Gettin’ Outa Dodge For a Day – Chapter One

On April 18th, Nolemana and I decided, since the weather had been so gorgeous, to leave town for a day and head up to Rowena Crest. The wildflowers were blooming, and it wasn’t raining, so after delivering firewood to a friend, we got gas, then coffee at Bow and Arrow Coffeehouse, and off we went. I must admit that it felt a bit weird to be going somewhere after so long at home, but we sure didn’t let that hold us back.

We caught I-84 in Troutdale while admiring the snow till on the peaks of the Silver Star Mountains.

It had been so long since we’d driven up the Columbia River Gorge! The trees were just beginning to leaf out and I remembered our May trip to Montana years ago, almost wishing that we were headed back there again. I miss my ‘ohana!

Traffic was pretty light, which was wonderful. I always love it when the river comes into view.

‘Way up there is Vista House, the crown of the Gorge. I volunteered there for many years before I had to go to work here at home, and loved every minute of it. I loved meeting people from all over the world and talking with them about their own countries as well as showing them how to navigate the waterfalls loop. I especially loved it when deaf people would come in, because I was able to give them information that non-signers weren’t able to, and they were delighted to find out that I could communicate with them in their own language. I miss those days!

Vista House

Vista House is closed due to Covid right now; people can still park in the lot and enjoy the amazing view, but can’t see the amazing exhibits inside.

We drove on a ways and ho da crowds at Multnomah Falls! Even though there was a freeway sign that said the parking lot was closed, the area was packed with more cars than we could possibly count. Maybe that’s why it was closed…no more room.

These burned trees were from the fire in 2017 were a sad reminder of the damage that fires can cause. The fires all around the area, including the Eagle Creek Fire, which burned almost 5000 acres, were caused by fireworks. So much devastation was all around us, and much more that we couldn’t see.

Fire-devastated timber

I alla time like going through this tunnel; it’s always different depending on the time of the year.

We’re now coming into the town of Mosier. We were hoping that we could find a place where we could get something to eat, but couldn’t find any kine. We thought about turning around, getting back on the freeway, and heading to The Dalles, but in the end decided to keep going.

The fruit trees were in full bloom. This area is renowned for their fruit orchards and springtime is a wonderful time to be here.

Ho da nani, yeah? This kind of view makes my heart sing.

Try look this really cool house! Of course I wondered who lives there.

Arrowleaf Balsamroot!

I love these old rail fences, too.

We were getting up high enough to see Mt Adams in the distance. That’s Washington State in the background, across the Columbia River.

Up at Rowena Crest…more Arrowleaf Balsamroot! I knew it’d be blooming right now, which is why we wanted to take this drive now.

K’den, pau for now. Next time we’ll be up at the top.

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4 Responses to Gettin’ Outa Dodge For a Day – Chapter One

  1. Michelle says:

    How neat that you worked at Vista House – and that you know ASL!

    • Mokihana says:

      I really loved my years volunteering there and miss it a lot. Knowing ASL has continued to be a benefit in my life, and I’m still learning! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. AFK says:

    Thanks for taking us along on this road trip Moki-chan. I also love Vista House–I have a postcard of it on my pantry door. So, so nani, all da scenery! And how liberating to be able to take a little road trip and know you could do it safely.

    You are such a people-person that I can just imagine what a terrific volunteer you would have been. Did you ever encounter people from Hawai`i that were surprised if/when you busted out the pidgin?

    • Mokihana says:

      That’s so cool you have a Vista House postcard on your pantry door. Yeah, I did meet people from home who were very surprised when I busted out the pidgin…we’d end up talking stories for quite awhile if there weren’t others waiting to sign the guestbook or getting information about the waterfalls!

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