Image taken 2001.

A long lonely, but paved, road takes one from Enterprise, Oregon to Lewiston, Idaho.  On its way, it cuts across the south east corner of Washington State.  This view is peering down into a canyon of the Grande Ronde River.  Snake River canyon is near by.

Someone told me about a back way, partially on gravel, that one could plunge down into the Snake River Canyon.  After that it would be a level ride, along the Snake, into Lewiston.  I feared I might take a wrong turn, or get all the way to the mouth of the Grande Ronde and find no bridge thus having to go all the way back.  Sticking to the main road, I dropped down nearly 3,000 ft. to the Grande Ronde just west of where it runs into the Snake.  Then it was a 3,000 ft. climb, back out on the other side.  I got my exercise that day and saw some spectacular views.  It was very meditative with hardly a car in sight.

At the Grande Ronde's edge sits a small restaurant.  The food is marvelous and they hand out an information brochure that starts with the statement, "We are at the bottom."

After the top of that long hill, north of the Grande Ronde, is Anatone, Washington.



In 2005, I was traveling through that area again.  Between Enterprise, OR. and Lewiston, ID.  This time I decided to try the partially gravel road that I avoided in 2001.  Goes down to the Snake River and then stays along the river to Lewiston, but it was kind of hard to find my way.  Here's from part of my 2005 trip.

Red Hill Lookout
Image taken 2005.
Red Hill Lookout.  I think this may be one of the ones that the Forest Service rents out to travelers.

Down into Hells Canyon
Toward Hells Canyon's west rim.

A person at some bike shop suggested taking gravel roads from Enterprise, OR to Asotin, WA.  Oregon Highway 3 drops down into Grande Ronde River Canyon and then climbs back out again only to drop down into Asotin. 

The gravel route takes one down to Asotin, supposedly, more directly.  It had a lot of up and down and much of the road was poor quality.  Some of the way, I wasn't even sure I was on the right road.  

Cows along the road looked kind of spooky.  Just a few times I have ridden past cows and they did ignore me.  Here they did also, but one never knows.

Eventually, I flagged down a motorist.  He was kind enough to get out his map and assure me that I was, in fact, on the right road.  Cows would be no problem.  He also went back to his camp and grabbed some water bottles for me.  I had tablets to treat water from streams, if I ran out, but didn't have to use them.  His water probably tasted better.

It is good to have the tablets as a "fall back" plan.

In 2001, I stayed on Highway 3 and it is better, in my opinion. 

Still, this back route offered some spectacular views into Hells Canyon and I did survive.  When I finally got to Asotin, it was good to be back in civilization.
 
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