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‘Hot August Days’ bicycle tour Aug. 19

WENATCHEE – “Hot August Days – Tour of the Columbia Basin” is being offered to bicyclists this year on Saturday, Aug. 19.

The third annual event is geared for both the hard core and first-time cyclist. Three different routes are being made available: 50-mile, 100-mile and 150-mile treks.

Cyclists are being invited to ride through Eastern Washington while viewing some of the most scenic farm land on the east side of the state. Rest stops will be provided along the way with plenty of refreshments, water and Powerade.

To aid the cyclists, sag wagons will follow them on the routes…to help with bike problems, flats and provide encouragement.

At the conclusion of the bicycle tours, cyclists are invited to enjoy the music of a live band and the food that will be provided in shady Riverfront Park.

The 50-mile ride will start at 7 a.m. at Wenatchee’s Riverfront Park. It will follow the Apple Capital Loop Trail south across the foot bridge, joining Highway 28 and continue to the rest stop just before Quincy. Cyclists will turn around there and return to Wenatchee.

The 100-mile (or Century) ride starts at the same time and place as the 50-mile ride, following the same route but extending through Quincy into Ephrata. From there, cyclists will follow Martin Road to Road R and continue to Highway 28 and back to Wenatchee.

The 150-mile ride gets underway at 5 a.m. at Riverfront Park at the bottom of Fifth Street. The route proceeds past Ephrata and Soap Lake onto Highway 17 to Dry Falls Junction. From there the route continues west on Highway 2, passing through the towns of Farmer, Douglas and Waterville, before starting the 1,700-foot elevation drop to Orondo. From there the cyclists will receive a police escort down Pine Canyon and past Turtle Rock and Rocky Reach Dam, back into Wenatchee.

All cyclists are required to have helmets.

Registration, at a cost of $50 or $65 after Aug. 15, can be completed by going on-line to: hotaugustdays.com.

Cassini spacecraft mission to be topic of observatory talk

GOLDENDALE – Greg Cermak will present a program about the Cassini spacecraft mission to Saturn on Saturday, Aug. 12, at Goldendale Observatory State Park.

The craft has been orbiting Saturn since June 2004, taking close-up photos of the planet, its rings and moons.

Cermak is a solar system ambassador for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and teaches astrobiology at Washington State University in Vancouver.

The Saturday, Aug. 12, program will begin at 8 p.m., and is open to the public, free of charge.

Goldendale Observatory State Park is a five-acre educational facility on a 2,100-foot-high hilltop. The observatory houses one of the nation’s largest public telescopes and has attracted sky-watchers since its opening in 1973.

The park is located at 1602 Observatory Drive in Goldendale, near the Goldendale Golf Course.

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