We wake up late and miss breakfast so instead opt to take our time, venture down the riverfront path to Anthony’s for an early lunch at 11 a.m. We are reluctant to leave as this is a really peaceful spot but we check out and decide to have “brunch” and then look for a room for the night, our current hotel has no vacancy tonight.
The riverfront path we learn is a 23-mile RT paved trail along the river and we are anxious to give it a try after we find a room. The first motel that has a vacancy but is right next to the highway, very noisy and not so nice; we move on down the road and find a hotel with everything we want and more, free wifi, free breakfast, secure indoor bicycle storage and access to the bike path. FYI it is the Hampton Inn on Bradley Blvd in Richland WA.
After checking into the room we begin to ride the bike trail only to find that we are right next to one of the main parks in Richland and the Labor Day Tumbleweed Festival is in full swing. It is a folk festival of sorts with three stages of live music, an art fair and food vendors. It is all very home spun, and in a way quite sweet. The music ranges from good to not so good but no matter each venue has supporters. We listen to a few tunes and then ride down the trail. It is a really beautiful trail along the shores the Columbia River. All along the route there are either benches or swings and a number of park areas with swimming beaches and/or boat ramps. This waterfront is all about public access and I love that. Across from the park and bike path is an assortment of modest to not so modest homes but homes that have been there for many years, speaking to the stability of this community.
One of the things that I found so delightful, the parks were filled with families enjoying the long weekend, kids swimming, lots of bikers, folks listening to the music or just wandering through the parks and enjoying the music, food and festivities.
We did manage to ride 11 miles of the trail before turning back, there was a detour onto city streets during trail maintenance and at the other end of the trail it paralleled the freeway, not pleasant riding so we called it a day.
We went back to the room, and looked for a place for dinner. I had purchased some handmade soaps at one of the craft booths and one soap contained Atomic beer, we learned it was a local craft beer so researching dining option we saw the Atomic brewery not too far away . . . easy choice.
We walked the few blocks to the brewery, sat outside and enjoyed a good dinner, really good porter and for me, a glass of sauvignon Blanc. I ordered an appetizer – bratwurst bites and George had a chicken satay appy. Both were good and just the right amount of food; remember . . . we had a big “brunch”. I enjoyed the establishment very much except for the loud lady at the table next to us who seemed to think that everyone on the patio was interested in hearing about her “glory days”. We were not, nor, so it appeared, was her date or the other couple who happened to have the misfortune to join them for dinner.
The family owned restaurant has a long history in Richland and the story is told on the menu cover.
Walking back to the hotel through the park the clouds were beginning to show shades of pink across the sky. People were still out enjoying the evening in the park, there was still music and activity on the river, a beautiful evening.