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Our destination on our trip west was the Palouse. This is a unique farming area intersecting Washington, Utah and Idaho. We stayed in Pullman Washington on our visit and took day trips into the Palouse. We really lucked out again. There had been heavy rains in the area and we could see washouts along the roads and in the fields. However, it was nothing but sunshine while were in the area. The day after we left the had flash flood warnings in the are.

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The Palouse is known for its interesting crop patterns. While we were there the winter wheat was dark green, the lentils were light green and the stubble from last year and the newly planted fields were golden.

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In addition to the patterns there were old and new building scattered around the area as well as old farm equipment.

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It was very strange not to see very many trees. In fact, photographers love to photograph lone trees.

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On one of our hikes we met a local and started talking with him about farming the Palouse. My wife mentioned that local farmers in Wisconsin wouldn’t attempt to till land as steep as the Palouse. Apparently much of the tilling is done with caterpillars and tracked tractors because of the steep terrain. When it comes to harvest time they use self-leveling harvesters. These allow the columbine to follow the contour of the land while the self-leveling feature allows the cab to remain in a horizontal position. In spite of this there can still be problems. Last year the person we were talking with found a harvester in a gully. Apparently the harvester cane around the corner and encountered some muddy ground. The operator got off to call for a caterpillar to pull the unit out of the mud. While he was making the call the $400,000 slid into the gully.

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