In which sometimes it's easier to sing than to tell the ride story

 photo by Cassidy Rae
The Old Milwaukee Rail Trail
sung to the tune of "The City of New Orleans"
with apologies to Steve Goodman and Arlo Guthrie

Riding on The Old Milwaukee Rail Trail,

Sunrise on the trail, about 10 miles in

Kittitas central, wind blowin’ up my tail--

Ridecamp, literally beneath Interstate Highway 90
just past Ellensburg and Kittitas

photo by Cassidy Rae

Fifty ponies, fifty restless riders;

Best companions for the trail: Kathy and Pearl, Andie and Sadie

Seven pulsers, and twenty-five friends of Gail.

Ride manager Gail Williams talks with riders and volunteers.
Photobomb by Fiddle.

Doctor Patty Robinett, DVM  consults with a rider about her steed

It's a lucky rider who has Santa for crew!
photo by Monica Bretherton

Headin’ east, our odyssey

Approaching the Columbia River and the first vetcheck at 21 miles

Then west again, the camp to see

This is a true Rail Trail, built on a wide, flat, former railroad grade
We trot along past grasses, scrub and fields.

...and a flock of five military 'copters (biggify to see the choppers)
Passin' trees that have no names,

We named this the "turnaround tree" because several loops went to this landmark
and then turned back around towards camp.
Training grounds full of sneaky men

Biggify the spot on the horizon between Fiddle's ears to see...

Tanks!  The Rail Trail is surrounded by Army training grounds.
I posted photos of some of the other Army stuff HERE.

To the river check, and the vets who wait for me there...

Big landscape, tiny vetcheck by the river

Good morning America how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the trail they call The Old Milwaukee Rail Trail,
You’ll be gone ‘bout eighty miles when the day is done.
Evening on the Old Milwaukee Rail Trail,
Sunset on the trail.  The skies were astonishing.
Changing socks at forty miles or so.

Sirie and Laun saved me with their magical essential oils.
I was the best-smelling crippled rider in camp!
Half way home, we'll be out past sundown

Full dark finish:  11pm
Through the wind and the sunshine

The Boyleston Tunnel is now closed to equestrians, which doesn't break
my heart since a horse and I crashed in that tunnel years ago.
The bypass road is rocky, but delicious bunch grass grows bountifully.
Trotting on down to the line.

And all the rocks and people seem

Andie leads through a rocky cut in the stone
To fade into a bad dream

Biggify to see the RATTLESNAKE.
Kathy's horse Pearl wanted a bite of this grass!
And this gravel trail still ain't heard the news.

Andie and Kathy walked most of the rocky bypass trail,
but I had to ride it.  Fiddle took great care of me all day.
The head vet sings the song again,

Sunset over sage, distant mountains
The riders now will please refrain

Sagebrush and chipmunks
This trail’s got the disappearing railroad blues.

Good night, America, how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the trail they call The Old Milwaukee Rail Trail,
You’ll be gone ‘bout eighty miles when the day is done.


  1. I just can't get over how different that landscape is from anything we have out here.

    1. It's really different from my home Swamp, too!

  2. I was at a geocaching event recently and this guy came up to me, knowing I'm from Seattle, and said he finally made it to North America. Specifically British Columbia and just a quick drop down into Washington. He said, "I love mountains and woods, and I've been to the alps..." I said, "And they're not really prettier than the Rockies..." and he said, "But in Europe, you drive through the mountains for a few hours. In BC, we drove for DAYS and it was just more mountains and more woods, and more days, and more woods..." I thought he should have done a Washington state tour instead - where you see something besides just woods: )

    If I ever have the chance to do MRRT again, I won't do it alone.


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