#87 PNW-Fields & Canyons in Northeast Washington

2007 July 14
487 miles
PNW Trip
Day 7

Barb and I decided to ride together as far as Fort Spokane in the northeastern Washington area. We both wanted to collect the stamp. So off we went.

I90 takes us into Idaho. It is a nice road for an Interstate -- too bad there's so many construction zones, RVs, and large rigs.

Barb is participating in the AMA "I've been everywhere" Tour. The object is to photograph your motorcycle and the banner in places named in the song of same the name. Sounds fun and I should have signed up, but I didn't get it done between trips and then it was too late by the time I was leaving on this trip.Here I am pretending to be participating...

We ride across miles and miles of open fields in northeast Washington.

I snuck up on Barb for an "action" photo!
We stop for a greasy burger lunch at Edna's in Davenport, Washington.Then through more fields north to Fort Spokane.

This is interesting country -- in the midst of the open fields there are sections where you drive through stands of trees and would never know that you just left open fields where you couldn't even see any trees.Fort Spokane, Washington

Back in Davenport, Barb and I waved off to each other as she headed back to Lolo, then back to Texas and I headed to find a road the ranger in Fort Spokane recommended.

The conversation usually goes something like this...
"You rode all the way from ????? on that....by yourself!?" After expressing utter disbelief on the miles that led me to the spot where we stand, the next question often goes like this...
"Where are you going from here?"
I answer, "Not exactly sure yet. I'm heading west. Got any roads to recommend?"
Or I might say, "Thought I might spend the night in Yakima tonight. How do you figure one should get there from here?"

So off I go looking for the recommended road.
I continue to drive across open fields headed to Lake Roosevelt and the Coulee Dam area.

Temps are starting to climb. I'm beginning to feel it. And I have a over 200 miles to go before stopping for the night.

Just an interesting sight along the road.
The Ranger spoke of the fires over this way. I saw the results and the charred smell was still lingering in the air. And I thought I could feel the heat still emiting from the fire, but it might have been that it was just that HOT out on the road.

This is a dry, dusty, and hot country that doesn't appeal to me much. But just to add interest...
I somehow (however these things happen), found myself down the dustiest, rockiest, roughest road I've ever taken Fleeter over.

But this was the result...water's edge at Lake Roosevelt.
Going back up the road, this time following a ranger, who I am sure thought I was crazy to be down here on this bike. The photo doesn't show the softball size rocks and deep ruts in the road. It was tricky picking a line because once you have one, you can't easily change your mind.
Maybe I DO need a dual-sport bike...
The road doesn't look so bad here, because, of course, I wouldn't be taking pictures when I'm busy struggling to keep Fleeter on the road and upright!
Looking across the cove to the other side of the water, you can see where I was ... down at water's edge. From this angle, you can see the rocky slope I took Fleeter on. I find another stamp at the ranger's station of the Lake Roosevelt Natural Recreation Area.
Going south from Coulee Dam, I take WA155 along Banks Lake.
Very scenic ride-riders take note.From the road, at water level, you can see Steamboat Rock Island. It may be hot and dry, but this is a very nice ride between the canyon wall and the water.

On WA283, I come upon Dry Falls canyon.
Just imagine this looking like Niagra Falls with water pouring over and into what once was a huge lake! This was once the world's largest waterfall...a few years ago -- at the end of the last ice age.
Priest Rapids Lake along the Columbia River.Riding along I82, I drive across the Selah Cliffs Bridge into Yakima. I spend the night at the Super 8 in Union City, just south of Yakima.
Tomorrow I will find myself in country that speaks to my soul.
And it's nice that it's cooler country too!

Tomorrow: The Cascade Mountains!

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