My brother Steve my host for the weekend is a recent transplant from the greater Seattle area. His wife grew up near Spokane and after raising 5 kids in Seattle they parlayed their modest rambler in the red hot Seattle market into a river front home in Spokane. The view above is from their dock on a glorious June evening. Part of the reason for my trip was to see the new house. I am 95% thrilled for them and only about 5% jealous.
|believe it or not I am the "little" brother|
Fortunately I had not schlepped my bike 5 hours one way for nothing. Not only does my brother commute to work on his bike most days but his house is about 200 yards from the trail at about Mile 16. We got an easy 6.5 mile (10.4 km) ride in on the evening I arrived, after I fixed a brake issue he was having. We went from about mile 16 to just past mile 19 of the trail on the map above, construction prevented us from going much further but that was fine with me.
The Spokane River Centennial Trail is a great public resource, per the website:
Forty miles long, the Centennial Trail begins at the Washington/Idaho state line and ends at Lake Spokane in Nine Mile Falls, Washington. Our one-of-a-kind Trail has its metropolitan center section in downtown Spokane in Riverfront Park, and branches out to more rural east and west endpoints. The Trail’s path generally follows the contours of the Spokane River, allowing access for many types of outdoor non-motorized recreational activities.
|lazy section of river viewed from the trail|
On Saturday morning we went for a longer ride, 18.5 km from mile post 16 to about mile post 10 on the trail, It was a pleasant mild morning before the heat of the day. The trail was being used by cyclists, walkers and joggers but didn't feel as "over loved" and congested as the Seattle trails sometimes do. My impression is that I would have never known I was near a city if we had not had to ride a short ways on roadside bike lanes to get to the path part of the trail, for most part it feels like you are out in the country.
The path, as the name implies. mostly follows the Spokane river and even crosses it a few times, the picture below is the "lock" bridge where engaged couples come leave a lock on the bridge as a symbol of their love.
I would certainly be utilizing this resource for exercise and just getting around if I lived in Spokane, for now, at least for the next 4 years while my daughter goes through high school, I am a happy Seattlite but who knows maybe some day? In Spokane I might actually be able to afford a house, with a detached garage for bike tinkering, which is not happening in the crazy Seattle market.
Its easy to just do the I-90 straight shot from Seattle to Spokane, but since I didn't really have a time table I detoured to Cheney, home of Eastern Washington University on the way there and to Ellensburg, home of Central Washington University on the way back home. That is where I spotted the cool College town bike shop above, ReCycle Shop, in business in Ellensburg since 1971, It the kind of place I would like to hang out/explore but unfortunately they were closed on Sunday. I guess that's an excuse for another visit.
Until next time Ride with family.Smile.Repeat.