Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cycling The Palouse

Bike passage across Lake Coeur d'Alene
With summer temperatures arriving early, Nancy and I loaded up the bikes and set off for a Sunday afternoon spin across Lake Coeur d'Alene.  Yes, across Lake Coeur d'Alene.  Today's route would take us from Plummer, ID to Harrison, ID along the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene's (TCdA) bike path.  The TCdA is a marvelous facility having a trail head in Plummer and then heading east for about 70 miles first across Lake Coeur d' Alene and then meandering along the Coeur d'Alene River through Idaho's Silver Valley.
Sunday's cycling route
TCdA is fashioned on an abandoned railway bed so inclines are gradual.  One of the focal points of the ride from Plummer to Harrison is the trestle bridge crossing the lower portion of the lake.  
Converted railroad bridge crossing Lake Coeur d'Alene
From the trail head outside of Plummer, the trail descends for about seven miles along Plummer Creek Canyon before spilling out at lakeside.  From there, the trail crosses the lake via the old railway bridge and then hugs the eastern shore until turning inland at the small community of Harrison.
Lake Coeur d'Alene looking south
with bridge in distance
View across lake from Harrison
Rather than beginning at the Plummer trail head, we began at the small marina on the western shore only a few hundred yards from the trestle bridge.  We would cross the lake and then head north along the shore to Harrison for a stop and bit of refreshment before retracing our path back to  the marina.  Round trip distance from marina to Harrison is about 17 miles.
Harrison Marina
Even though the trial along the lake is virtually flat, the terrain is not.  A number of deep railroad cuts dot the landscape.  Beautiful country!
Railroad cut along the lake
After returning to our starting point following a leisurely ride, we loaded up Nancy's bike onto the car rack and I set off for an eight mile uphill time-trial to the Plummer trail head.  Nancy would then meet me at the trail head and we would make the 45 minute drive back to Spokane.
Route up Plummer Creek Canyon
from Marina to Plummer Trail head
With temperatures in the low 90's F, by the time I reached the trail head having pushed my body up the never yielding slope, I was drenched in sweat and ready for a long cool drink.
View from Harrison looking north
Although less in both distance and effort from my regular daily rides, this was an enjoyable half-day spent on the bike with my wife.  Hopefully, this is only the first of many such joint, summer biking excursions.  To compensate for my expected, reduced effort on the bike, I diligently put in 20 miles on the stationary bike at an early morning gym workout before the day's lake excursion.  

14 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures - enjoy yourselves

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  2. It is a great ride. The continuation out to catalog mission is very pleasant as well. I hope to hit the trail here again in the near future.

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    1. We should coordinate schedules so we can get at least ONE ride in this summer. Plummer is a good meeting place since it is about half way between Moscow and Spokane.

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  3. Good man - that looks like a really lovely ride.

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  4. For a very infrequent cyclist like myself, converted rail beds are an ideal ride! We are both fortunate nto live in areas of great natural beauty!

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    1. Converted rail beds make excellent bike paths. With the gradual inclines, perfect for a leisurely ride. We are fortunate, indeed, Peter!

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  5. Beautiful looking countryside Jonathan! I really should get into cycling.

    Christopher

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    1. Cycling is a good way to stay fit, my friend. Give it a try!

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  6. Stunning! I understand your long commute now. And lol on the warm up to the ride. For many of us, that would be the day's exercise.

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