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Old 07-01-2013, 01:11 PM   #1
Me_Rock OP
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Location: Cheney, WA
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The World's Ugliest Triumph goes to the Grand Coulee Dam

On Sunday, 6/30/2013, I went on a 300 mile day ride to see some of the best sights that Eastern Washington has to offer.

The tools that were selected to complete this task were simple but effective. Packing list is as follows:

(1) 1996 Triumph Tiger (named Elizabeth)
(1) Panasonic FZ-35 (not the latest or the greatest, but gets the job done)
(1) Package of peanut M&Ms
(1) Bottle of orange Powerade (green is nasty - don't buy it)

Elizabeth and I left Cheney and started heading north. The first planned stop was the confluence of the Spokane and Columbia rivers. I'm not from Spokane, but I study geology at Eastern Washington University, so I've spent some quality time there. A favorite saying of mine is "Spokane... it's OK." I am, however, from a town on the Columbia called White Salmon, WA. Visiting where my river and the Spokane river meet had a little bit more significance in my mind than just seeing some pretty water.

The Spokane river has lots of cool little dams like this one:


There were some lovely twisties climbing up and down the mountains that the Spokane river cuts through. This gravel turnout was a great place to stop and take a few pictures:



Check out the color of the water as it gets shallower at the shores:


GPS? Too expensive. Paper and duct tape is more within my budget:


Before long, I was standing between two big rivers. If someone can tell me when a river stops being a river and starts being a reservoir, that is some information I'd like to know!

On the left is the Spokane River, and on the right is the Columbia.


A boater enjoying Lake Roosevelt:


It was surprising to see that there was absolutely nothing built on such a unique piece of land. Just a grassy field.


The next stop was the Keller Ferry. I found the ferry quite by accident by dragging my route around on Google Maps. There were about three miles of amazing twisties on the road that goes down in to the valley. However, immediately as the twisties began, I got stuck behind a cage. "Damn car, you ruined everything!". I pulled over for a couple of minutes to let Mr. Corolla get some distance and snapped a few pictures while I was at it.

There were probably about five great hairpins:


Headed down that way... somewhere:


C'mon, Elizabeth... smile just once?


There were 1/4" chicken strips left on the edges of the tires at the bottom of the hill.

At about this point in the trip, it was roughly 90 degrees F. I was beginning to regret wearing leathers:




Boarded the ferry. Martha S is a long way from home!



Instead of riding asphalt to the Big Coulee, Google Maps found a 20 mile dirt/gravel shortcut. I was starting to be able to smell myself (sweaty leather)... for some reason I did not get in the water. The Columbia (or Lake Roosevelt):


The one other vehicle I encountered:


Check out those neat rocks!


See the road spiraling up the hill? It got steep, rutted, and rocky. First gear got quite a workout. Chugga Chugga!


Eventually I found the Grand Coulee Dam. They even opened up all of the spillways for my viewing enjoyment! This is what roughly 300,000 cubic feet per second looks like:


Couldn't get any closer:




Before hitting the highway back to Spokane, I went South, paralleling Banks Lake:





It was a straight shot back to Cheney, WA on Highway 2. Overall a very good day of riding, with lots of variety of road. Straight highways, twisties, dirt, gravel, lawns, curbs. I did take one stop on the long highway back. Grain elevators are big!



Until next time!
Me_Rock
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
Mudclod
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Location: Killeen, TX.
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Rockin'!
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
Ladybug0048
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Location: Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
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WOW the spillways were open! Grand Coulee is a spectacular dam. The ride you took is a good one and Impressed you found Little Falls dam too.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:56 AM   #4
XR4EVER
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I wish I could have met up with you, but I just had too much going on. It looks like you had a good ride!
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