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Thanks so much for this helpful information, jamawani!
(We think we can get a ride across the bridge at Vantage.)
Not sure why you think this. Do you have someone who has agreed to meet you there and take you, bike, and gear, etc across? Or are you hoping to hitch across somehow? I have ridden across it west to east in 1991. We had 4 guys and did it in the AM before there was much traffic. It can be done, but you have to have a mirror, be very visible and somewhat lucky. I wouldn't do it with kids.
Also, the I-90 bridge over the Columbia at Vantage is super dangerous.This is true about the bridge at Vantage. I rode over it in June of 1991 fairly early in the morning. There were 4 of us and we all waved out left arm vigorously as we rode. I heard of one person who hitchhiked over it by waiting on the freeway entrance for a pickup and when one stopped they threw the bike in the back and took the ride over the bridge and then got back on the bike and rode on!
No shoulder - zero - and pretty heavy traffic.
There is no old highway bridge option.
The Milwaukee Railroad bridge downstream remains closed, too.
This is unfortunate because the old highway from Ellensburg to Vantage is super.
And the back roads on the east side of the river are also excellent for touring.
I can fix the small stuff but I'm not much of a mechanic and since I have Campy stuff it's pretty unlikely a rural bike shop will have replacement parts for me.I had a bike with Campy and broke a shifter on the first day of a 3 week tour on the Pacific coast. No one, and I mean no one on the whole coast had Campy parts. Eventually, I had to get a rebuild kit sent ahead and my bike mechanic partner fixed it (broken spring deal) after 2/3 of the trip. In the meantime, I had to often hold the shift lever in place while grinding hard uphills to keep it from jumping out of gear. Every shop had Shimano. After that experience, I will never tour with Campy again!