The Falls, The Follies

Saturday blew in after a blustery night and I covered my head with my pillow. Not for long, though, as the tempting scent of fresh coffee called my nose and I was compelled to pick up a cup and say hello.

"I've been thinking about Palouse Falls," I told the hubby as we shared home-cooked cold cereal.

"What about it?" he responded.

The "what" was that someone had said that the cold weather had sculpted some wonderful ice designs around the rocky waterfall and I wanted to drive the 60 some-odd miles to see if for myself. However, a Pacific front had moved in overnight and warmed the inland empire well above the freezing level.

We decided to go anyway.

My little car was on empty so our first stop was to buy gas . I stayed in the car and it seemed to take an eternity to complete the transaction. Finally, the hubby got back in and we drove off.

"My gas card was denied at the island and inside." the hubby explained. "I had to use cash. "

We raised our eyebrows and made "what the" faces but then hit the road. The back roads. That is the only way to get there.

The drive was enjoyable. Tumbleweeds rolled down the highway and clustered together on curves shielded from the wind. We saw deer in the stubble fields at midday and in the sky numerous Kestrel and Red-tailed hawks. I think I saw a Northern Harrier, too.

Our conversation rambled from one subject to another. I wondered how long it had been since I'd visited the falls. The hubby road his bicycle to the falls last year and he wanted to make sure I was aware of the steep climb he endured the last five miles. Muscle guy.

The gravel road to the park was muddy and so was the 198 foot falls. It reminded me of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I remembered why I refused to bring the kids there when they were small. There is a fenced area next to the park, but you can walk past it and right off the opposing cliff, which is even higher than the falls. A footpath along the rocky ledge is certainly a magnet for little feet.

This is probably another reason why. (see my hand puppet?)

No rainbow in the spray today. But, there were two sun dogs in the sky so I didn't feel cheated.

After falling, the Palouse River forms a narrow canyon for about six miles before joining the Snake River. (They later join the Columbia River and journey to the Pacific Ocean.)

On the opposite shore is the mouth of the Tucannon River that flows from the Blue Mountains. A fisherman said he made time today to stop at this spot on his way home from visiting his daughter. He was vague about his target.

There is a tiny town on the route that shares its name with a famous coffee. We decided to stop at the little cafe that used to be a bar. It really is a "mom and pop" affair. When you walk in the door, you can look through an opening behind the kitchen into their living quarters.

One couple was leaving as we arrived and for a while, we were the only guests. "Mom" was friendly, a little older than we are, and happy to talk about the 1880 nickel plated wood cooking stove that adorns one wall. She'd saved it from her mother's old house and had it refurbished. There were cow horns over the entrance. Around the square room was a painting on a circular saw, her grandmother's antique rug beater, kerosene lanterns, a barbed-wire stretcher and a Japanese green fishing ball hanging in a turquoise net. I asked about a weird item hanging over the men's room door. It was a cheater brand. That's what the cattle rustlers used.

I got a good look at many of the local ranch brands because they are burned into wood squares that hang from barbed wire where the wall meets the ceiling.

Three more groups of two walked in, "mom" got busy, and "pop" was called in to help. He served us our apple crisp for dessert. I asked him about the bottle collection that was in various spots around the room.

"I don't know what they are, " he laughed, "I just picked them up from the dirt when I was farming."

When we got ready to leave, she showed us some pictures of the stove before it was refinished. She was proud and I was impressed.

She told us that she and her husband bought the property sixteen years ago.

"Twenty-four hours a day together can be pretty trying." she admitted. "So, you have to like each other an awful lot to do something like this."

I thought about that and the clouds forming on the horizon as we headed home. The falls were nice, but the highlight had really been our stop at the little cafe.

The photographs were downloading to my computer when the hubby walked back through the house with the most recent Chevron statement.

"Look at this," he requested and handed me the paper. "Our bill has been paid and we have a huge credit line. I'm going to call and find out why the card was declined."

I started giggling.

"Hon," I replied, "we were at the Shell Station."

I like him an awful lot.

Comments

Claudia said…
LOL!! thanks for the smile first thing in the morning. Wrong gas station...I can't help but think that is totally something I would do!!
Pass The Torch said…
I love to read about your gallavanting. Too fun!
her indoors said…
wow great photos it looks well worth the trip
Yvonne said…
Very cool pictures - and totally loved the "gas mistake"!
hee hee - One of Dad's many Senior moments, I'm sure.

Well - one thing about this time of year - you wouldn't have had to worry about rattlesnakes. But, I can see why you never took us there as a kid.

