My first stop is at Vantage, where I-90 crosses the Columbia River. There is a wonderful sculpture there called Grandfather Cuts Loose The Ponies. Set high on a bench, this work depicts the release of horses by the Creator as a gift to the Native People. I had not visited this site in sometime and I am saddened to say that it has fallen prey to those who cannot resist graffiti and littering. It is a shame that art telling the story of creation in such an ancient place has fallen to such disrespect. I would love to show you detailed pictures of the artists work but I do not wish to present the art with its sad additions.
I love the trip east through Grant County. They proudly tell you, with signs , all about their agriculture. "Highest potato producing county in the US!" (take that Idaho) Along the freeway fences there are signs that tell you what crop is growing... garden beans, sweet corn!!!!! , wheat alfalfa, alfalfa, alfalfa, Timothy hay, green manure (???!?) Now I always thought green manure was a by-product of some of the preceding crops. but it turns out it is a term for a crops like pea and clover used to nitrogen fix the soil and/or suppress weeds. It is plowed under to enrich and increase water retention.
Moses Lake and the Potholes are the north end of the Columbia Basin Wildlife Refuge. This complex is made up of many channeled scabland areas with a large number of lakes ponds and marshes. It is a year round bird refuge and a popular place for water recreation. You can meander the back roads finding pockets of life and surprises.
South of Moses Lake , the Potholes are a maze of cut canyons with water pockets. They stretch south to Othello. Every Spring Othello has a Sandhill Crane Festival which celebrates these wonderful wetlands and the returning birds of Spring. To see a flock of thousands of Sandhills flying into a canyon is something to be seen and heard in person.
My camera does not do justice to the beauty but I hope it conveys the simple "loneness" of the area.