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The Palace. // photo: Shallan Dawson

nake Pit. // photo:Shallan Dawson

a barber shop, doubles now as a restaurant, serving sandwiches, burgers, salads, and specials like prime rib. Oh, and children are now welcome to join their parents in the restaurant. Hours vary, so call ahead. (509) 896-2273 ----THINGS TO DO Both the mountain bluebird and western bluebird nest in the Bickleton area and attract wildlife watchers in the spring and fall for their colorful passing along the southeast slope of the Cascades. Long ago, residents began building and maintaining bird houses for the brightly colored birds that have become a part of the town’s identity and a growing tourist attraction. The Columbia River is a mere 25 miles to the south, where there is excellent fishing for salmon and steelhead and the epicenter of Columbia Gorge wind-based water sports out of Hood River. Hiking and mountain biking in and around the Columbia Gorge is plentiful. ----Directions The Bluebird Inn is a little over an hour from the Tri-Cities. From Spokane, take I-90 to Ritzville and head south on 395 to the Tri-Cities. Mapquest your way to Highway 22/Wine Country Rd. then on to the Mabton Highway to Bickleton. You’ll find the Bluebird at 121 E. Market St. downtown. ------------------------------------------------------6. The Brick, Roslyn, WA You may have heard of the Brick referred to as that old bar in Roslyn with a spittoon. Spittoons, in this case a trough along the bar with water running through it, are receptacles for spitting tobacco juice. A truly endangered species in the nake Pit. // photo:derrick knowles


Out There Monthly


AUGUST MAY 20082008

world of authentic Old West bar relics, the Brick’s original 23-foot long spittoon has been in use since the place opened and is still enjoyed by the dwindling ranks of chawers that pass through its doors. In addition to an antique spitter, the Brick has managed to hold on to a considerable amount of its western charm over the years. All of the tables are over 100 years old and were purchased from Sears & Roebuck, and the back bar was shipped from Cape Horn London in the early 1900s. “We’re the oldest continuously running saloon in the State of Washington,” said Nicole, one of the Brick’s bartenders. And they claim to have the first liquor license, #001, to prove it. The Brick was once the hangout of resident coal miners, but is now sought out by tourists and outdoor rec folks since its few years of fame staring as the bar in the 90s television show Northern Exposure. If the Brick’s Hollywood stardom and Old West spirit isn’t enough to convince you to veer off I-90 to Roslyn on your next trip to or through the Cascades, their full menu from appetizers to steak dinners, a classic shuffleboard table, or a cold beer or huckleberry mojito at a cool place might be. The 21st Century Brick even has its own MySpace page where you can view their impressive live music schedule that includes the likes of Don’t Tell Sophie out of Tacoma set to play at 10PM on August 7th. More music or other info at 509-649-2643 or http:// viewprofile&friendID=129567820 ----THINGS TO DO Go see Don’t Tell Sophie on August 7th. They’ve

Shuffleboard table at Kuk’s Tavern, Northport, WA. // photo: Derrick knowles

been compared to Built to Spill and Death Cab for Cutie. Roslyn is also a great jumping off point for endless adventures in the Cascades. ----Directions From Spokane, drive west on I-90 about 200 miles and look for the turnoff to Roslyn. It doesn’t get much more straightforward than that. ------------------------------------------------------7. Kuk’s Tavern, Northport, WA Kuk’s is cool. In addition to laying claim to the status of being the oldest continuously run tavern in Washington (note the bragging rights here get very specific and serious), it’s conveniently on the way to and from numerous mountain biking, hiking, and skiing destinations north of the border in Rossland, B.C. A couple blocks off the main drag of Highway 25, the tall, weathered building looks like it belongs in some rain-plagued fishing town along the Oregon Coast instead of on the Columbia River just downstream from Canada. Once inside though you are immediately confronted with the Kuk’s incredible twenty foot shuffleboard table that seems to fill the entire bar with its shiny, lovely surface. If you’re in to tracking down old-school bar games, Kuk’s could be your place. They also have a 1957 bowling machine and some other ancient looking ball game that is definitely older than John McCain and didn’t do much for me except eat a handful of change. Like many other classic, historic Western taverns and bars, Kuk’s, you guessed it, once housed a brothel for the working men in and around Northport. It’s still a genuine working class beer joint, just minus the prostitution and illegal gambling. “It really hasn’t changed all that much since it opened,” noted Mariam, one of the bartenders. “It’s pretty much original.” Kuk’s offers a basic menu of hamburgers, pizza, and other bar food and a selection of mostly domestic beers. It opens at 2PM on weekdays and 1PM on weekends. Closing time varies so call ahead. (509) 732-4443 ----THINGS TO DO

Mountain biking the Seven Summits Trail or hiking the peaks around Red Mountain out of Rossland top the list. Hiking up Abercrombie Mountain, the second highest peak in NE WA, is another worthy adventure. ----Directions Drive North on 395 from Spokane to Kettle Falls and head north on Highway 25 along the Columbia to Northport. Search for Kuk’s a couple blocks off the beaten path towards the river at 400 Summit Ave. ------------------------------------------------------8. The Checkerboard, Spokane, WA It’s not exactly old-school Old West, but the 1700 block of Sprague zone, with its colorful population of prostitutes, bikers, and other assorted hard-looking characters, gives the Checkerboard Tavern enough street creds to squeeze this home grown Spokane watering hole in this guide. The Checkerboard wasn’t ever a brothel. There aren’t any antique pool tables or long stories about the craftsmanship of the bar. And there isn’t even a single dead animal head hanging on the walls. But the place has a simple Spokane style and I’m certain its share of stories if you can talk Elsie, the Checkerboard’s owner, out of them. The building was built in 1928 for some unknown purpose before becoming the Checkerboard in 1933. Since then, renovations and generations of customers have come and gone, but the name and the liquor license have remained the same, giving the Checkerboard the bragging rights of holding the oldest license in the state under the same name at the same location. “I think the bar stools have been here since day one,” noted Elsie. “But a lot of the other stuff has been accumulated over the years.” So what’s the draw exactly? A real-deal, unpretentious, working class beer joint with cheap domestic beer can specials ($1.60), a great jukebox, big sunny windows, bar hotdogs and pizza, and some 1950s nature paintings within biking distance of downtown. Check the Checkerboard out for yourself at 1716 E Sprague. (509) 568-9004. //

Out There Monthly August 08  

The Inland Northwest Guide to Outdoor Recreation

Out There Monthly August 08  

The Inland Northwest Guide to Outdoor Recreation