Da Mystery Road Trip Revealed, Part Thirty

K’den. Last time we were just about to enter Shoshone Falls Park. This park is near and dear to Nolemana and I because we spent so much time here when Leilani was just a baby and toddler. Nolemana worked really long retail hours; he had one evening off per week (plus Sunday… believe it or not, the stores closed on Sunday back then), so when the weather was nice we usually drove down to the park and had a picnic. Leilani was born in March, so by the time we could have picnics she was several months old and could lie out on a blanket on the green grass..

They have really improved the park since we were here last; there’s a lot more parking than what we remembered. But oh, that green oasis in the middle of the desert was just wonderful to behold!

This is looking makai (towards the ocean) up the Snake River Canyon.

And here’s the green, green, park. There used to be a little brook running right down the middle of it, but sadly it doesn’t seem to be there anymore. We couldn’t find it. But we saw where we used to set up our barbecue, which brought back some really happy memories.

This is Shoshone Falls at the tail end of summer. There was hardly any water going over it today compared to spring, when the amount of water going over is incredible. In the summertime when farmers are using the river for irrigation the flow goes down again. But to us, it looked beautiful.

Still looking makai. You can see how deep the canyon is, and really, how desolate it looks. Except for the water!

Looking mauka (east). Now there are stairs and a balcony da kine where you can walk down even closer to the river. I don’t remember it being there before.

Looking makai again. The falls look like just a trickle in places.

Another close-up of the falls. Sometimes we can see seagulls zooming around, but not today.

I know a lot of these photos are repetitive; I knew they would be. But to be back there after so long away, well, I just couldn’t help it. I hope they give you some idea of the incredible grandeur of this place.

Remember last time when I told you that Nolemana, B and G and I would hike down to Devil’s Punchbowl to go fishing? Well, we started at the rim and hiked all the way down (more east of here), so you can easily see what a climb that would be. But we were younger then and it didn’t seem like such a big deal unless the temperature was close to 100!

Looking back at the park. We wanted to hike around it, but it was cold and the sprinklers were on. No city water for this park! All the water is from the river!

I love it! Love it when generous people think ahead and do something wonderful for all those who follow them and are blessed by their generosity.

We hated to leave, but we needed to get back. I love the way this fall-colored tree is growing right out of the rocks. Somehow it finds enough sustenance to grow and thrive in a place where you wouldn’t think it possible. Sometimes I think my life is like that. I hit a rocky place but manage to keep going and growing. Mahalo ke Akua!

I had to take a photo of this. When we first moved to Idaho, Stinker Stations had small billboards out in the desert saying things such as, “Sagebrush is free! Stuff some in your trunk!” We always got a kick out of them.

After leaving the park, we took another nostalgia ride to the little house where we used to live. When we first arrived in Twin Falls, it was during a snowstorm all the way from Wells, Nevada, to here. We had a small car and had never even heard of snow tires (no snow in Hawaiʻi, remember?), and the roads were so snowy that we had to follow a snowplow in order to stay on the road! Oh, the recklessness of youth!

We stayed in a motel for about a week while Nolemana took over management of the store and I tried to find us a place to live. I saw a sign in the window of this little house and called the landlord right away, and within just a few hours, it was ours! This was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, so there was no background check, no credit check, and just first and last month’s rent and a handshake and we had a really cute place to live. And not in an apartment, which is what we were hoping for. Elm Street North. Such wonderful memories there!

That first front window was the living room window on that side, the next one was eventually Leilani’s room, then the lua.

Two living room windows and the kitchen window on the right. There’s even a back porch where eventually our washer and dryer would go. I kinda had wai maka at the thought that that’s where our marriage started out, where we had our first keiki, and where I used to scatter birdseed on the front walk every afternoon at four o’clock… all the little birdies would wait for me, rain, snow, or sunshine.

Looking down the street was the shopping center where I spent time. I’d push Leilani in her stroller or around the block. When I was hāpai with Leilani, I’d walk down there by myself and one day I saw an embroidery baby blanket pattern at King’s and decided to do one while I was waiting for our keiki to arrive. I had never done embroidery in my life, had no idea how to do it, but managed to teach myself to do it, and the blanket was pau by the time Leilani was born. Nolemana worked such long hours, so I spent my evenings alone working on it and watching TV. Yes, we did have TV way back then. Believe it or not.

Back on Blue Lakes Boulevard, we took a photo of where we’d met B and G for lunch. We’d only been in Twin for twenty-four hours, and I just wasn’t ready to leave! But we had a long way to go, and we were due home the next day, so we had no choice.

Our lunch was wonderful, and we laughed and remembered good times with our special friends. B and G were going together when Nolemana and I had our first Christmas together away from ʻohana, and bless their hearts, they spent time with their families and then came over to our house and had a third Christmas dinner with us so that we wouldn’t feel so lonely! I love these friends! And our friendship has stayed strong through all these years!

This is where Nolemana’s store used to be. Kinney Shoes. It’s gone now, as have all of them. Buttrey’s used to be here, and Tempo. All gone now. Now we have all the modern big box stores instead, with the exception of a very few small, family-owned ones.

We were leaving. Leaving friends, leaving places we loved, leaving a town that we called home. And yes, I cried. Yet I was so grateful for the time we’d had here, and grateful that it was as if time had been erased and for just a little while we were here. Ke Akua willing, we will be back.

We headed back across Perrine Bridge again, heading out to the highway and towards home.

I leave you with the video I took of Shoshone Falls. Even though they’re low on water, if you turn the sound up, you’ll be able to hear that there’s actually a fair amount of water going over.

Here’s a link to a video showing Shoshone Falls at its most glorious. Now you’ll see what I mean!

See you next time!

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6 Responses to Da Mystery Road Trip Revealed, Part Thirty

  1. Babooze says:

    Wow, mahalo for the trip again Moki. Love it.

  2. AFK says:

    Wow, the contrast between the falls and the desert is just beautiful. And how wonderful to reminisce as you visit your old stomping grounds. And old friends are worth their weight in gold. Mahalo for sharing.

  3. clare says:

    Beautiful no matter what time of year.

  4. Kikue Mugen says:


  5. Debra says:

    Oh I just loved reading this-I forgot I had supper on the stove and almost burnt it! Such beautiful but almost desolate landscape-so very different from out here in the east. I’ve never been out there-so it was a real treat. I could just feel the nostalgia of your little home and the stores-what a nice post.
    Love, Debra

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