Now that everything is done and my bike is basically clean, let’s talk about tires, chain lube, and mud.
Nothing but darkness and despair await you in Tekoa
From Warden to Escure Ranch.
From Ellensburg, over the Columbia, to Othello.
It’s amazing how much the reality of an experience differs from the expectation, especially when you’ve been planning something for a decade.
A decade? Yes. That’s how long I’ve been planning this ride. That seems ridiculous now that I’ve typed it out, because while it sounds impossibly long, it doesn’t feel like it now that it’s finally done.
Rock Lake is an enigma of the Palouse To Cascades Trail. It is by far one of the most scenic sections of the entire trail, and yet information about it remains elusive. The trail requires a detour around the lake, making it difficult to get to, but it’s totally worth it.
The last time a train rumbled over the Renslow Trestle was in 1980. Today, this bridge is part of the Palouse to Cascades Trail, and up until today, this span was one of the few major barriers left on the west side of the Columbia River. It is now open to the public.
If you’ve read my writeup on the Palouse To Cascades Trail, then you know that the stretch between Cle Elum and Thorp is one of my favorites. It’s a great experience for riders of all ages and skill levels, as long as they have a bike that is capable for the surface and you prepare them ahead of time for what to expect.
The 1000 Acre Wood is a large swath of privately owned timberland perched atop the eastern edge of Crescent Valley, just north of Gig Harbor. It contains a surprisingly large network of gravel forest roads, wide dirt trails, single track, and tight hiking trails
When I was a kid, you could ride on pavement to the outskirts of town and then go ride up into the forest, hit a few trails, and bomb a fire road back into town… and you could do all of this on the same bike… and that’s all that gravel bikes are. Riding gravel isn’t new, and technically, neither are gravel bikes.
Capitol State Forest is an absolute wonderland of gravel. The nearly one hundred thousand acres of land is managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and contains almost six hundred miles of gravel roads. It is a destination for hikers, horseback riders, campers, and dirt bike enthusiasts. It is also home to some amazing single track for mountain bikers.
The entire Westside on the Palouse To Cascades Trail- Rattlesnake Lake to The Columbia. How to plan and what to expect when you ride the Palouse to Cascades Trail.
Back in May of 2015, a friend invited me to a self-supported gravel ride in the hills around Elbe and Eatonville put on by a local frame builder. The ride was in its second year, and looked like it would be a fun chance to explore some places that I had never been on a bike. I figured that forty-ish miles with 4k of vertical would be hard, but well within my limits.
I was wrong of course..
What began as a seemingly ridiculous plan over beers at a dining room table in 2014, has grown into an annual ride across the cascades filled with gravel, good beer, and great friends.