of Discovery passed through what is now downtown Dayton. Having traveled 19 miles on that particular day, the group encamped near Patit Creek. As part of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, a group of Dayton residents created a full-scale restoration of the campsite with life-size metal silhouette sculptures. Using the journals as reference, all members—human and animal—of the expedition are represented. The camp is located just two miles east of Dayton on Patit Road. Silhouette statues of Lewis, Clark and horses mark Patit Road at the turn from US Highway 12. Signs at the site include a legend of those represented. This is a drive by and admission is free. You may get out out of the van to read the interpretive display.
The Dayton Historical Depot Society, formed in 1974 as a group of concerned citizens, worked to save Dayton’s Historic Depot. The following year, Union Pacific donated the Depot to the Society and work to restore the beautiful building began. The museum opened in 1981. In 1999, the Society’s responsibilities expanded when Gladys Boldman donated her estate and directed the Society to create an educational showplace. After many years of sorting, this second museum presents a unique view of one family’s 20th century collection. This is a great little museum with wonderful history. Admission is free. The depot is not fully accessible to the upstairs. The downstairs is completely accessible. We can find a lunch spot in Dayton. With time permitting we will stop in Waitsburg and take a look at some of the few shops that are there. Find out more here.