I Grew Up At The Bottom Of Washington’s Windiest Grade
I grew up in the Lewiston/Clarkston Valley, but for six years of my life, I was a foster kid and lived at the confluence of the Grand Ronde River on the border of the Washington/Oregon border. I lived right at the bottom of the Rattlesnake Grade on the Washington side and on the other side was the Buford Grade that proceeded to Oregon.
I had to be bused to school each day to Asotin, WA as is our state law. It was 62 miles round trip and it wasn’t a straight line to school. I had to travel up the Asotin Grade on Highway 129, past Anatone, and further past Field’s Spring State Park.
The portion of the daily bus ride that is probably the scariest during winter is the Rattlesnake Grade. The American Motorcycle Association designated the grade as one of the top 15 motorcycle rides in America and the winding grade definitely lives up to its name, but think about if you are an 8-yr old kid traveling that daily and running into snow.
I look back now with fond memories of those bus rides to and from school because I looked at every day as a new adventure. Now, when I see spectacular videos of the drive up and down the grade, I’m reminded how deadly that drive could’ve been for me as a kid in the winter.
I think at a young age we are fearless, now as an adult, I think on a winter’s day I’d creep down the Rattlesnake Grade like my grandpa on a Sunday drive.
I’ve compiled some time-lapsed videos of the Rattlesnake Grade so you get an idea of the curves and swerves taken.
It’s a great day trip to go explore the Rattlesnake Grade and I highly recommend stopping off at Boggan’s Oasis (where I grew up) and enjoy a slice of homemade apple pie.