Two-Day Road Trip to Leavenworth, Chapter One

On August 11th, we actually took an out of town road trip for the first time in two and a half years. Covid has kept us really close to home, and I must admit that I had conflicting feelings about leaving my comfortable little circle near our home. But this was an important trip: my niece was getting married up in Leavenworth, Washington. Her dad and I are first cousins (I’m not worrying about my exactly relationship to her, because u know wat? I no cayah. Ha! It feels like she’s my niece, so that’s what I’m calling her.) Anyway, her mom and dad have been extremely important people in my life, ever since our first trip to Montana in 2009.

This is what I wrote after we made that trip:

But best of all was getting to see my ʻohana, my family, after too many years apart. The last time I’d seen my cousin, he was a boy of ten or so, and now he is a man grown, with a wonderful wife and talented daughter. And my auntie, I hadn’t talked to her in years and years. ʻOhana. It is one of the most beautiful words in the Hawaiian language.

Since my mom died, I had been longing for more ʻohana connections. I had been feeling a tremendous lack in my life even though I’m in regular contact with my siblings. I wanted more. I wanted to know more ʻohana stories from long ago, and that I got from Auntie, whose memory was still pretty sharp. I learned all kinds of family stories, and as I said in a much earlier post, if you can get drunk on ʻohana stories, then I was wasted. We all got along so great, and a big, lonely puka in my heart was getting filled up.

Awesome, yeah? And even more awesome than hearing the stories and getting reacquainted with Auntie and Cousins is that the connection is still there. I talk to Auntie by phone and write her letters, and Cousins and I email frequently. It is a heart connection unlike anything I’ve known before. Some deep place in me feels so much more at peace now, knowing that our connection will continue and that I now have someone with whom to try and figure out our sometimes wacky ʻohana.

So that’s why I felt it was important to be there on my niece’s special day. I’d never met her in person, and I hadn’t met her husband to be, either. So ‘way back in April, I made a reservation at a nearby motel in Wenatchee for us.

On the morning of August 11th, we got up early so that we could be on our way. We left plenty of kaukau for the kitties, with a friend on emergency standby in case we couldn’t get home the next day. You never know, right?

Cloud bank over Sunshine Valley before we left.
I got lucky and got the daily hummingbirds before we left!

I was small kine uptight about getting there on time, and allowed an extra hour to get there, which included shi shi and stretching stops. Good thing I did, because ho da road construction!

Onto I-84 heading mauka.

I think it was at this point that most of my anxiety about leaving town began to dissipate, except for my concern about getting there in time. It would’ve been nice if we’d been able to be away for two nights and had left on the 10th, but that just wasn’t in the cards for us.

Train!!! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted one because we haven’t gone anywhere for so long!

We hadn’t seen Beacon Rock in several years. See it up there in the distance? We climbed that once, many, many, years ago, when our girls were young. And so were we.

I was concerned that our spinner wouldn’t last for the whole trip. It’s getting pretty raggedy.

Sunlight was sparkling on the water at Benson Lake.
The consequences of the Eagle Creek fire were very evident in all these trees.

As always, Musubi was my faithful companion. My special friend, Clare, gave him to me as a comfort friend after my mom died; he went with us all the way to California and has been with me ever since.

The Columbia River and Washington State on the other side.

I planned our trip so that I knew where all the rest stops were. This one is the Memaloose one.

Memaloose Rest Stop

It was a huge rest stop and lots of people stopped there.

Semis all lined up in row.
Back on the road again. It was 10:37. It’s always interesting to see the changes in vegetation on each side of the Cascade Mountains.
One of my favorite sights, near The Dalles.
It’s so different here than west of the Cascade Mountains.
Wind turbines and a fancy yacht. I wish Nolemana could’ve gotten a better photo of that beauty.
Our first turn-off. We’re going to be heading towards Yakima. It was already 93° at 11:00 a.m. Yikes!
We’re just about to cross the Columbia River. Yakima is 83 miles away.
And here we go. As always, I wondered what this mighty river looked like before it was dammed.
Now it really began to feel like our adventure was beginning. Pau this chapter. I’ll continue in Chapter Two.
This entry was posted in 365 Days, Da Kine: Sometimes Full-on Pidgin, ʻOhana, Holoholo Pacific Northwest and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Two-Day Road Trip to Leavenworth, Chapter One

  1. Lady Tie Di says:

    Wow! This truly IS an adventure for you, going so far! I totally get about getting wasted on ohana stories! Yes, the difference from one side of the Cascades to the other and what the Columbia would like were it not damned have made me think over the years, too! How lovely a reason to be venturing out oxoxox

    • Mokihana says:

      Mahalo, my friend! It sounds like our thoughts and wonderings are very much in sync. It was a lovely reason to venture out after so many, many, months of sticking very close to home.

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