TRAILBEAR IN THE RAIN - The Latah Trail
The Equinox storms arrived a bit ahead of schedule and poor TrailBear got rained off his ride. He was OK on the Pullman loop trail around WSU and the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail, but the rains arrived that night and the next day was light rain off and on. It was Fall.
Riding in the rain may be fine if you have a place to dry out, but sleeping with a wet bike in a van was not on. The tires dribble and make a mess. (And, no, he was not about to put the Gutterbunny out in the rain.)
What to do? Get in the van and head up the highway to Troy to check out the trail. It runs along it most of the way. Hop out at intervals to get photos. Discover a roadside trailhead not shown on the official map or TrailLink's map. Search for trailheads shown on the topo atlas (one found), go back to Moscow and start tracing the Paradise Path. Get wet, but keep the bike dry.
@@@ A GOOD LOOKING TRAIL
This looks like a good ride. The blacktop at each sample point was in good shape. ***** rating. The scenery is probably a rural ****. You are riding across the Palouse and through the farms and such. Not many trees. It should be great in the sun.
There is a trailhead with parking, picnic tables in the pines and a vault toilet east of Butte Rd. at
N46.71842 W116.84938. Plug that into Google Earth and you can see it clearly. The ride ends at the city park in Troy, with parking, restroom, water, tot lot and tennis courts.
Tennis courts in a little logging town? Loggers are generally not into tennis. A good gun range - now you're talking. However, the park has two courts.
@@@ PLANNING THE RIDE
You can ride this as a single out n back or in combination with the Bill Chipman Trail for a longer ride. The two trails are connected in Moscow by the Paradise Path. This is a 1.5 mile paved trail that winds through the University of Idaho campus and then up Paradise Creek to merge with the Latah Trail. This fall (2010) a good portion of it is torn up for a goodly bit, but if you can get across campus to College St (W 8th St) and Railroad St., the trail is between the creek and the parking lot.
Neither the Bill Chipman or the Latah Trail have formal trailheads in Moscow. For the Chipman, use the mall across the highway. For the Latah, use the mall across the highway. There is a big one at Blaine St x Hwy 8. Another option is to use the Berman Creekside Park (Styner Ave. x Hawthorne Dr.). The trail runs across the bottom of the park, along side the creek.
Get on the trail and head east.
@@@ GOOD RIDING IN THE PALOUSE
In the Pullman - Moscow area you have a number of trails worth the ride. There is an eight mile loop trail around WSU. There is the Bill Chipman Palouse trail - seven miles to Moscow. There is the Paradise Path to connect the Chipman to the Latah. There is the eleven mile Latah Trail. These can be done as one continuous trail, if desired. Drop down from Troy to pick up the five mile between Kendrick and Juliaetta.
The Palouse can be a delighful place in the sunshine. Just remember that you are in the midst of a zillion square miles of wheat, a form of grass. Think: Allergies.
Sneezing down the trail.