My WV was skjyzmqx - that has got to be the longest ever.
Susie said…
Thanks for this wonderful day trip. I could sip my coffee and not even worry about the rattlesnakes or steep ledge drop offs. That coffee shop sounds delightful!
We've actually done the same thing at a service station once last year!
Makes for a slightly silly feeling!
:)
Willowtree said…
Another great story Sis! Love the imagery (as always).

Hey you guys, stop picking on the Hubby, that could happen to anyone, you don't see me telling Karmyn that her WV only has eight letters, the maximum for blogger WVs.

OK, I'm just kidding, he's a doofus (in a good way).

Wait a minute, I just realised something....are you saying the attendant didn't know he worked at a Shell station?
Pamela said…
Thanks WT. Washington is a state that allows self-serve. So at the pump, it was just the hubby. But inside, the woman cashier did try to run the CHEVRON/TEXACO card through her Merchant card reader.

That was the 2nd laugh we had.
Melissa said…
I love your pics Pamela! And the story too. :)
Kila said…
Beautiful, thanks for sharing. Sounds like an interesting trip.
Susan in va said…
(*snicker*).....(*SNORT!!*)

Your photos are spectacular! What a beautiful, magnificent sight that must be in person! Thanks for sharing.
Amanda said…
That totally sounds like something DAD would do!! Tell him I think he is silly. Looks like a beautiful trip you guys took. But definitely not somewhere I would want to take kids!!
Jenny said…
Ha! I'm totally cracking up over here!
SongBird said…
What a lovely trip! The little cafe sounds so neat. Love the bottle collection (I'm a collector myself) and the brands.

The declined credit card story was a hoot!! Sounds like something I would do for sure.
Fish-2 said…
Great pictures. Looks like the falls would make quite a roar as it hits bottom. I also love little cafes like that, road trips, out of the way places, and that morning cup of coffee.
local girl said…
That is hilarious! I don't think we even have Shell Stations here anymore. I remember having a Shell credit card, though. Great story!
Stephanie said…
Y'all live in a really pretty place.

And your husband...sounds an awful lot like mine!
Matt said…
That punchline reminds me of the time I got high and went grocery shopping here and just couldn't understand why my Safeway card wasn't working at the Fresh Fields.

Does your husband smoke weed, by chance?
BarnGoddess said…
good reading!

Like always I enjoy reading what you have to say. You write it so vividly I feel like I was there :)

and, the pictures are an added plus!
Surfed in from L'Chaim. Wanted to say that I love the name of your blog, agree with your header (writing as another reason to not do housework) and look forward to reading more of your blog. BTW, just visted Spokane area a few months ago. Lovely area.

Michelle
Claudia said…
Willow made a good point...didn't the attendant see that it was a Chevron card? And the butthead didn't say anything??? oooooh...
Vicki said…
Oh Bless his heart.

I like that type of trip also. Getting to know the people. Taking pictures. I have a bottle collection too. I get them when my husbands family builds ponds, they move the earth and when the find bottles they bring them to me. Also find them when we haul river dirt into our arena and sometimes there are bottles there too.
Kathleen Marie said…
What a heavenly day. I love days like that, new discoveries, beautiful sites, love the one your with, etc... Memories created.

I tagged your for a meme, hope you don't mind. ☺
DesLily said…
Nice Pictures!..

I have no doubt i would do the same thing with the credit card. We get in such "ruts" we don't look or think about some things..
Matt said…
Pam, you're so grouchy! I'm actually not that obnoxious.
Tiggerlane said…
Beautiful photos, and such a fun-sounding trip.

I love little hole in the wall places like the cafe you visited; such rich stories and interesting people can be found there!

Thanks for sharing!
Julie said…
I absolutely love waterfalls. Next time we go to Creede I will have to get a shot of one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing your day trip with us. As I read it, I felt like I was in the car laughing at your husband with you! :) I do some pretty silly things too, so I won't be too hard on him. :)
Biker Betty said…
What a great day trip!! I would have been the one to do the goof that your hubby did, lol.

I admire mom & pop. My husband and I could never work together like that. My husband critizes too much and drives us (me & the kids) crazy sometimes!
Bibi said…
"...as we shared home-cooked cold cereal... " Very good ;-)

I once tried to check in at the Hilton in LA and insisted they look at the reservation sheet I was waving in their face. I was actualy booked at the Hyatt.
Silent One ~D~ said…
I am sure the gas mistake is something I have done before... too funny (afterwards).

Thanks for taking us along on your adventure. Beautiful area...
(except for the snakes...) I would turn around right there and then.
Anonymous said…
I walked into the wrong insurance office and read them the riot act

that was awful

ivy

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