Crossing Washington

Washington was hard, particularly the central and eastern segments.

Starting off was easy: follow the I90 trail to Preston, scoot through Fall City to the Snoqualmie Valley trail, cruise through North Bend to Rattlesnake Lake, then it’s crushed gravel riding on the Palouse-to-Cascade Trail over to Hyak, Cle Elem, and Ellensburg.

Routing then becomes tricky because of the Columbia River:

  • The natural crossing for the trail would be the Beverly Bridge, which is closed due to safety concerns. Repair money just passed WA state infrastructure budget approval.
  • The Vantage Bridge is used for I90 vehicle traffic. While technically bikes are allowed to use the bridge, there is no shoulder for more than a mile, just the white lane line next to the metal guider preventing cars from going into the river. So it’s not safe. Take a look.
  • The Wenatchee Bridge is the next crossing to the north, which is our way to cross.
Heading north to the Colockum…not too bad…good prep for the Divide
Elevation ~4000ft

After reaching Wenatchee and crossing the Columbia, the route then climbs back up the steep Rock Island Grade and into ranch land before reaching Ephrata.

I won’t lie…I walked part of this.
Climb tracks away from the Columbia River
The Rock Island Grade – see the red pickup for scale
I ate lunch here
More climbing
Stream crossing…only a couple of feet deep.
Now into eastern WA along the Palouse to Cascade Bike Trail
Check out the ballast…chunky and loose.
Keep following the trail, such as it is.
Gate just tall enough to slip under
So many gates. And remember which lock combination to use…Department of Natural Resources or Fish & Wildlife?
Bogs don’t smell nice.
Sometimes easier to take the road, just don’t expect it to be flat.
Finally landing in Tekoa: free camping in the park, with water, electricity, and bathrooms.

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