Walking the Centennial Trail

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For the last two days, Inlander staff writer Nicholas Deshais has been walking, biking and paddling the 63-mile perimeter of the city of Spokane. Follow his progress here on Bloglander.

DAY THREE, HOUR EIGHT: Bart Mihailovich became the Spoakne Riverkeeper in July. Today, I was fortunate enough to ride with him on his inaugural trip in the official riverkeeper raft. “I’m amazed by the number of people who’ve never come down the river,” he says, manning two oars as we pass by the San Souci trailer park.

We’re making our way toward the T.J. Meenach bridge, our designated pull-out, and Mihailovich and I are talking about the benefits of having a river as the city border — the aesthetics, the recreation, the wildlife.

But there are negatives.

“It’s all stormwater run-off,” he says, when I ask him the downside of having such a large population next to the river.

He points to a pipe jutting into the river, which is marked above by a sign with a fish on it. When it rains heavily enough, stormwater and sewage flow into this wild-seeming river. The rain today, he assures me, wasn’t enough. Now, I’m walking through Riverside State Park, enjoying the breeze on my way to Bowl and Pitcher. Will they let me camp?

Only time will tell.

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