The Palouse to Cascades Rail Trail, the second longest in the U.S. I met no other through-cyclist on the entire journey. What began as a scenic ride through the Cascades descended into a passage across the ecologically devastated Palouse. The final two days were notable: An herbicide shower from a crop duster, one hundred miles of bare earth and stubble, and remnants of vibrant towns and homestead dreams. These temperate grasslands are the most endangered, the most altered, and yet the least protected biome on the planet. They are the ecological disaster - in our own back yard - that nobody ever mentions.