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Plummer ID to Ellensburg, WA

Old 11-19-15, 09:24 PM
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White_birch
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Plummer ID to Ellensburg, WA

Hi everyone,

November dreaming time! I'm trying to fill in a few gaps on my E to W cross-country 2017 route. Overall route is from Delaware to Seattle, taking lots of time for stops, as we'll have our 10-year old daughter with us.

We're also trying to hit lots of trails. So our route looks pretty set on taking the Coeur d' Alene Trail to Plummer. And then we'd like to pick up the John Wayne Trail from Ellensburg heading east.

(I've looked at the North Idaho Centennial Trail and Spokane Centennial Trail, but that would mean missing the best part of the CDA Trail, right? If anyone has great things to say about those first two trails over the western part of the CDA Trail, I'm willing to hear you out.)

My real question for all you route mavens is, what's the best route from Plummer to Ellensburg? I've ruled out the John Wayne Trail through that area because it's widely considered to be mountain bike only.

Here are three options generated by Google maps in bicycle mode, but the first choice uses a lot of the JWT: https://goo.gl/maps/BxfTv

We'd take a less direct but quieter route, but we'll probably only make 25-35 miles a day, so long stretches in the desert will be tough on us. We can stock up and do one or two days without services, but nothing more than that, hopefully.

I also don't know any of the parks, towns and cities in this area, so good destinations to know about would also be useful.

Thanks for your help!

Rob
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Old 11-20-15, 09:12 AM
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have you thought about heading North from Plumer instead of going to Ellensburg? The ride around Grand Coulee is pretty cool and Highway 153 / SR20 is one of the most spectacular rides in the Pacific Northwest. On the other side of the Cascades the ride from Mt. Vernon to Seattle can be accomplished almost entirely on trail (Centennial & Interurban.)
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Old 11-20-15, 11:29 AM
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I agree in that Plummer to Pinehurst is w/o question the best part of the CDA trail and should not be missed. But I also don't see why you have to miss either that portion of the Centennial Trail(s). When I rode the CDA, I paid a driver to take us out to Plummer from the city of Couer D'Alene (mainly for time limitations) and we passed all kinds of bikers riding the route. True doing so takes you directly north an is not linear, I think the steps and ladders approach is best. The Centennials run along the Spokane River and are a nice ride. Once your in the city of Spokane, there are all kinds of rural roads that could lead you to the Ellensburg area.
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Old 11-20-15, 11:31 AM
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Also, read this. Everything this SquidPuppet guys says is 100% accurate.

https://www.bikeforums.net/pacific-no...-d-alenes.html
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Old 11-20-15, 12:47 PM
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The route you have mapped out is dry and desolate. Plenty of farms along the way though and if you make friends easily you could likely get water as needed from farmers along the way. Camping spots might be harder to come by. If I were doing it I'd ride north out of plummer to either Cd'A or to Spokane via SR278 and SR27, Rockford, Mica, Palouse Hiway. From Spokane I'd follow US 2. to at least Wilbur where I would choose between going north through Grand Coulee and then up to SR20 North Cascades hiway or across 2 to Wenatchee and over Blewett Pass to Cle Elum US97, or turn South @ Coulee City SR17 to Soap Lake, then through Ephrata, George, Vantage then Ellensburg. The first option has towns along 2 no farther than 20 miles apart Spokane to Coulee City. The more northerly route is the most scenic by far! The problem with my third suggestion and your mapped route is the Vantage bridge. It simply is not for the faint of heart. There is no shoulder for a half mile and the speed limit on that interstate is 70mph. Timing should be considered carefully before crossing the bridge. You do not want to do so on a weekend when there is a concert at the Gorge Amphitheater.
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Old 11-22-15, 01:18 PM
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^^^ nor with a 10 year old kid I suspect.
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Old 11-22-15, 04:35 PM
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Thanks for all of these ideas, everyone! I can imagine finding a ride across the Vantage Bridge, if it turns out that's the way we'd like to go.

I'd love to do 153/20 over the mountains, but I have a feeling that we'll be running out of time and energy after being on the road for several months. We're not the best climbers!

Rob
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Old 11-23-15, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by White_birch View Post
Thanks for all of these ideas, everyone! I can imagine finding a ride across the Vantage Bridge, if it turns out that's the way we'd like to go.

I'd love to do 153/20 over the mountains, but I have a feeling that we'll be running out of time and energy after being on the road for several months. We're not the best climbers!

Rob
You might be tired by then but you may also become great climbers by then. If you end up trying to cross at Vantage and need a ride drop me a Pm and I may be able to come down and drive you across.
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Old 11-23-15, 01:20 PM
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^^^ Black Wallnut is a good dude. I'd like to ride with him sometime when visiting Ellensburg but pretty sure he'd drop me fast in the hills.
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Old 11-23-15, 10:26 PM
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Hey... White Birch... Black Wallnut... This could work out! I'll keep you in mind for a possible Vantage Bridge assist in Summer 2017! Thanks so much for the kind offer.

Rob
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