Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mead(Spokane), Washington to Wilbur, Washington Aug 25

80.77 in 6:30.    Sunday morning is the perfect time to bike through a large city, in my experience on this adventure. Spokane is a metro area of about 215,000, so it qualifies as a big place, especially in this area.  After things dried out a little after some overnight rain, I rode the final ten miles down US 2 on what is called Division Street. As I got closer to town, there were 'no bikes' signs on the road, so I had to start doing some exploring, and I followed some smaller streets into Riverside Park. Spokane was home to the World's Fair in 1974, and their downtown area contains a 100 acre park, where the fair was held. It was a interesting place because it was a park just filled with random walking trails, and amenities left over from the worlds fair. There were some merry go round and midway type rides, mixed with old pavilions and new development. The Spokane River flowed right through the middle of the park, and it had long, cascading waterfalls, dams, and a small hydroelectric power plant. There was a tram that you could ride over part of the park as well as over the river and falls. It made for an interesting place that was quiet enough on a Sunday morning that I could buzz around and check it all out without crowds of people. After cruising the park, I rode some city streets, and found Gonzaga University, surrounded by three other college campuses including branches of Eastern Washington U. and Washington State U. I rode through the campuses, which were built for foot travel only, as there were no roads through them, just around them. Gonzaga is a beautiful place with tons of grass spaces, and no cars anywhere to be found. College kids were just beginning to come back for fall session, so there weren't many people around on a Sunday morning. After about a hour of cruising the town, I had to find a way to get to US 2 West, without getting on  I-90, which ran just south of all that I have described. I took some educated guesses along with a very general map I had been using, and rode up 'two mile hill', out of the Spokane Valley. When I got to the top of the hill, I went past the airport and  Fairchild Air Force base. There was a long business- filled road that reminded me of Rt 19 in Pittsburgh. When I got out of that area, I went into about a twenty mile stretch of the most mind numbingly beautiful wheat fields, and just rolled through the fields on a great, eight foot shoulder on US  2. Once again, there was significant traffic, but absolutely no trucks, and no wind. I was very lucky to hit such a wide open space, with no wind. I made great time, hit a few small farming towns, and just looked in all directions at the endless wheat fields. After about an hour and a half of wheat, the land became rocky and unfarmable, but some cattle ranches were thrown in amongst the sagebrush and useless land. After two hours of that, I was getting very bored with the state of Washington, as I have seen it so far. Pam found a campground in a little town called Wilbur. Like the others along the way, the most prominent building in the town was a grain silo, or two. The campground was a treat though, as the owner delivered a home cooked meal to our camp site! They called it campground catering. I had chicken and dumplings and Pam had a ham steak, with peach cobbler and ice cream for desert. Later he came back in his golf cart, and cleaned up the dishes! All for no more than a meal in a restaurant. We then took a walk around the town, which took about a half hour. Right as we got back, it started to rain, and what followed was the nastiest storm we have been in on this trip. A sixty mile an hour wind kicked up suddenly and lasted for about  half an hour. We closed the slides on the RV, and just sat there and watched the lightning and rocked back and forth.  The wind also took the slide topper (awning type thing) off the slide and landed on the roof)

Water falls in Spokane

The bike is thinking about going to college!

Statue of a monk on the Gonzaga campus

Wheat fields as far as the eye can see!

Panoramic picture of the endless wheat fields

Grain silos with piles of wheat!


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