Monday, March 23, 2015

Road Trip on the High Plains of Eastern Washington

Navigating across the high plains of eastern Washington provides a sense of adventure and exploration while in the comfort of the cushioned seat of the car. While taking a short cut from one place to the next, one needs to stay alert to precise location and the fact that roads on a map may no longer exist and new roads may have been cut. Google maps is only of marginal help in this landscape. 
 
The paved routes are the easy part, but if there is a shorter route to my destination I will take it.

On graveled roads, I start calculating the cost of lining the road with crushed rock gravel and just what the area and who might be served by this expense. It sure does improve the ability to get heavy trucks in and out of the wheat fields and with a lot less dust.
The last links of any short cut can be iffy. Despite the switch to dirt I felt confident this road would be a go as it was dry and there were relatively fresh tire tracks.

Local road signs were not much use.
 
This road was relatively newly graded as can be seen by the blocks of dirt on the sides. The water rills down the track got a bit deep further on but with the new grading were avoidable.
 
This bit of road was one section I knew would be bad ahead so I stopped here and proceeded to my destination on foot.
The high plains comes to an abrupt end with 1,500-foot canyon. 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are these pics from the North Wenas Rd. that runs between Ellensburg and Selah? Matches the photos and description.

Michael Riley said...

Reminds me of Douglas County, but, regardless, I'd love to know where that canyon is.

Dan McShane said...

You know your landscapes Michael; it is Douglas County. The canyon is Rock Creek which comes off the south side of Badger Mountain. North Wenas Road would enter similar ecosystems.