There are some places you can go where the secret to making decent photographs is simply being willing to stop the car. The Palouse region of eastern Washington state was such a place for me.
I tend to steer clear of photographic icons for the simple reason that it is hard to do anything original there. That plus the fact that standing at an overlook with a bunch of other photographers isn’t my idea of a good time. But on this road trip we are concentrating on doing our own thing.
We only had two nights devoted to the Palouse, staying in the town of Pullman, WA. When we arrived at our hotel we were informed that a group of National Guard personnel were due to arrive the following day to assist with testing of University of Washington students because the campus – surprise, surprise – had become a hotbed of Covid cases. Swell – so much for distancing.
We limited our public stops in Pullman to two mostly empty restaurants and a grocery store. We drove the first evening on mostly deserted back roads, got the car filthy dirty but saw some nice scenery. The second day we awoke to the forecasted high winds and dust storms, so that limited our activities that day. But in 200+ miles of driving around the area we went from places we weren’t willing to get out of the car to places that were clear as a bell, just windy as heck.
One of the meccas for photographers is Steptoe Butte, a high spot overlooking the undulating valleys. We had planned to go there but nixed the idea due to the high winds and dust. So instead we did the sensible thing and sought out a small local restaurant with excellent food and wine. The photos can wait for a return visit!
I think I did a pretty decent job of finding “my own” version of the Palouse region. I have hundreds more shots but this is a sample of my initial favorites.