This is a view from Sun Lakes State Park, just south of Dry Falls in Washington State’s Grand Coulee. I could name many places throughout the southwestern U.S. as well as desert regions of California where you could see scenery like this. Yet I was still in Washington. Pacific Northwesterners don’t have to travel great distances to get a desert fix.
This is a closer look at the basalt formations of this region. Although the Cascade Mountains to the west of here are a volcanic chain, the basalt flows that form this landscape originated east of here millions of years ago in an area around today’s Lewiston, WA. The area is rife with these basalt pillars. The lower more defined part of the pillars are called colonades. The upper portion is called an entablature. Each is a product of the speed at which the basalt cooled.