I mentioned earlier that the Palouse is sparsely inhabited. The population density of Whitman County – one of the large counties entirely contained by the Palouse – is 19 people per square mile. I can assure you that if you were to remove Pullman and one or two other towns, that density would be closer to one person per square mile. Once on the back roads it isn’t unusual to find farms surrounded by hundreds or thousands of acres of fields.
The back roads around Oakesdale are good examples of this. We spent a couple of hours exploring a series of farm roads that ran between two major paved roads. While we were back there we saw exactly one other vehicle. While there were cars on the main roads, there was almost no one on the unpaved roads. This image is from the Oakesdale area. We were driving on the road leading toward the home on the hill in the right side of the frame. I took this image because the combination of blue sky, white clouds, green fields, and the farm house captured the mood of the area we were exploring.
The one car that we did encounter was occupied by a friendly lady who lived in the area. I suppose she wanted to make sure that we weren’t up to mischief, but even then she was very friendly and engaging. As we discussed the remoteness and beauty of her region, she described it as God’s country. After spending a few days in the Palouse, I certainly would agree with her. Enjoy.