In the heart of the Grand Coulee lies one of the natural wonders of North America—the Dry Falls cataract. This 3.5-mile-wide chasm of basalt, with a drop of 400 feet, that was left high and dry thousands of years ago as the last of several Ice Age floods swept through the Grand Coulee. I arrived at Dry Falls really having no idea what to expect. I had seen it on the maps and had managed to get one image to load enough to be intrigued. I had spent the night before at Palouse Falls a bit west of here. This was a mere 5-6 hours of driving a real treat 🙂 The Coulee is a washed out ravine that goes for miles and miles. As ice sheets melted the water at times roared through here and sweep away chunks of basalt to form this very long ravine.
I met the Park Rangers who were very nice and said filming that night would be perfectly fine but they couldn’t turn off the outside lights. I assumed that would not be an issue what could one set of floodlights do anyway? So I shot this image the last of 3 images I took here and as I was putting it together I thought what is that odd dark area ion the ground in the center-right of the ground. I thought maybe it was a stitching error but no. It was the shadow of the rock pillars and the chains that were draped between them. Cast by a spotlight on top of the cliff 100s of feet away. This is the reason Light Pollution is such a big deal It doesn’t look like much but there it is!
The town of Grand Colee is obvious in the center left, or at least the lights are. The one flashing red looks to be a radio tower.
You can also see the park lights on the top of the cliff (far right) and it forced me to clip more of the right side of the image off than I had planned, It’s hard shooting basalt cliffs at night because basalt is basically black in daylight.
This is one of the most extraordinary landscapes to be found along the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.
Specs 47 images cropped on right. ISO 6000 55mm f1.4