Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vacillating As I Travel Through the Yakima Canyon

As planned, I was up at the butt-crack of dawn (5:00) to get on the road by 6:30. The first several miles were downhill and rather chilly. I relished the moments of sun, and shivered my way through the shady parts. 

I made it to the junction of US 12 and Hwy 410. I crossed 410 and worked my way through the orchards of apples, pears, and cherries.
These are apples of an undetermined variety.
They are still pretty small.

Now, I was also on the ACA Washington Parks Loop route. My oldest son and I did this route 4 years ago, in the opposite direction. It all came back to me when I went through Naches and turned onto Naches-Wenas Rd. Oh CRAP! Naches-Wenas Rd is a very steep hill UP out of Naches. As I recall, it was a screamin' good downhill!
Almost to the top!

As I came down the other side, I also remembered going UP that part!
Going down was definitely better!

The rest of the ride to the outskirts of Selah was mostly rolling with a couple of steep pitches as I got closer to town. I stopped for a snack break just before turning onto Hwy 821 (Yakima Canyon Rd.). I had already come 35 miles, and it was 10:30.

As I was beginning my ride through the Yakima Canyon, I saw this sign.
24 miles to get to the other end of the canyon!

Into the canyon I go!

One of the things I remember from my previous trip was how easy it was. Oh, that's right--we had a TAILWIND!!! Not so today. Nope! It was anything BUT a tailwind! However, one thing I will say, I can go faster in a headwind than I can go up a mountain pass! Not ALOT faster...

The Yakima Canyon follows the Yakima River. There are many fishing access places. Unfortunately, other than the river, the campsites are dry, as in no piped water. I was filled up on water for the ride through. Still, I would have felt better having an option of refilling water.

I knew by the time I rode out of the canyon, I would have done a fair chunk of miles--around 60. It would be another 30 miles to get to Mineral Springs Campground from Ellensburg. Those miles would be mostly uphill. I thought a hotel stay would be necessary. Kyle and I had the same issue when we did the canyon. We stayed in Selah at the Northwoods Lodge (newly opened).

Due to my early start, I thought would probably arrive in Ellensburg around 12:30. Hmmm...maybe if I just took an extended lunch break, I could continue on and make it to Mineral Springs...but...then the headwind would slam into me, and the idea of a hotel stay seemed awfully appealing!

Theeeeennnnn...I'd have second thoughts as I was cruising on the downhill sections. YES! I could make it to Mineral Springs! Here's a photo taken while riding. See, it's kind of downhill looking (actually, it wasn't, but it was not too difficult).

Ahhh, but then I would have to do some climbing. The idea of stopping in Ellensburg would pop to the forefront of my mind. I vacillated the rest of the way. One moment I was set on taking a break and continuing. The next moment I was DEFINATELY staying in Ellensburg!

After I came out of the canyon, I still had another 4 miles until I came into Ellensburg on Canyon Rd. Those last 4 miles sealed it for me. I was tired and my mouth was dry. My butt was tired of sitting. A hotel stay it would be!

So, after 63 miles, I'm esconsed at the Comfort Inn in Ellensburg. It kind of blows the budget, but I really don't think I could have done another 30 miles. This is better!


Anonymous said...

Looks good to me.....

experiencemississippiriver said...

Really nice information, thanks for sharing!

Travel Blog