Palouse Falls, Lyons Ferry, and Lewis & Clark Trail
May 16, 2015 by Megan
On day 2 we began early at Palouse Falls, having traveled in the night before to dry camp in our Winnie Warrior. This would be our first park capturing video as well as photos while on the road, and we knew we needed to capture the view from the base of the falls as well as around the park grounds. What seemed like a reasonable amount of work on paper (hey, its basically a waterfall and some camping spots, right?) easily became a five-hour shoot… but with the early start, we were still able to make it on the road before noon and capture two more parks to stay on track.
Dane was eager to help out, happy to be exploring from his backpack. With so much gear, we made the decision to have Rob make the hike down to the bottom of the Falls solo. The grade was steep, the rocks loose, the “trail” actually a Class IV scramble… not something I was comfortable traversing, let alone with the little guy along. So Dane and I made our way back up to shoot the Falls from alternate angles and higher heights, while Rob clambered below with still and video cameras and our jib.
Hard to spot, but Rob is in the photo directly below (shot on 105mm). What do you think of the different vantage points, above and below?
Certainly the different viewpoints let you appreciate the Falls in distinctive ways, and the landscape downriver and upriver were stunning as well.
A great reminder in visiting State Parks is that what may seem like an unremarkable drive-by simply because it is close to home or off the highway, may actually be an attraction of national and even international appeal. Not only did we meet folks from around Canada and the U.S. (including Wyoming and Tennessee), but two tour vans of Asian tourists came through in our time at the falls as well. Almost everyone came equipped with a camera, long lens, and tripod, which made me wonder about the majesty of the site, and whether the water spilling over the edge had any idea how celebrated it was.
From Palouse Falls, we headed down the road to Lyons Ferry, and had our first run in with reality differing greatly from information we’d found on the State Parks website. Not only was Lyons Ferry not a campground (rather it was a day use and boat launching site), but it was closed for construction, and had been for upwards of eight weeks, according to the contractor I spoke with.
It wouldn’t be open to the public for a few more months, but I captured what I could while there. I actually like the eerie empty feel of some of the shots, though I imagine those won’t be as usable for our client. Some shots just get to be more personal, I guess.
On the contractors tip, I explored the edge of the park in the brush by the water to find the remains of the old ferry that they’d used to move folks across the Palouse River by cable back in the day.
One thing we’ve gotten to see lots of in these parts is the rail system. In fact as I write this, we are heading to Iron Horse State Park, which is all about trains and the old retired lines. I am curious to learn more about that part of America’s transportation and pioneering history as we continue the trip.
Last park of the day was Lewis and Clark Trail Park, which took us into a lush wooded area near Dayton, WA, to capture photo and video. I had an excuse to cross into the Touchet River for a few shots and get my feet wet. Dane loved being by the water as well, and we let him out of the backpack to play a while when the gear was put away. Love that boy.
While capturing the interpretive signs, I learned that Lewis & Clark and the Corp of Discovery had been through the area exactly 179 years before my birthday. Apparently they ate very poorly during their stay, which was the main focus of the journal entries in the area. One sign said in hunting they shared but one duck between them, another mentioned, “the hungry men ate cow parsnip and dog for lack of better provisions.” Sorry, guys… May 2nd got a lot better, I promise.
Dane practiced his special brand of knee-walking, and otherwise had fun telling Rob what to do. Leaving the shoot, we were glad to enter cell phone range again and recharge our batteries. Camera batteries and people batteries both.