When Trevor, Paul, Larry and I rode from Rattlesnake Lake to Tekoa on the Ironhorse and what was then known as the John Wayne Pioneer Trial we encountered half a dozen obstacles: three minor and three major. The three major obstacles were detouring around the closed Renslow Bridge which crosses I-90 east of Ellensburg, crossing the Columbia River without the aid of the fenced off trestle at Beverly and crossing the private land at Cow Creek south of Ritzville.
In 2013, our detour around the Renslow Bridge was to simply ride overland in an easterly direction; a plan that put us in the backyard of a partially burned-out meth lab – a route I wouldn’t recommend. With the railroad bridge at Beverly being closed we were forced to cross the Columbia on the no-shoulder I-90 bridge at Vantage – once in a lifetime is more than enough for that. With respect to crossing Cow Creek, hmmm I can’t really remember how we did that, yeah that’s it I don’t remember.
The three minor obstacles: active railway east of Crab Creek, partially collapsed tunnel at Rock Lake and the Tekoa trestle are all easily and safely bypassed and create no major impediment to the cross-state rider.
I am happy to see that two of the three major obstacles are currently being eliminated. Work on the Renslow Bridge is nearly complete and is scheduled to open to non-motorized traffic next month (March 2021) All Over The Map: Iconic Renslow Trestle over I-90 set to open to public in March (mynorthwest.com). Rehabilitation of the Beverly bridge has been funded with an estimated completion date of September 21, 2021 Beverly Bridge – Columbia River Crossing – Palouse to Cascades Trail Coalition. The remedy for the Cow Creek situation won’t be as straightforward as rehabilitating an existing trestle as the trestle no longer exists. Absent some serious cooperation from the local landowner I suspect that the detour up to Ritzville will be a permanent part of the PTCT.
Oh well two out of three ain’t bad.