Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Saltese and Palouse

I had intended to go to CDA again yesterday but by the time I got to the state line I was bored of the centennial trail. I decided to do some country road wondering. First stop was Henry road. Just West of Liberty Lake is Saltese Flats, the lake bed that one industrious farmer drained for farmland a long time ago. I used to ride in this area a lot when I was young. There is something about the way that Mica Peak hugs the the valley that makes this place feel like the edge of civilization and the beginning of wilderness. The Bison ranch helps to reaffirm that idea.
The road around has finally been paved but it is only suitable for some wider road tires. There is a lot of gravel on top of a tar and chip surface. The gnarly old trees, crumbling homesteads and the all day gray were perfect for listening to some Sigur Ros. I know a lot of people like to listen to upbeat often angry music while riding but it makes no sense on a ride like today.
After riding around Saltese I popped over to Highway 27 and climbed the deceptively long hill. It is a 2 mile long hill followed by five more miles of gradual incline. This is THE hill from my youth and will be a feature around the 80 mile mark on this year's Midnight Century Route. Down the Palouse Highway, around Hangman Hills, then a quick trip up 195 and I was back home. Throwing some hills into todays ride kept it interesting. It may be time to step up the effort on rides. The body seems to be responding well.

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