While camping over the Memorial Day weekend at Central Ferry State Park along the Snake River in Eastern Washington I took the boys out geocaching. My 17 year old son was given the opportunity to drive and when we came across the Highway 126 ‘shortcut’ between Dayton and Pomeroy, I just had to suggest we take that road.
I found this description of the road on page 29 of Country Roads of Washington:
If on this route, you find yourself in a series of steep switchbacks that you think you can’t negotiate with your car, don’t say you were not warned.
When Washington Highway 126 peels off the major Southeastern Washington route of US Highway 12, there are at least two warning signs telling you the road is not recommended for through traffic and that cars pulling trailers should try another way.
The road takes you up to the top of the Palouse along a nice paved country road for a gorgeous view before changing into a gravel road that drops you through a series of serious switchbacks. I remember taking the road 20 years ago, when I was younger and ‘foolisher’. I was going about 50-60 miles an hour on the paved road and came around a sharp corner, discovering not only a very sharp switchback but a rough gravel road! I quickly popped the ole Subaru into 4 wheel drive and prayed I would stay on the road. After the car bounced around the corner I stopped and finished my hasty prayer with a serious thank-you.
Then one thing that has changed is all of the windmills up here. I thought we had a lot around the Tri-Cities, I swear they are stacked 6 deep here. As we drove by them, I had Brendan pop out of the car and ‘grab’ one for the photo album.