In the summer of 2011 I went bike camping with my son (9 years old at the time). We talked about the history and route of the old Milwaukee Road railway that went from Seattle to Chicago. Much of the rail lines east of Montana are still in use but the lines in Washington, Idaho, and Montana were abandoned. In Washington state the line was acquired by the state with more than one-third of the line becoming Iron Horse State Park.
My son asked if it was possible to ride across the entire state of Washington from the coast to the Idaho border. After some research we found that the line does in fact go all the way to the Idaho border but not contiguously and not all of it is improved (i.e. flat and graded). Then he clarified his statement, asking if there was a way to ride across the Olympic Peninsula as well, not just from the Puget Sound? Initially I said no but then one day I found a link to the Olympic Discovery Trail, an old rail line that went from La Push, WA (right on the WA coast) all the way across the north side of the Olympics to Port Townsend.
That's when the pieces started falling into place: it now seemed like a ride across Washington, primarily on old rail-trails, was actually possible!
That was the genesis of this project to Ride Across Washington. It may take several years of planning but in the end we plan to organize a ride across the entire state. This website will be used to track our progress and disseminate information.