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Moscow, Idaho — July 30-31, 2004

An event loosely organized by: HMarc and Warchild

Abe Simpson

170 miles, approximately 4.5 hours

This route does kinda look like Abe Simpson, doesn't it?

  1. Head south out of Moscow on US-95.
  2. After 25 miles or so (roughly), as you come to the edge of the Lewiston Grade, look for the sign that says "Scenic View" and take the turn to the right. It comes up quickly, and you're at freeway speed, so be alert!
  3. This will put you on the upper end of the locally famous "Spiral Highway". Take a moment to check out the view before descending. You can see three States from the view point. If you miss the turn, no worries, just continue down the 4-lane road to US-12 just NE of Lewiston, ID.
  4. The Spiral Highway drops about 1500' in 6 miles or so down the Lewiston Grade. You may want to ride this short bit more than once!
  5. At the bottom, turn right on 128 and continue to just east of Clarkston, WA, where 128 turns south over the Red Wolf bridge over the Clearwater. Don't take it! Unless, that is, you're hungry. In which case the big marina on the south end of the bridge has pretty decent food, and a big wooden deck where you can dine in the sunshine.
  6. Keep going straight along the north shore of the river. The road becomes WA-193, aka Wawawai Road.
  7. It's easy to get carried away on 193 and wick it up a bit, but watch out for fishermen and campers who may pull abruptly onto the road in front of you. And watch out for deer, as always, and for Chukars (a large cousin of the quail) -- if you hit a Chukar it will ruin your day.
  8. You will come to a place where the road turns away from the river and becomes gravel. Just as it does that, there's a sharp 15mph left turn that you need to take so you can continue downstream on the paved road along the Snake.
  9. When you see a large green State Park just ahead, the paved road will turn uphill and wind up a canyon to the top of the bluff.
  10. At the top, turn left at the intersection where the road you're on becomes gravel. The paved road is the one that goes left.
  11. After awhile, if you're alert, you'll see WA-194 branches off to the left (across a tiny bridge in the bushes), and the road you're on becomes 194 headed to Pullman. If you continue on 194 to Pullman, and Moscow, the ride will be roughly 125 miles, and you'll be done in 3 hours or less.
  12. To continue on the recommended route, take the left turn onto 194 and follow it to the intersection with Almota road. To stay on 194 (which you want to do) you have to turn left, as the "main" road becomes Almota road.
  13. In a few miles, you will come to the bluff above the Snake river again and descend the twisty and scenic Almota grade to the river. Where the road reaches the river is near one of the campsites used by the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  14. Turn around there, or a little further up the road at Boyer Park (where you can get refreshments) and head back on 194 to the intersection with Almota road, and turn left onto Almota Rd.
  15. Almota Road will dump you into Colfax, WA at the south end, where you will turn left onto 195. The speed limit is 25mph here, and they ticket for exceeding that by just a few mph. Like Nathan Arizona says in RAISING ARIZONA, "Watch yer butt!".
  16. At the north end of Colfax, look for Hwy 272 to Palouse, and turn right onto it.
  17. At the stop sign in Palouse, turn right on Hwy 27 and go down the hill, and cross the main street. Continue over the bridge, make the fairly sharp right turn, then look for State Route 66 (aka Palouse Cove Rd). It will be a turn on your left. Take it.
  18. Hwy 66 will dump you onto US-95, where you turn right and head into Moscow, and your motel.

On this route reliable fuel may be found at Moscow (of course), Lewiston, Clarkston, and Colfax.

Copyright © 2004, by H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.