Spokane also served as the region's main railroad and transportation hub.By 1910, although local terms like Palouse, Walla Walla Country, Big Bend, Umatilla Country, and Camas Prairie continued to be common, many people of the region began to regard themselves as living in the Inland Empire, the Wheat Belt, the Columbia Basin, or simply Eastern Washington, Oregon, or North Idaho.Situated about 160 miles (260 km) north of the Oregon Trail, the region experienced rapid growth in the late 19th century and was once Washington's most populous region, surpassing even the Puget Sound area.
During the 1870s, the Walla Walla region was rapidly converted to farmland, while the initial experiments in growing wheat began in the Palouse region, which previously had been the domain of cattle and sheep ranching.
When those trials proved more than successful, a minor land rush quickly filled the Palouse region with farmers during the 1880s.
Altitude and heading are displayed in a separate box. The horizontal line signifies the horizon, the vertical lines show times and headings of moonrise and moonset.
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While this definition of the Palouse remains common today, the term is sometimes used to refer to the entire wheat-growing region, including Walla Walla County, the Camas Prairie of Idaho, the Big Bend region of the central Columbia River Plateau, and other smaller agricultural districts such as Asotin County, Washington, and Umatilla County, Oregon.
This larger definition is used by organizations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature, who define the Palouse Grasslands ecoregion broadly.The community of Palouse, Washington, is located in Whitman County, about 7 miles (11 km) west of Potlatch, Idaho.Nevertheless, the traditional definition of the Palouse region is distinct from the older Walla Walla region south of the Snake River, where dryland farming of wheat was first proved viable in the region in the 1860s.Hermiston is located on US 395 in northeastern Oregon.It is roughly 180 east of downtown Portland and 30 miles south of Kennewick, Washington.The degree of development of individual layers of calcrete together with thermoluminescence and optically stimulated luminescence dating of the loess indicate that each calcrete layer represents a period of thousands to tens of thousands of years of nondeposition, weathering, and soil development that occurred between episodic periods of loess deposition.