Took a quick solo run up to NF-1500 / Bethel Ridge to see what's what. Ran into snow right at the 5,000ft elevation mark and while it wasn't deep or particularly treacherous, I was in fact all by myself and hadn't seen anyone since about the 3,000ft elevation point (and they were car camping in a Subaru ) so I decided to play it safe and not push my luck trying to make it all the way across 1500, even though that was my original plan for the day... Interesting side note, the trail up to Bethel Ridge proper was barricaded off with signage saying the area is closed, presumably due to residual fire damage?
Rolling out from West Richland in the pouring rain:
By the time I had made it to the ponds outside Union Gap, the skies were clearing up:
The Hwy 12 canyon was beautiful with the river flowing rapidly the opposite direction:
Headed up the lower section of NF-1500 the roads were dry but not dusty, with plenty of campers in every available spot:
As I gained elevation, the road started to get gummy with latent moisture:
I stopped to take in the view of Rim Rock lake below:
Breaching the 5,000ft elevation mark, I started to see snow in the shady spots alongside the road:
At the summit, the snow was several inches to over a foot deep depending on the area, with some bare spots here and there:
Not wanting to end up in a predicament, I did a little exploring on foot until the snow starting coming down HARD, so I retreated back to my heated leather seats and made my way back down the hillside. That was when I saw the signage blocking off Bethel Ridge proper... clearly someone had decided they needed up there though:
I love this little meadow area this time of year:
Aired back up at the corrals just off the pavement and headed for the house. Unfortunately I wasn't able to complete my mission for the day and get all the way across NF-1500 to drop in at Nile and make a nice loop run, but oh well, any time spent at elevation is always good
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