18 April 2009

The Long way home in the soft April rain

With the clouds in the sky not looking nearly as threatening as the weatherman had warned on the morning news, I decided that I would ride the bike to the Gym on Sunday.

I had been without my girl for a couple of weeks while Kawasaki resolved a few of her recall issues (Wiring Harness and Muffler bolts and such) and had felt a strong desire to make up for the lost time with her, whether it meant riding in the cold driving rain or not.

The ride to the Gym on Sunday afternoon was a non-eventful highway ride under cloudy skies. When I arrived, a girl who was walking to her car queried as to whether or not it was a little too cold to be riding today...........I assured her that it was not.

With the workout done and suited back up, I decided to take the long way back home, the clouds had just begun to spit a little, but it wasn't the toadstrangler that the forecasters had warned me about earlier in the day.

"The long way" consists of mainly 20 or so miles of country dirt roads wandering through the more remote areas of the Palouse country; an occasional farm every few miles and that is about it, very little traffic.

There was a building that I had ridden by on this route once before, I didn't have my camera at the time and had promised myself to visit the building at sometime in the future so that I could take a few pictures. Today was a good day for that.

Originally, I had mistaken the building as a church, upon my return, I believe now that it was once a schoolhouse.

Built at the crossroads of two dirt roads deep in the Palouse, I was left to wonder what this area was like when it was originally built. Considering how remote it's location is, the building is huge.

Schoolhouse maybe?
Notice the radius walls, there were no home centers back when this structure was built, I imagine that there were no power tools at the time either. As a carpenter, I was impressed with the attention to detail and the apparent pride that these folks displayed in their craftsmanship.
The Belfry at the top of the structure. This building, whatever it was, once had a voice.
After shooting a number of pictures, I stayed awhile and kept the building company and imagined what this place must have been like, back when the structure was in it's prime.
We parted ways a few moments later and I rode the rest of the way home navigating the quiet backroads of the Palouse in the soft April rain.
Ride Well


fasthair said...

Mr. Earl: I love finding old buildings and walking through them to see if I can find out their story. Back in my small town farm boy days old houses where plenty. It never fails they produce something that makes the whole venture worth the time, much as your discovery on your back roads ride. Sadly living in the big city now I don't get the the chance or are that many old houses around here to explore.


Anonymous said...

Wow what a find. An excellent post - thanks for sharing!

bobskoot said...

I also love "places" past and "lost". That was a great find. Sometimes I find that you often get "funny" feelings, and when that happens I leave immediately.
A few years ago we were walking around in an abandoned cemetary. The skies turned dark, the breeze rustled the branches and we got an uncomfortable feeling. It's sort of like you are not alone, but you are.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Charlie said...

Too bad the kids have to go in there and mark it up with graffitti. I love looking at old buildings and trying to guess what they were built for. Was there any indication of when it may have been built such as with build techniques? I found a few neat places in and around Marshall the other day too. Will have to show each other a few new places.

Lady Ridesalot said...

Great picture! I could here the bell ring as a calling to all the children to gather for their daily lessons. The laughter and voices can still be heard in your minds eye...

I catch myself noticing things for the first and wonder, "how did I miss that?" I love looking at "still history". Finds like this are worth sharing, so thanks!

Lance said...

Earl, nice post. I enjoyed the walk through the building, and your comments on the structure. It looks like those who built this did just fine without Home Depot!

Sojourner rides said...

That structure immediately reminded me of "Little House on the Prairie" and the kind of schools it depicted. Very nice ride report--love those quiet moments with bike, self and place.

chessie said...

Glad I found your blog site! Excellent voice you have, I sure enjoy seeing these kinds of Americana...thanks!

Earl Thomas said...

I've been really busy with a number of things lately and haven't had much time to respond and say thanks to everyones comments.

There are still a number of old buildings out here on the Palouse to explore and a lot more up in the mountains as well, I promise that I'll keep stopping to visit them.

Ride Well


V Twin Motorcycle Tires said...

I am just too scared to go up into an old abandoned building. I mean, there could be anything inside. Wish i could gather up courage like you! It would be quite an adventure for me. I am sure it was cool for you to enter into that house and get photos of it.