Continuing our series of favorite road rides in the Walla Walla Valley, this ride takes us up to Harris Park in Umatilla County, just over the border in Oregon. It's one of the longest rides we do, and we tend to add on a few extra miles by riding farther west to begin the ride than this map indicates. Fortunately, we go right through Milton-Freewater in each direction so can stop for a rest room or food stop, as needed.
This is also one of the hillier rides we do in the area, as it climbs up out of the valley into the hills along South Fork Walla Walla River Road to the park. Of course that makes for some fun riding on the way back, once we've paid the piper on the way there!
This county park is a true hidden gem. And amazingly, we usually have it almost completely to ourselves when we ride up on a weekday, though I'd imagine it gets more use on weekends. That's exactly the reason we avoid it then -- to avoid traffic coming and going on the road.
Once the road turns to gravel, you can ride for many more miles...wish we'd brought our mountain bikes!
The day-use picnic area -- empty, as usual. Does no one know about this beautiful place but us?!
The small campground is equally deserted, save the camp host. What a lovely place to camp this would be. You can hear the roaring Walla Walla River from the road, so it would be even louder from the tent and RV sites that back right up to it. Ahhhhh....
The ride to and from the park is as special as the park is and includes some of the prettiest scenery we've seen in this entire area. The terrain is more varied than down in the valley as well, and there's actually some shade here and there -- rare in the valley.
I always admire this neat, tiny farm right by the road. I could live here...well, a few months a year anyway!
There are loads of blackberries dripping from each side of the road, free for the picking. Oh yes!
There are numerous river crossings along the way.
The water is seriously clear!
In a flashback to our former lives, we came upon a piece of Northern Telecom switching equipment right on the way to the park, a DMS-1 Urban. Barry and I both worked for NT for many years, so seeing this old logo brought back a lot of memories.
So, there you have it, another of our favorite bike rides in this beautiful area.
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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