Well, technically, no.  Two things can’t be in more than one place at the same time. Hawaii is an island complex unto itself, so can’t be in Oregon, too.  But, its namesake can, such as described by a most colorful history of the Owyhee River,  essentially  almost  as pretty as the country itself.

It isn’t that the landscape of the river looks like the island paradise, but rather, because of another interesting reason.  Owyhee is a mis-spelling created by Captain Cook, when he first discovered the Hawaiian Islands and wrote the name on the first maps of that area.   It was a documentation of his impression of what the  native tongue sounded like for their vocalized homeland name.

In 1818, Donald McKenzie, of the Northwest Fur company sent three Hawaiian Islanders down the river canyon to explore for beaver furs and potential navigation routes for industry.  Originally, early trapping expeditions to the region was a race between the Americans and the British. The British intended to arrive first and trap out an area so Americans would have no reason to come west. But, in reality  it was a race for dominion, and the Brits didn’t have a leg up on the Americans. Evidence of this is exemplified by the way the American West was won-over,  when doctrines of Manifest Destiny spread-out nationally  from the east coast.

At any rate, the Hawaiian Islanders who pushed downriver, never returned and were never found. So they were presumed to have been killed by local Paiute Indians of the area.  Whatever their fate, it certainly gave a curious name to tie two different paradises together.  Widely different, geologically, but each quite spectacular in their respective ways.

Of course, it wasn’t only furs that brought attention to the Owyhee River region. There was gold fever working its magic spell, too.  Though, as viewed from an indigenous perspective, it may have been seen more as a “Black Magic” nemesis than “White Treasure Hunt.”  But, these aspects are yet another story.

Rivers make good medicine with us, we make good medicine with rivers.
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Don’t Forget. Now is the time for Owyhee Trips – see previous post:
How Alone Do You Want to Be?

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