Friday, January 27, 2012

My Dad, the awesome fisherman

A Tightloop

My Dad and his record 20" small mouth bass are featured in the above magazine's January 2012 issue.  Scroll to the Small mouth article by Paul Melchior and you can see a picture of my dad casting (second page) and one of my dad with his record smallie (sixth page).  Way to go Daddie-O!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monday.Jan 9

 …depart SeaTAc 630, Portland then KOA at 12:15.  Long day of travel, pick up rental car, do a little food shopping at Safeway, head North to Spencer Beach State Park.  Pitch tent, chilled on the beach, collecting thoughts over the long travel from cold Pacific Northwest to warm Pacific Islands.  Sand in my feet.  The ocean water is warm.  What lies ahead of us on this trip?
We meet up with the Bruno family, friends of Todd’s from the Humbolt days and Alaska.  Dinner at camp. 

  Noisy French Canadians snuck in at night, they were smoking up a storm and talking loudly.  Luckily it was soothing French words.

Tuesday, Jan 9.

Hapuna Bay public access area for a swim.  Crashing waves and I am wearing the bikini, what a mistake. 

After beach time, Todd napped while I visited the National Monument near Spencer.  What an interesting and good site on the history of Hamakeahah.  

Nearby in the cove, which was a location of a small village, sharks swam about.  Typically the bay gets Black-tip sharks but the fins we saw were not black tipped and according to the rangers at the National Park, they were much larger than typically observed.  If the water was clear, we would be able to see the sharks better, but this location has a sub-surface creek flowing into it with lots of silt which makes the water black.  A bit strange considering the beautiful blue waters everywhere else here.
Before dinner we visited petroglyphs:

For dinner we joined the Bruno family at Roy’s.  Returned to cards at the camp table, cribbage.

Wed Jan 12 part two

After snorkeling, we checked out the national park.

Wednesday Jan 11

Today we left camp early to head to Captain Cook Memorial for kayaking and snorkeling:

After snorkeling we walked about the park and saw some neat lava and water features:

 looks like elephant skin.

Thursday, Jan 12

Todd decides he would like to spend another day at Spencer near the Bruno family.  So we drive to Wiamea, check out the town and purchase another night here, forgoing one night at Laupahoehoe Point SP.  A good afternoon of rest.  I wanted one night of “out on the town” and this night was  it.  Todd made 6:30 reservations at the BlueDragon Musiquarium.   I am not sure if the Seaweed Martini or the handsome gentleman with me, but this was one very fun night.  It started with drinks, then an ahi appetizer, fennel bread, then grilled fish for me and New York steak for Todd.  More excellent stouts for Todd, a tasty Green Dragon cocktail for me.  Then there was dancing, Todd asked me to dance and we did, up there on the dance floor, to one song.  Him holding me close and me smiling greatly while gently leading him in a slow dance.  And dessert of Chocolate Decadence with coconut ice cream! mmmm good.
Returned to camp and played another game of cribbage.

Friday Jan 13.

Drive north to Pololu Valley, stopping for coffee in Hawi.  No pictures from Pololu cause of the sun location and misty air would not capture the beauty.  You should just go see it yourself. We picked up a pair of young hitchhikers who spent the night in the valley.  The young lady was bitten twice by a centipede, ouch, heard they hurt here.

Stopped in Kappa park, under construction, going to look real nice when its done.  The ocean view and crashing waves on the rocks were amazing to see after all the beach and calm seas. 
we stopped off at a Chinese cemetery on the way out of Kappa Park.   
We drove to the Waipio Valley viewing spot.  Both of us were tired so we did not hike down to the valley floor.  There was also a potential backpack trip but we bagged that too due to laziness, unpreparedness, and the extreme difficulty of the terrain we would be crossing.  

We stopped off at the Kalapa St Rec area, where the air was colder (low 70's) with ironwood trees and fern lushness.  We did a short hike to the rim and detoured up a creek, taking Blue Gum trail back.

We pushed on to Laupahoehoe Point beach park. This place is very beautiful with green grass, large trees and palms, and lava rock shoreline.  The waves were crashing on the jagged rock. 

This area was struck by tragedy in 1946 ago when a tsunami wiped out  an entire school house of children.  The local fishermen brave the rough seas and fish from the rocky formations.  Local residents also have late night bbq parties.  Aside from the donuts in the grass, the party was of no consequence and did not interfere with my evening.  Spagetti dinner, yummy yum yum.

Saturday Jan 14

Gotta move on from Laupahoehoe, pretty place but heading south of Hilo today to MacKenzie .  Drove the Pepeekeo scenic drive.  4 miles of amazing tropical jungles with flowing streams.  I enjoyed seeing the lush plants, relatives to the pathetic ones I attempt to keep alive in Idaho. 

Reacquainted myself with the presence of rambutans.  yummy, a treat I was exposed to in Australia but have not seen since, even in Mexico.  So upon arriving at the Hilo farmers market, my quest to find rambutans paid off, 3 for a dollar or a bag for 3 dollars.  Also picked up ginger root, garlic, and lemon to fight off this cold that I have been carrying about.  

We met up with the Bruno family again and enjoyed a monsterous cheese burger and Kona Pale Ale at some south end place.  
After the late lunch, Todd and I drove down to MacKenzie State Recreation Area.  It is supposed to be haunted.  We’ll see for our selves.  Todd slept most of the drive.  The park os on a rocky cliff with no beach nor ocean access.  The area is a grove of trees with pine needle understory, no veg.  One awesome feature are collapsed lava tubes that have filled in with vegetation.  One was easy to access and connected via a cave to the other.  The sunset was amazing and the stars were superb.  Todd and I had a brief conversation about what is Romantic, such as in what makes a place “romantic”.  The ability to obtain closeness with one another in a setting.  The Brunos joined us here as their projected camping spot fell through. 

Sunday Jan15

The next morning we all moved out early.  Todd and I went to IsaaccHale Beach Park to shower before heading out in search of lava.  We drove to where we thought one could access lava and it was a strange end of the road hippie tourist trap.  I was feeling super tired so we pulled over in some lava and I napped in the car while Todd read in his chair. 

Todd saw the Brunos again and they told him how to get to the lava.  When my nap was over, we drove out to the lava.  It began to rain while we were viewing the lava,, and boy did it ever begin to rain. I was sopping wet my shoes were squishing.  But this did not deter us from checking out the steaming volcanic formation that covered a town in 1985 and blocked the southern highway. 

After the wet lava walk, we proceeded to Volcanos National Park to see about camping.  Luckily for us it was free weekend at the park and did not have to pay to enter.  Found a spot to camp, at Kulanaokuaiki near the desert.  Set up camp and it began to drizzle rain.  Todd and I crawled in the tent as the rain began to increase.  We both read a little bit and took a nap.  Upon awaking to a wet tent, water was coming up from the floor, rain was coming in from above, we are nearing the point of saturation.  What to do?  We made a plan to exit, I grabbed my sleeping bag jumped out of the tent into a pool of water over 1 foot deep!  We were so drenched by the end of the evacuation, that we drove near naked to Hilo and got a hotel room at Uncle Billy’s.  After laying everything out to dry, taking a hot shower, we ate pasta and opened a great tasting bottle of wine, proceeding to drink the whole darn thing.