Saturday, July 8, 2017

Spooky Technology Knows about My Road Trip

Yesterday began at our local French breakfast place. We were going on a road trip to a winery up the Columbia near Biggs Junction across the river. I had not told anyone we were going and our oldest son/family was joining us for the day. We knew the way because we live here. We had not opened maps or even looked at my iphone that morning

It was misty (liquid air we call it here in Oregon) and overcast. The restaurant was full even though it was early in the morning. We carried on a quiet conversation and our granddaughters either colored or read.

We left by two door and as my husband and I approach our car, my iphone buzzed and a notification came up. It said:
"It is 116 miles to the winery." 
Nothing else. Chills went down my spine. HOW DID MY PHONE KNOW WHERE I WAS GOING????

All sorts of things went through my mind but nothing even made sense to me. Why would it do that?

Travelogue of our day...was my phone listening to us all day?

The winery we were headed to is called Maryhill Winery and sits next to the Maryhill Museum. The name came to be because a man named Sam Hill built his version of a castle on the dry, windswept hillside in the eastern part of the Columbia Gorge on the Washington side and named it for his wife.

But the version of that story we alway heard was much different and is enough to draw people to the castle for the story alone. The truth is it is now and always has been a museum.

I seems Sam Hill invited Queen Marie of Romania to visit the site and she dedicated the castle as a museum. Gossip repeated to this day had it that Hill was romantically involved with the queen. It was (and still is) gossiped that she arrived, took one look, told Sam Hill she would not stay and went home! If you saw where it is located you would be with the queen. In reality the story is much different but a romance gone wrong is more fun to tell. Here is the story told in a newspaper article:
Queen Marie of Romania and Sam Hill

On November 3, 1926, Queen Marie of Romania (1875-1938) dedicates Maryhill Museum of Art. The Queen is a friend of Maryhill builder Sam Hill (1857-1931) and is in the United States on a 50-day visit that dominated newspaper headlines. Accompanying Queen Marie are her two youngest surviving children, Prince Nicolas (1903-1977) and Princess Ileana (1908-1991). The museum is to be housed in Hill's half-finished mansion overlooking the Columbia River gorge near Goldendale in Klickitat County.
To this day when someone does something foolish we say "What in the Sam Hill?" Interesting huh?
Our morning started with a green misty sky.
My granddaughter play in the waters of the Columbia (Celilo Lake) near the site where Celilo Falls and native American encampments has always been. Celilo Fall disappeared when The Dalles Dam was built in in 1957. The famous Celilo Falls was lost for all time. The native Americans had fished at the falls for 11,000 years and The Lewis and Clark Expedition has records of their activity in their journals. The people still live in a village close to the falls and fish in the river under treaty rights with the government.

The Gorge hillsides turn brown and arid very quickly as we
travel east of the Cascade Mountain Range

The intersection a Biggs Junction. We turned left toward N. 97.

Sam Hill built a replica of the Stonehenge in remembrance of the
men lost in WWI...the war to end all wars. It is located east of the museum.

Maryhill Winery
The beautiful Columbia Gorge from the deck of the winery. This looking East.
I was raised in the eastern part of Oregon. This dry landscape feels a lot like home. But, as we traveled back west again I was grateful for the cooler air and the green trees. I felt at peace with the world.

Have a wonderful weekend.



  1. I wondered if you googled it for information and then the Scary iPhone put two and two together. And I've always wondered where the phrase "What the Same Hill" came from. Now I know! Love your pictures, especially the one of the pretty woman in the hat at the bar. :-)

    1. No I did not Google anything about it. I lived and worked close to this place. I don't need to do that. I was so weird!

      And thank you for the compliment.


  2. It is creepy how there is so little privacy now; I wonder how "they" knew where you were traveling.

  3. My strangest internet thing was the time I went out for tacos with a friend, and while we were eating, she told me about a good Korean friend chicken she'd gone to a few days earlier, and when I got home facebook was showing me ads for Korean fried chicken places.

    I suspect what happened there, though, is that she had posted about the chicken place, then she'd posted that she and I were eating tacos together, so FB thought maybe she and I would like to eat chicken together.

    It was still weird.

    1. You have got to wonder. Do you suppose this is happening more and more?

  4. Now is that really THE Sam Hill to which people are referring when they say "What in the Sam Hill"? :D

    1. I have always thought is was so until someone tell me different I am sticking with my story. :)


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