Friday, September 28, 2007

Art in the Boonies

Sometimes when flying into Spokane (from Seattle), the landing approach requires the pilot to loop the plane around the West Plains, over the Northside and to the airport. Whenever I fly over the SFCC/Gov't Way/Rimrock area, I see this little dirt road just west of the MegaChurch on Gov't Way. The road is parallel to Gov't Way, then cuts west under the railroad. I just flew in from Seattle last week and saw this curious little road and tunnel again and decided that I would go find it on my next ride-about.

Ben and I found it this morning. We found all sorts of cool things. I used to ride around the Greenwood Cemetery years ago when I was a mountain biker guy. I'd forgotten a lot of the trails and cemetery paths until we got back on them today.

The cemetery is huge. We rode all around the western side of the cemetery, which climbs up towards rim rock. Ben said it was like riding in the Twilight Zone, there are little roads and paths and patches of cemetery winding all over the hill side. We got lost in minor little ways a couple times. With all the dead folks laying around there and the little roads and paths, it was a little disorientating.

At a western part there was a cool old bridge that crosses the deep railroad tracks. This gets you out of the cemetery and into some fun, steep, rocky single-track climbs. If you follow the trail downward, you pop out at the tunnel that I spied from the plane.

The tunnel has a bunch of art spray painted on it. Clearly, when a good tagger has time to spend on a piece, their work is can be really nice. And the setting is kind of nice too. Being out in the boonies, where all access roads are blocked by gates, makes for a pleasant viewing.
Continuing through the tunnel (heading east/NE) you pop out at the Evergreen Archery Club. Cool. That road, which is gated, pops you out at Houston/Colville road. Which pops you out right across from the Centennial Trail access there at that little military cemetery.
Looking at Google Maps -- the trail that cuts under the tracks is named Park Road. That "road" has not seen a car for some time.
Anyway, this was a good ride-about: dirt roads; some trails; pavement; closed roads. And I saw a couple other opportunities for future exploration.


Anonymous said...

you know we were back in there a couple of years ago, you remember the ride we had to haul our bikes up the cliff face - Joe

Michael said...

Poking around on the blog it seems like you might like these bikes:

John Speare said...

Joe: yeah, I remember that "ride." I don't remember seeing this tunnel although you know my memory is pretty bad. I do remember the climb with our bikes. Some of the trails Ben and I were on yesterday were the same trails that we took on our ride/climb day. I did recognize them.
Anon: Yeah, I've visited that site. I always feel partly inspired and partly frustrated when I see that site. Inspired, because such bikes exist and there is a place in the world that is serious about developing useful bikes. Frustrated, because that place in the world is so flipping far away. These bikes are being imported now, so I guess that's a bit of a consolation.