On Monday, October 14, 2013, we drove Washington State Route 283 across the farmlands of Grant County, potato capital of the world.
A state highway to be known as state route number 283 is established as follows:
Beginning at a junction with state route number 281 in the vicinity of Burke Junction, thence northeasterly by the most feasible route to a junction with state route number 28 in the vicinity west of Ephrata.
With the onramp to I-90 at our back, SR 283 begins at a junction with SR 281. Does this count as a junction with I-90? Not completely, I suppose...
Straight across the fields we head, but not a cardinal direction. Fields of cut hay and alfalfa, brown corn stalks standing tall. Hay bales stacked high with white-and-brown tarps. Huge field of onions, little rows of green. Fields of bright yellow flowers. Mustard, I believe. One fence-line sign calls it “green manure”, which means it’ll be tilled under to feed the next real crop. Here we are out in the Columbia Basin, on the the Columbia Plateau, halfway to the end of Highway 283.
Just past the Winchester Wasteway canal, a farm has a massive stone wall that looks like it could be a Hawaiian heiau. Where’d all those rocks come from? Why does no one else have that many rocks piled on their farm? Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” on the radio calmly speeds us along. Just after the first slight bend in the road, we arrive at the junction of SR 283 with SR 28, which takes over this road.
If you are entertained by various crops as you speed down a busy highway, Highway 283 is your kind of route. Just watch out for that Adams Road crossing.