In which we reach the adventure's end point: Rosalia and Tekoa


We're getting close to the end of the trail...less than 35 miles to go.

This part of an adventure always brings up mixed feelings for me.  I love being out on the trail, living in my truck, hanging with my horse every day...but I miss Jim, the dogs, my garden.  

But we aren't done yet!  It's time to ride to Rosalia!

47°14'18.0"N 117°22'23.4"W Malden to Rosalia


Head east Broadway Ave 0.5 mi 

Continue onto Pine City-Malden Rd 

Turn left onto Rosalia Rd 0.3 mi 

Continue onto S Whitman Ave 

Turn left onto W 1st St (becomes Gashous Rd) Camp is on the left, on the back side of the rodeo grounds.

Only 10 miles on the trail today, pretty much a walk in the park for our group at this point in the journey.  

However, temps were forecasted for the high 90's, and not much wind...and very little shade.  We beat feet outta Malden early in the morning, before it got too hot to think.

Our camp in Rosalia is at the back of the rodeo grounds, on a big grassy field with LOTS of access to water--a blessing for those of us who wanted to refill rigs and cool ourselves and our horses during the heat of the day.

Looking from the trail down to the rodeo grounds and the municipal sewer settling ponds. 
The "wrong side of the tracks" isn't a metaphor for most towns--the land close to railroad tracks 
(or former railroad tracks, in the case of our trail) is where cities put ugly/stinky stuff.

Usually our group shares the rodeo ground with rodeo folk, but these are not usual times.  

No rodeo this year, and no Rosalia parade, either*

*I've always been a bit squinchy about the whole premise of the "Battle Days" celebration,
anyhow.  Celebrating "how we white folx didn't get killed by heathen savages that one time
just doesn't set right with me.  It being cancelled didn't break my heart.

Of course, no rodeo also means less economic stimulation for the town.  

Andrea and I did our duty as tourists, and bought a pizza to bring back to camp with us, but it was too hot for anything else beyond an obligatory visit to the Rosalia library, where I met my friend Marcy and heard about her amazing plans for the library summer reading program.

After that, it was really just too hot to think, so I read my book in the shade of my trailer and went to bed early.  

That's a lovely thing about this trip:  it was easy to hang out with great people, but it was also easy to stretch out with a book and not talk for several hours.  

And the next morning:  we were off again!

47°13'22.1"N 117°04'29.6"W Rosalia to Tekoa
Head south on Whitman 
Whitman becomes Rosalia Rd. 
Rosalia Rd. becomes Hwy 271 (8.5 miles) 
Turn left on WA 27/Tekoa-Oaksdale Rd. 
WA 27 becomes Ramsey St. 
Camping is to the left of the grain elevator

Tekoa is the last camp for this trip.  

When I did the trail in 2019, arriving at Tekoa meant that you'd "finished the trail", and doing all the parts earned me a coveted "white scarf."  The trail was significantly shorter this year because of burned out portions (Smyrna and Ewan), so the organizers decided that doing the out-and-back to Idaho from Tekoa would also be counted as part of the "white scarf" trail.

This photo is not color-gimped.  The grass was really that green!

Normally, an additional 12 miles on the final day would be an automatic "yes" for me--we were in plenty good form for it.  However, there was a memorial service being held on that final day, and I had to be there.  So, no scarf for me this year.  

And really:  it was fine.  I enjoyed my last day on the trail, with 22 miles of pretty scenery and good company.

I haven't shared this before, but it's really too ridiculous to ignore:  this is how
Andrea's horse Chance always stretches out to pee.  She laughs at him every single time.

The last stretch of trail is almost like little bits of everything we'd already seen:  some dry spots, some steep cuts through the rocks (we saw marmots but no rattlesnakes this year), 

Fiddle was alert for more nesting owls like the ones that scolded us
in the cuts on the "Dam(n) Ride day."

Mostly, though, there were plenty of rolling hills to trek through,

and trestles over roads and creeks

Fiddle can see horses ahead, and wants to catch up with them

and some very lush grass to tromple through

...and eat!

Finally, we see the Tekoa trestle ahead--still closed for travel, but scheduled for re-decking this fall.  With luck (and a lot of state funding), we will be able to ride across the Tekoa trestle next year!

After crossing the Renslow trestle, the Tekoa looks puny by comparison.

Camp in Tekoa features plenty of green grass.  I moved Fee's pen 5 or 6 times throughout the day to allow her plenty of fresh forage.


I shot this video tour of Tekoa camp early the next morning, while most people were still asleep.  I always wake up early in camp, even on days when we don't have to ride early.

You can hear the "early morning/haven't talked much yet" in my voice.  That sound was good in my radio days--sort of a "900-number grumble", but most people I know now haven't heard it.

Last stop on the way out of Tekoa and heading for home:

Even at 6:30am, the library's wi-fi is on

My GPS threw up its hands in despair when I asked it to navigate me back to paved roads, insisting that I must be in outer space somewhere.  So, before I headed out, I parked across the street from the Tekoa library and soaked up enough wi-fi to allow the GPS to find itself and map a route.  

Goal for next year:  I will make a special trip to see inside it!

I stopped a few hours in Zillah for the scheduled memorial service, and then headed over the mountains to our Swamp.

Home sweet home

Already, I'm planning for next year.  Because it was just that great.


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