Monday, September 5, 2016
Lewis and Clark Trail along US 12 through the Palouse
The fertile rolling hills of the Palouse were created by the accumulation of windblown particles that were deposited over thousands of years. In some places the soil is over 200’ deep and is excellent for growing wheat - over a billion barrels a year!
Route 12 travels through the Palouse closely following the same trail that was used by Lewis and Clark on their 1804 Corps of Discovery Expedition. There are numerous pull offs along the road with informative signs about the expedition but some stops are more elaborate like the Patit Creek Campsite ( a short detour off of US 12) featuring life-size steel silhouettes of the entire party including dogs, horses, and Native Americans who stopped at the camp to trade.
The sculptures are on private property and can only be viewed from the pull off. Large gravel makes rolling around difficult but the sculptures and signs can be seen without exiting your vehicle. The pull off is large enough for RVs.
About forty miles east there’s another set of sculptures which have nothing to do with Lewis and Clark but are still worth a stop. An anonymous artist has welded old harvester blades together to form a dinosuar, an alligator, a shark, and a bald eagle with a fish.
There’s very little room to pull off along US 12 but short term stopping is possible on the road that runs parallel to US 12.
Patit Creek Campsite 46.34575, -117.93607 Harvester Blade Sculptures 46.47313, -117.53358