This post continues our series of favorite bike rides in the Walla Walla, Washington area.
As it turns out, one of our very favorite rides is riding south to the state line and into Oregon.
The small city of Milton-Freewater, which lies only a few miles south of the border, has a great city park with decent restrooms and plenty of picnic tables for our break, and even better, there is an inexpensive Mennonite bakery in town with delicious goodies. And a DQ!
Add to that the fact that there are many different routes to and from town to vary the mileage and scenery. Another plus is that it's ever so slightly uphill to get there, which means a generally easier ride back.
Here's one of the shorter routes to cycle from College Place to Milton-Freewater. Often, though, we go quite a ways farther west on the way there to add on mileage for our longer training rides, then we might take a shorter, more direct route back.
Here are photos from some of our many rides to Milton-Freewater. We pass a small alpaca farm and a couple of produce farms along the way.
And this beautiful home with the most amazing garden.
And lots of apple orchards. I knew Washington State was a top apple producer but had no idea that Oregon was as well. There are also apricot, plum, and cherry orchards along the route. Yum!
The very first time we rode to Milton-Freewater was the first time either of us had ever set foot in Oregon! It was exciting to visit another state for the very first time via bicycle, like we did Washington back in June.
Milton-Freewater actually used to be two separate towns, Milton and Freewater. The city took its current name 1951 when the neighboring rival cities of Milton and Freewater voted to merge.
The city is often called "Muddy Frogwater" (read the history of this moniker here), and there are whimsical frog sculptures and images everywhere.
Remember the Mennonite bakery I mentioned? Here is our very first "haul". We didn't eat it all right then but crammed some into our pockets to bring back with us. Seriously yummy.
Another time, we were more moderate in our choices. These sweet rolls are sooooo gooey, soft, and finger-licking good!
Another occasional treat stop for us on a hot day is the DQ. We love the blizzards!
Yantis Park is where we take our rest stop since there are restrooms and plenty of places to sit and stretch (and eat!)
Our very first ride to Milton-Freewater just happened to be on the fourth of July, and there was some traditional square dancing going on at the park. This is definitely small-town Americana!
Downtown Milton-Freewater is small but quaint.
Here's a mural on the sides of some downtown buildings.
They recently continued the theme of this mural on another building down a block. We saw the woman painting this one, and it was amazing how fast she completed it.
And a former gas station, now glass shop, where I stopped for a cold drink one day. Their soda machine costs only 60 cents -- you don't see that much any more! As a bonus, they had nice roses growing out front.
There are some charming houses in town. Here are a couple of my favorites.
On one of our rides, Barry talked me into pedaling up the very long climb up Highway 11 south of town. It wasn't easy, but the view from the top made it worth doing. We could see the entire Walla Walla Valley. It's hard to photograph, but this will give you some idea of the breathtaking view we had.
The colorfully painted city water tower is up here too.
You'd think flying back down this big hill would be fun, but due to some crosswind gusts, it was a bit scary (for me anyway). Once was enough! I think Barry enjoyed it a bit more than me.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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