– Day 1 of Palouse to Cascades Bike for the Cure 2024

We broke camp and left Tall Chief RV Resort just outside Fall City, WA at 8:12 am; 51 degrees with a forecast of rain. We were hoping to outrun the rain. We drove to the Cedar Falls Trailhead. Matt & Sherri started riding, while Mary Ann drove the camper van to Hyak, and then rode back towards us.

The first 108 miles of the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail is also referred to as the Iron Horse State Park. Formerly, the route had been called the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. Lovely sights along the way: bridges, waterfalls, lakes, spectacular panoramic views, and forest vegetation. Even saw a couple of climbers on one of the rock walls. It was a gravelly surface and a slight uphill climb all 22 miles to the Hyak trailhead. It did start to rain a little, more like a heavy mist, nothing bothersome.

We met up with Mary Ann about 6 miles before we got to the tunnel. 18 miles into the ride, we came to the Snoqualmie Pass Tunnel, 2.3 miles long. It is our nation’s longest tunnel open to nonmotorized traffic. It was built in 1914 by the Chicago-MIlwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad, nicknamed the “Milwaukee Road.” You absolutely have to have a headlight, as it is pitch black almost as soon as you enter. It did have a nice smooth floor to make riding easier.

The tunnel ended 0.4 miles before the Hyak trailhead located at an old train depot site. We ate PBJ sandwiches and rested a bit before Matt and Sherri started riding again, while Mary Ann drove the van to the Lake Easton State Park, 18 miles away. Again, she rode back towards us and then the three of us rode to the Park. We had a reservation to park the camper van at a tent site, since the RV sites with hookups were taken, with it being the Memorial Day weekend. It turned out to be a good spot to spend the night. There were restrooms with hot showers just across the road from our site. Boy, were we wanting a hot shower!

We found a burger joint (Mountain High Burgers) just six minutes away and treated ourselves to a hot juicy burger; we felt we had earned it

We were settled in for the night at 7:24, just enough time for a hand of cards and called it a night.

The route so far has been about 40 miles. Stay tuned to see what tomorrow will bring!

Sherri, Mary Ann, and Matt