This region north of the Snake River along the Washington-Idaho border is known as “The Palouse,” or “land of short thick grass.”
Native peoples fished the rivers and cultivated the soil for millennia. The Nez Perce people of the area developed a breed of horses with spotted coats that became known as Palouse horses. Gradually the name evolved into “Appaloosa.”
The Lewis and Clark Expedition explored the area nearly two centuries ago. They were followed by pioneers along the Oregon Trail. Before long the fertile hills and prairies became the wheat belt.
It was harvest time when I drove through. On one side of the highway big grain combines were at rest;
the crop gathered and hauled away leaving a buzz cut stubble field. On the other side of the road was a lady (using the term loosely here) with a camera trying to take pictures of the wheat.