Goldendale to Union Gap

Date: 
Friday, July 1, 2016
Miles: 
80
Bike: 
Disc Trucker

Truckin through the Yakima Indian Nation.

Google maps directed me to take some logging roads to get back to 97. Tobiah doubted it at first but then thought it could work. I headed out nice and early and things were looking good for the first 2 miles. Then things changed. The nice fine gravel turned to coarse rocks. The road got steep. I got off and pushed a couple of time. I kept going thinking maybe the right turn I was supposed to take soon would be a better road. Then came the gate. No need to push on, I just turned around and flew back down. I probably only lost about 45 minutes on this dead end, and quickly found the paved route which got be to highway 97.

Once on the highway I quickly passed the remaining farmland and was soon in the woods climbing towards Satus Pass. There were actually 3 summits. You could call the first two false summits but the had a significant downhill, which of course was elevation I would have to do over again. Near one of these summits was a Greek Orthodox monastery with a nice bakery/cafe. I stopped for a pastry and a drink. Vey nice.

Once over the final pass there was a big sign that I was entering the Yakima Nation. I didn't get to meet any of the people but I guess they are doing well. They even issue their own license plates. The only encounter I had was a nice one. I was on a not very busy road when a car behind me slowed down and waited patiently to pass even tough there was plenty of room. When they passed a young Indian woman in the passenger seat waved and gave me a sweet smile.

It was interesting that the inhabitants of most of the towns in the Yakima Indian Nation where of Mexican decent rather than native. This of course is the Yakima Valley, famous for its apples and other crops. I was really hoping to see some small fruit stands and get some cherries but I saw none. I did stop at a wonderful Mexican restaurant in Wapato for some lemonade.

There were no campgrounds and opportunities for stealth camping did not look attractive. I pushed on to Union Gap just south of Yakima. There I found a genuine natural food store that seemed out of place but welcome. It was adjacent to the marijuana dispensary. I stopped and got a cold Knudsen's Recharge which really hit the spot. From there I easily found the Super 8 motel for the night.

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Not the right road
Google Maps said I should go this way.

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Satus Pass
There were two summits with significant downhills before the actual summit. Considering how much climbing I did I expected it to be higher.

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Yakima Indian Nation
Spent most of the day in Indian Country

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Mexican Restaurant
A wonderful Mexican restaurant in Wapato.

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Yakima Indian Nation
This made me happy.