Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cool, Cool Coulee...

Dry Falls, sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? So of course you’re driving along the road, see the sign and ‘take the bait.’ David wanted to see the Grand Coulee Dam which was on our way from Idaho to Washington. However, when we got to the road to the dam, we found a major traffic back-up for construction so we decided to drive on until we saw the sign. We pulled into the traffic overlook and got out. What an amazing sight to see the actual coulee for which the dam is named. (A coulee is a French word to describe a section of land that has been carved out by a natural force and then becomes a receptacle for water.) The Grand Coulee is the largest of these, hence, its name. Geologists say that at one time there were massive waterfalls that carved out this coulee amid catastrophic flooding and glaciations. Obviously the climate was greatly different in those prehistoric times. Today, the terrain is very much like the badlands and it was hot, dry and windy. The sheer size of the coulee was certainly worth the stop and a quick visit to the nearby visitor’s center was very helpful in better explaining this amazing landmark.

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