Da Mystery Road Trip Revealed, Part One

K’den. On October 3, 2009, Nolemana and I left home for one of the most amazing and fabulous journeys of my life. It was a trip that yielded unbelievable joy, incredible reconnections with my ‘ohana, and sights that took my breath away. We spent seven days away from home and put many, many miles on my van. Ride shotgun with Nolemana and me and enjoy the ride!

By the time we finally got everything packed up and ready, it was later than we’d hoped. We’d had a really busy week, and leaving our little farm for that long meant a lot of preparation. But finally about noon, we hit the road. I set the trip counter to zero. Sorry so hard to see.

Trip Counter just before we left

Musubi was ready to go; he was so full of excitement he could hardly stand it. So many miles ahead with his beloved TryLook had him so nutz that he almost fell over.


Titus was out in the pasture, and we waved “aloha ‘oe” to him as we slowly drove down the driveway.

Aloha 'oe, Titus...

It was kinda scary leaving our critters, but Joan (who boards her horses here) and Julie, my very dear friend, were pitching in to make sure everyone was well taken care of. It’s not easy leaving a parakeet, doves, two cats, two sheep, a pygmy goat, and a llama for a week!

Our Franklinia tree was blooming; it’s a memorial to our beloved Livestock Guardian Dog, Lani, who was our first Maremma.

Lani's Franklinia tree starting to bloom


Aloha 'oe, RickyRicky was at the gate to say “aloha ‘oe” to us. He is such a sweet boy.

Here’s my tattered, battered, wind spinner. I hoped it’d last for our whole trip; it already has a lot of miles on it! Here we are, heading mauka (East) on Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge.

Heading mauka on Interstate 84 in the Gorge

We were really hungry by the time we got to Hood River so we stopped at Subway so that we could keep going while we ate. Musubi decided that he deserved a bite.

Musubi shares my sammich

The Columbia River. We travel this highway a lot, and I never fail to be awed by this incredible river.

Columbia River

It’s just amazing how brown and dry it gets after we cross the Cascades. From lush green, waterfalls, and tall Douglas firs, we enter a much more desolate landscape.


Our first train!

Second train

On the makai side of the Cascades, these hills would be covered with trees.


I’d love to take this boat on a river cruise! See the vineyards in the background? Photo for Jenny! This was at Milepost 95.

Boat on the river

One of the things that we did to keep track of all the ukubillion photos that we knew we’d be taking (though Nolemana had no idea how many!) was to use our appraisal photo sheets to write down as many details as possible about the photos we took. So akamai, yeah?

Interesting rock formation along the highway. This was near Biggs Junction.

Near Biggs Junction

This was just a few minutes down the road.

Mauka of Biggs Junction

Another train near the same place. If you don’t like trains, you’re reading the wrong blog!

I love trains!

Just four minutes down the road (I like photo timestamps!) we saw another bunch of windmills …excuse, eh? Turbines. Each costing about $20,000. These are at Biggs Junction on the Washington side of the river, not too far from Maryhill.

Washington side of the river just before Maryhill

More turbines

This is Maryhill Art Museum, built by Sam Hill. Yeah, that one. We had a light rain, mixed with clouds and blue sky. We’d come 121 miles and it was 58 degrees outside. Love dem photo sheets!

Maryhill Art Museum

More turbine photos on the Oregon side of the river.

Oregon side.  Neat photo.

Oregon side

It really is pretty amazing to see so many of them turning in the wind. The Columbia River Gorge is a perfect place for them as it’s a kind of wind tunnel.

Oregon side

Another view of the magnificent river.

Makai of Boardman

We took lots of photos of road signs to help us remember wheredaheck we’d been!

This is where we are!

Milepost 143 near Arlington.

Yellow stuff along the road

We saw a barge on the river just makai of the Ione turnoff (Highway 74).

Barge near the Ione turnoff, Highway 74

Just makai of Boardman, we saw some pīpī and took photos just for AFK, a special friend.

More pipi

Up ahead, we see one of many tree farms, where fast-growing trees are raised for paper products.

Tree farm

Tree Farm

From Interstate 84, we headed North on Highway 82 and ultimately ended up in the little town of McNary along Highway 730, with this interesting “water feature” made completely out of metal. Water must be scarce here… LOL. Gotta make do, yeah?

McNary, OR, Highway 730

More pīpī along the road for AFK. The sky is beginning to look kinda stormy.

Near McNary

Milepost 193 and plenny other signs too. Evacuation route? Hakum we need that? Oh. Umatilla. Let’s get outa hea!

Near Umatilla.  Get me outa here!

The Umatilla Chemical Depot opened in 1941, to gear up for World War II. The depot’s mission was to store and maintain a variety of military items, from blankets to ammunition. The depot took on its chemical weapons storage mission in 1962. From 1990 to 1994 the facility reorganized in preparation for eventual closure, shipping all conventional ammunition and supplies to other installations. Today, the chemical weapons are the only items still stored at the depot.

We’re now travelling along the Columbia River Highway, right next to the river again. Shortly after this area is where the train engineer honked at me when I waved to him. The water is Lake Wallula, a reservoir formed by McNary Dam on the Columbia River; we’re looking towards Wallula Gap. You can read some entries from Lewis and Clark’s journals about it here.

Columbia River Highway and Lake Wallula

Whew. Long post dis, coordinating maps, photo sheets, and photos. But good fun. Enjoy!

This entry was posted in Da Kine: Sometimes Full-on Pidgin, Holoholo Pacific Northwest. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Da Mystery Road Trip Revealed, Part One

  1. Kim says:

    I like that you’re using the mauka and makai terms on the mainland! Nice to have the mystery of where you went solved too. I don’t think that windspinner is gonna last…

    Oh yeah, and Titus? LOVE!!

  2. Kikue Mugen says:

    WOW!!! This is mega awesome Mokihana! I not only look at the pictures, I stare and wonder! The rock formations are amazing and in my opinion, so very beautiful. BTW, that sammich looked so ono!!! What gets me is that the pics you took is taken from inside your car… I can only imagine how it would be to be able to get out, and walk around for the BEST shots like photographers do. When UK and I were photographing the desert in Nevada we took hours walking and snapping shots at each location. Your camera is doing a great job. Did I mention to you that I got a new camera for Christmas? I haven’t had the chance to click away with it yet, being that it is winter and I’m mostly indoors, but come spring… Whoohooo!

  3. Yay!!! I am glad for more photos of your trip. :-}

  4. Jenny says:

    Aw, mahalo, Moki! Always wanted vineyards dedicated to me. 😉 Looks like you guys went on quite an adventure, yeah?”

  5. AFK says:

    Yaaaaaay! We get to KNOW where you guyzes went, not just see it. Mahalo mucho for da pipi pix! I love those and the River photos best. Oh, and those of Musubi, of course!

  6. Julie says:

    It was good fun reading alla post from your adventure and knowing the where of your travels…keeping da inside animals had it’s privileges : )

  7. Clare says:

    As always, love da pics! Da riva pics are my fav.
    Mahalo for sharing.

  8. Debra says:

    Hello hello…My sis in law lives in Omak. Close to your trip? Some of those pics look like hers…I have a Titus too. Mine is a goose. I think she’d love your Titus-a lot!

  9. Pingback: Mokihana's Garden » Blog Archive » Da Mystery Road Trip Revealed, Part Thirty-Three

  10. Pingback: Montana Road Trip 2010, Part Thirty | A Mānoa Girl's Bloggie

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