‘Any direction you go from here, you’ll end up with something worthwhile’
It gives simple directions to some of the farms in the area, plus it is a compass for those who want to take a country drive that is not too far away from the city.
It is called the Hockinson Homegrown Highway, an idea from the Hockinson Main Street Team to promote local businesses and the beauty of the area.
“Our area has an amazing diversity of agriculture-based businesses, and the ‘H3’ is a way to link them together to showcase all they offer,” said Kelsey Chappelle, a member of the Hockinson Main Street Team.
Think of it as similar to the Fruit Loop of Hood River, Chappelle said.
Steve Marshall, the superintendent of Hockinson Public Schools, noticed that the community contained hundreds of small, home-based businesses but many of those businesses were only known to local residents. The Hockinson Main Street Team’s mission is to promote community connectedness and local commerce, so the team opted to try to give those businesses more exposure.
“Our hope is that people remember the Homegrown Highway and when they come to visit one of these businesses, they continue on and explore others,” Marshall said.
A map was designed by Justin VanNatta, who works at Hockinson Market. It details many businesses, but is also a good starting point for a drive along country roads. VanNatta ordered close to 400 printouts of the map. He distributed them to many nearby businesses, and kept dozens at the market. Those dozens were scooped up in a hurry, a popular item.
He has already reordered the maps and expects to have more next week.
The Hockinson Market is considered the center of everything in Hockinson.
“Any direction you go from here, you’ll end up with something worthwhile,” VanNatta said.
Hockinson, he said, is more than the one main intersection.
“We wanted to do something that promoted the agricultural scene here … and see this community is bound together by these country roads,” VanNatta said.
The maps are just a guide, though. The country vibe will always be a part of the region.
“Hockinson is very much a place where you give someone directions by saying something like, ‘You see the big silver barn? Turn left.’ I’d like to think this will contribute to keeping that oral history about the place,” VanNatta said.
The map can also be found online at: https://www.hockmainstreet.com/
Visitors are encouraged to take the Hockinson Homegrown Highway map and see where it takes them. As far as visiting the businesses, though, it is recommended that visitors look up operating hours. Not all businesses on the map are open seven days a week. Some are by appointment only.
Whether shopping or exploring or simply out for a drive, Hockinson welcomes you.
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