Two-Day Road Trip to Leavenworth, Chapter Fourteen

Okay… I’ve dried my tears and am ready to continue; this will be the last chapter of this road trip.

I didn’t know that Lake Mayfield was dammed and that it empties into the Cowlitz River. We couldn’t see the dam from the highway. Road trips can always be such learning experiences; it’s one of the things I love about taking them.

We were enjoying this part of the road trip; I-5, the major north-south freeway around here, was coming up quickly, but in the meantime, we enjoyed sights like these:

Traffic was getting busy with people heading up north; since it was Friday afternoon we weren’t surprised.

All too soon, Highway 12 had ended and we were on I-5 South. The freeway entrance was only about 15 miles from Lake Mayfield so we got there quickly. In a way, it seemed that this marked the end of our road trip. Now we just wanted to get home. It was 3:30, and as my papa-san used to say, we had TB…tired butt!

Exit 63 for Winlock and Toledo, 1 mile

Now we’re just about to cross the Cowlitz River.

Cowlitz River bridge.

It’s a very pretty river.

Cowlitz River
Castle Rock – 3 miles, Kalama – 23 miles, Portland – 60 miles

Go here to read the story of John Kalama, the native Hawaiian for whom the town of Kalama is named.

We made a rest stop here; it was a really nice one. We really needed to get out and stretch and go shi shi!

North Fork Toutle River, just north of Castle Rock.
4:00 pm and at a really pretty part of the freeway.
Uh-oh. There was a fire on the other side of the freeway; so dangerous with the hot and dry weather! 1 mile north of Kelso Road.
Cowltiz River. This is the last we’ll see of it.

I learned that the Cowlitz River eventually empties into the Columbia River. Something else learned!

We’ve now reached the Columbia River!

Columbia River

The river splits right here with that little island in the middle; to the east is the Old Pacific Highway south at Carroll’s.

We even got the engine! This was in Kalama.
Columbia River in Woodland.

Then we crossed the Lewis River just south of Woodland, Washington.

Clark County Fairgrounds near Ridgefield. We were definitely getting closer to home. It was just past 4:30, and we were really tired.

Clark County Fair.

I-205 turnoff is coming up in half a mile, and that’s where we’ll go. This will be the final leg of our journey.

On I-205. Traffic wasn’t too bad…. yet.

But wait. This is Friday afternoon at 4:45, and things are changing. Check the traffic heading north.

I’ve never figured out why traffic going north is always so bad, no matter what day it is. Are these people working in Portland and heading north to home? Here, we’re almost to the Glen Jackson Bridge over the Columbia River, and traffic is crawling along.

More cars entering the freeway.

See what I mean? I’m glad we’re not going north!

About to go across the Glen Jackson Bridge.

We cross the Columbia River and are back in Oregon again!

Crossing the Columbia River.
Can you see the tower at Portland International Airport (PDX) way over there?

And we’re finally on our road, and we’ll be home in less than five minutes! It’s now 5:22 pm and has been a long, but very good, day.

Sunshine Valley.

And guess what!! They were out just for you, AFK!!! What a great way to end our trip!

And you guys!! When we finally got home, I rushed to the hummingbird feeder and was able to get these two daily hummingbird photos! I was so worried that I’d miss a day, but I didn’t! Chee hoo!

Daily hummingbird!
Two daily hummingbirds!

Here’s a map of our travels that day.

The next morning, I checked out trip stats:

667 miles in two days. It wasn’t a record, but was plenty far for this trip.

And considering that we were travelling in our minivan, I think we got terrific mileage, considering all the mountain driving that we did. I was pleased and surprised!

K’den. Pau! This post marks the end of a wonderful, exciting, and treasured road trip. I was so happy that we made the effort to be at my niece’s wedding, getting to see my ʻohana again, meeting new people, and seeing new and beautiful sights. Everyone we met along the way, strangers and family alike, was friendly and welcoming. Yes, we were glad to get home, but also enriched by deciding to venture out for the first time in two and a half years. I so appreciate you folks traveling along with us.

Next time, who knows where we’ll be going!

This entry was posted in 365 Days, Da Kine: Sometimes Full-on Pidgin, daily-hummingbird, Holoholo Pacific Northwest and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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

  1. AFK says:

    Thank you, as always, fo’ da pīpī pitchas! Made me lilo bit waimaka. And thank you for taking us along on this road trip. I’ve never been on Route 12, and now I wanna go! Glad you had a safe and joyful trip.

    • Mokihana says:

      I hope you and your odda half can make the trip sometime. It’s really worth the drive. And as always, I love having you ride shotgun!

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