The biggest peak in Spokane’s backyard is so familiar, yet so unknown. The number of people informed that it was Mount Baldy before being renamed Mount Spokane in 1912 could be higher than the sum of visitors who understand whether a Discover Pass or Sno-Park vehicle permit is required for access this week.
With about $69 million in repairs to a cracked spillway completed at Wanapum Dam, water levels on the Columbia River reservoir are being brought up to normal levels and boat ramps are being readied to use for the first time in more than a year. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reopened two boat launches and nearly 20 miles of the remaining shoreline above the Wanapum reservoir to public use on Wednesday.
While “hitting the trail” is a year-round activity for hikers, runners and cyclists, Saturday has been dubbed “Opening Day.” Spokane area groups are riding the coattails of a national event by organizing guided hikes and bike tours to connect trail users with the area’s wealth of opportunities.
The trick to breaking in your biking legs in the spring is to not actually break a leg. This proves challenging when most of your winter balance exercise was limited to not wiping out while salting your driveway. With these snow-barren days, it seemed only appropriate to acquiesce to the reality that my skis have little use. However, the trail conditions are pretty stellar, so long as you can dodge the critters coming out of hibernation early.
The first thing people notice: The tires, wider than the forearms of most grown men. Then, the inevitable first question: Where’s the motor? The fat bike – a seemingly typical mountain bike frame with tires ranging from 3.7 to 4.8 inches wide – owes its origin to Fairbanks, Alaska.
After a strong ride with a weekly group, Janet and David Merriman pedaled home, with a detour to check on a friend’s house they were watching. As dusk gathered, they turned left on 16th, east of Sullivan in the Valley, taking it easy after the 25-mile run out of Wheel Sport East. They saw deer grazing off to the right as a car approached. Suddenly a fawn darted from the left into the path of the car.
A key player in the creation of the Spokane River Centennial Trail will have a mile of the 37-mile route dedicated in his honor today. “Guess whose name is on the mile next to mine – Tom Foley,” said a grinning Clyde Anderson, who will …