Day 9 started early with the crossing of I-90 bridge over the Columbia River at Vantage, WA. Jennifer, Justin, and I were escorted over the bridge by two WA State Patrol and a WA Department of Transportation vehicle. The crossing went very smoothly. Great thanks to Paula, Rick, Cathy, Ron, Brian, etc for their efforts to make the bridge crossing a safe success! Shortly after crossing the bridge we made our way to nice rural roads running through farm/ranch country. Jennifer and I were running together about mile 11 or so when a good rain swell came through which chilled us both to the bone due to the wind and unusually low temps. The cold was not good for Jennifer's right quad so we walked the route for the rest of the day - once again using hand warmers to stay warm. I like gray days, but the cold rain is not my favorite. No trail on the route today.
44.74 miles - Vantage to near Warden, WA
The day 10 start was once again cool. Seven miles into the day we entered the small town of Warden followed by a Saint Bernard who was with the three of us for three miles. Did the dog make it bakc home? Answer - Unknown. Not surprisingly I thought of my cousin Don who attended Warden High many moons ago. I didn't miss the post office which I would call a typically brick post office built in the 1960s. On the eastern edge of Warden we rejoined the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. We were once again rewarded with great vistas as we continued our way east. Just west of the town of Lind we transitioned back to road to bypass a section of the rail trail with at least five original railroad trestles removed. I enjoyed running through Lind as the small town was being besieged with visitors to the combine derby. Janice took some pictures of me for The Ritzville Adams County Journal to go along with a story that Katelin Davidson was writing about the Run. It was nice to see folks enjoying themselves as they waited for the festivities to start later that night. On the east side of Lind we returned to the trail for another nine miles before calling it a day. For the record, hand warmers were once again used, and we were rained on for the ninth out of ten days.
41.45 miles - Warden to Ralston, WA
The cold temps continued on day 11 - and it rained on us - and we used hand warmers - but overall the weather was very nice as the sky was gray, and for the most part the drizzle was light enough to not really be a bother. Bottom line, it was a super run through Washington scablands with incredible vistas from a rail trail. The route was entirely on the John Wayne Trail today except for five miles run through private property. Great thanks to Jake and Joan Harder who allowed us to pass through their property so that we could easily bypass the removed Cow Creek Trestle and save eight plus miles of running on the trip across the country. Jennifer, Justin, and I were together as we ran into Jake and JC working on a bridge as we ran through which allowed us to enjoy a few minutes of good conversation. Heidi and Karen enjoyed a good visit with Joan and took in the super views of the Harder property and the removed Cow Creek Trestle while we ran. Jennifer's quad was responding to the rigors of the crossing much better today!!! I expect that it won't take long before Justin (who is fighting off some swelling issues) and Jennifer leave me in the dust again just minutes after each day's start.
37.84 miles - Ralston to Ewan, WA