Yup, it’s that time a year again when I head out to Riverside State Park here in Spokane and enjoy miles and miles of beautiful trails, trees and rivers. What a grand place we live in!
Today was a mild foggy rainy day, just what fall should feel like, although a warm sunny one is good too, 😉
For once I decided to actually research and view the map of where I was planning on going so I could get a better idea of where I’ve been and perhaps where I wanted to go for some new places to see. (Whew..that was a mouthful!) So here’s a link to “Map My Ride” with where I rode: (Here) Not sure what you’ll see if you click on that but hopefully a map of where I rode.
I try to do this each year and it never gets old. I also try and go a little farther each year and explore new places. This year I found an old shack about to fall down, and took some interesting pictures of it. I always love the texture of old wood and this had plenty of that.
Where I started was right off of Government Way and the trail-head put me right on an abandoned railroad track (without the rails) right up against the side of a wall of volcanic rock, with a steep cliff that fell away on the other side. The trail overlooks the state park and you can see the Spokane River winding it’s way through.
Since it was foggy, cloudy and drizzly, it was just perfect for puttering my way through the park and allowing me time to stop and take LOTS of pictures.
I’ve gone this way before, but the first time I found this trail was on foot and I was well below it and had to scramble up the steep hill to get to it. It was one step forward and two steps back for a while and I was on my hands and knees trying to get up the very steep slope. Here’s a picture during that crawl two years ago: (Here) But this time I was able to park right next to the start of the trail and missed all that crawling and grunting.
The first 2 miles were all along the volcanic cliff and the view overlooking the park was great. Like I said before, a bit cloudy but it adds so much to the autumn feeling.
As I continued on, I came to a place that I absolutely love; it’s a tunnel of fall colors and to me it always feels like the grand entrance to my yearly fall ride. (You can click on it to see a bigger version)
At the end of the tunnel is not a pot of gold (although that would be grand!) but a wide open field of wheat and wonderful views:
I stopped here for a break and enjoyed the wide open view. It was two years ago and just a little ways further down the road that I stopped at an apple tree that had beautiful red apples, sweet, juicy and delicious. What they lacked in size they made up in flavor: (Here) Yum! But…for some reason I didn’t see that tree this trip, or perhaps I just blew right by it.
I was continuing on down the abandon rail road track and spied an old shack about ready to fall down, so I hopped off the trail and took a couple of pics:
As I continued down the trial it bends around to the South and one day I will continue going South, although I think I’d only find myself back in Spokane. So instead I hopped off the trail and followed a paved road for a few miles to a dead end with these views:
You have GOT to click on each one of those pictures to get the full effect! Go ahead…I’ll wait until you’re done.
What’s funny about this field is, you can’t wait to tear into riding it, but man oh man is it rough! I mean, rattle all your teeth out, rough! But each year someone mows a large swath that allows us to get out to the edge of the cliff so we can continue to enjoy the views.
So at this point I’m about 9 miles into my 20 mile ride and in the past I usually work my way down to the bottom and head back. But I wanted to go a little further and try and see something new so I continued on, but wow, the going was tough. There was no ‘groomed’ trail and the wheat or hay was way past my waist and even up to my shoulders which made navigation very difficult as I was not able to tell what was underneath all that grass. I was riding slowly since I was right near the edge and I didn’t want to fall off my bike on the wrong side. (That did actually happen, but thankfully I was going very slowly and the bike stayed on the top and only I rolled down a small part of the hill. But it WAS steep! WHEW!
So I carefully made my way through the wheat field and picked up a really cool single track trail that wound through the woods, although I wasn’t able to see the valley except for peaking through a few trees once in a while when the trail took me closer to the edge.
Finally the trail petered out and I found myself in someone’s back yard, so I bushed whacked my way around the back of their field trying to stay as far away as I could and after climbing over some downed trees and a couple of fences I worked my way down to the valley only to find myself stuck on the wrong side of a small river, well, more like a creek with “No Trespassing” signs all over the place…YIKES!
I wasn’t about to climb back up the hill I just came from so I was skirting the edge of the hill side staying as far away from houses as possible. Finally after going back and forth I decided I would just have to cross the river and then figure out how to get back to Riverside SP. Just as I was looking for the shallowest spot, I heard someone yell, “HEY! THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY!! YOU HAVE TO GET OUT!”…uh-oh. I sure hoped they didn’t have a gun with them. Right then my phone rang, but I thought I had better deal with whoever it was yelling at me rather than whoever it was on the phone.
I told the guy (at least I think it was a guy…long hair and pajamas…well, they LOOKED like pajamas!), “Oh, sorry, I am terribly lost and have no idea where I am or how to get back to Riverside Sate Park!”. That seemed to put him at ease and once I crossed over the stream he told me how to get back on track.
So I headed back over to 7 mile and took the cut off for trail #25 and followed that all the way back to my most favorite spot in my fall ride, “The Tamarack Display”
Well, for some reason the slideshow is showing ALL the files I uploaded instead of the ones I told it to…sigh. Too tired to figure it out.
Anyway, a wonderful ride in a wonderful place. Thank you Jesus for Spokane!
They say it’s a Dick Tracy like device, but actually it’s a mini-waffle maker! What do you think?