We spent most of the day driving from Spokane to Salem down the Columbia river valley.
Most of the state of washington east of the volcanic Cascade mountain range is eroded rolling countryside with some hills, and every once in a while you see the results of the great floods that happend hundreds of thousands of years ago. These floods occured when the great ice dams / glaciers formed at where Missoula Montana is now located. The glacier plugged up the canyon where Missoula is with an ice dam. This ice dam created the huge lake that covered much of Montana. Every few thousands of years, the earth would warm up and the ice dam would melt causing an enormous flood with billions of gallons racing to the pacific ocean at about 60 miles per hour dragging rocks, trees, earth, and everything else along with this enormous movement of water. These cataclysmic floods repeating every few thousands of years created the grand Coulee canyon, and the Columbia river valley, and Palouse canyon, and many other geographical features on the earths surface that we find today.
Contrast the rolling wheat fields of central eastern Washington with the geological features of the Columbia river valley. Quite a contrast caused by the repeated flooding of the huge Montana lake at the end of each ice age every few thousand years.
We drove past a forest fire on the south bank of the Columbia river valley, about 40 miles east of Portland. We had to roll up the windows and recirculate the air conditioning to keep the smoke out. With the record hot temperatures of the northwest in 2014 combined with the drought that seemed to be plaguing the nortwest, the conditions for lightning- sparked fires seemed to be right. There were many fires while we were in Salem and before that in Spokane, we actually noticed the darkening of the air from a fire about 90 miles west of Spokane for a few days.
We finally arrived in the late afternoon in Salem, and started moving into the new rental house.
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Last Update: October 20, 2014
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