The Columbia divides the tumbled eastern ridge and foothills of the Cascades from the high desert. The river is the life-blood of this area as it provides the water for irrigation and is a source of hydro-electric power. Generating electricity is a major industry in this area of the state. High desert farms produce hay, corn, wheat, soy, some fruit and cattle depending on the availability of irrigation water.
Central Washington is dotted with small towns devoted mostly to farming. In Waterville I found enough charming buildings and funky art to make the visit well worth the time we spent wandering the town. We found an espresso stand across from the Catholic church and got a mocha with whip as good as any in Seattle.