Travel Notes

Wed Jul 31 19:44:29 2002 (rr)
Book: N/A
Location: San Juan Island
So we are in the San Juans, spending our time searching for jobs on the web and alternately, escaping outside. We really want to go kayaking here, but you need so much dang equipment just to get started (roof racks, kayaks, wet suits, blah blah blah). In the meantime, we are going to learn about the currents with our new Washburne's current atlas. In a few days, we are going to go on a more economical backpacking trip in the North Cascades. We are slowly easing our way back into the real world.
Seattle seems somewhat smaller to me and perhaps too familiar. I think it just takes some time to readjust. Either that or its time to move to San Francisco! Still, I'm looking forward to exploring Puget Sound by boat, so that should be enough of a reason to hang out in Washington for a while longer.
As for the blog, we're hoping to reorganize it for easier post-trip browsing. Our film is ready to be picked up next time we go off-island, so soon there will be lots of photos clogging up our web site.

Mon Jul 22 21:01:59 2002 (rr)
Book: Hidden Hawaii
Location: Lava trees
we camped in a cloud last night. The tent didn't flood. Very very green. It rained and rained. I believe it may rain there every day of the year. Which may explain why we were the only campers, and why the cabins at the park are so popular. Meanwhile, the Kona Coast is probably dry as can be. This morning we got up early and ate our pancakes, then drove south to Lava Tree State Park. The road to the park is lined with tall albizea trees which have broad flat canopies. Lava trees were formed when lava poured over a forest, then drained away again, leaving behind coated burning trees. Now there are a whole bunch of lava pillars, hollow on the inside with occasional holes punched through where the tree branches were. Some of the coolest trees were the ones that had fallen over. They bore the most resemblance (i think) to what the original tree looked like. The park also had a ton of orchids, birds of paradise, and other flowers that I don't know the names of.

Sat Jul 20 21:30:40 2002 (rr)
Book: Hidden Hawaii
Location: Volcanoes Ntl Park, Hawaii , Hawaii
So on afternoon tuesday we landed on the big island. The next day we got all the permits , and stuff necessary to do a weeks worth of camping , and headed south to the National Park.
Wednesday afternoon we hiked across the steaming caldera of Kileaua iki, across both shards of sharp rock, a'a and smooth flows pahoehoe. It was a pretty amazing hike, especially since you walked not just across it , but around the rim through bright green forests, looking down on the desolate plain of rock.
Right after the hike we ate an apple & penut butter and took off for the 45 minute ride down to the coast. At the end of the road we parked our car, hiked past a mile of parked cars and then a couple hundred yards over lava flow ( that covered the road) and stopped with a huge mass of people. And stared. There was red hot (very very very ... HOT) lava. It was flowing. Very slowly, but that made it more comforting. Especially relizing you could get as close as the stupidist teenage boys, getting their pictures taken with the lava. It was immensly cool, and it just got cooler as it got darks and it became clear that the whole hill side was just the same. It was amazing. It was definitly worth comeing to the big Island for just this. Great!

Tue Jul 16 01:34:44 2002 (rr)
Book: Hidden Hawaii
Location: North Shore, Kaua'i
Yesterday we kayaked the Na Pali coast, formed when a huge chunk of Kaua'i fell into the ocean (refer to Roadside Geology of Hawai'i for details.) Tall narrow green ridges and gorges plunge breathtakingly to the sea below. We started off the day launching into surf and having our rudder break. We lurched to the right towards breaking waves. We shouted at each other to paddle to the left and get the rudder up, etc.

Once we got out farther into the water (and fixed our rudder), a school of spinner dolphins put on a show, against a backdrop of double rainbows. This actually happened. We paddled along the coast, past lots of sea turtles poking their heads up out of the ocean, and the fabulous scenery.

At some point, despite earlier precautions, I began feeling queasy. Queasiness soon turned into a bout of seasickness, and resulted in my feeling better (temporarily). This event occurred three more times across the next five hours. It got worse each time, as little remained to be unearthed, so to speak. Still, I got to focus my eyes on the steep red cliffs and emerald valleys. I tried to spot animal shapes in the clouds, but they didn't look like anything.

Along the way, we paddled into a couple of sea caves and tunnels, which were churning with water and very fun and cool. We paddled for about twelve miles before lunch, and by this time I was rather glad to be back on land again. I took a Dramamine, drank water while I could, and even ate most of lunch, and was fine the rest of the day. A monk seal beached itself, rather, it kind of plopped up onto the beach looking like it had been seasick itself and was also grateful for the lack of up and down motion. I liked this seal.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty but uneventful, until it came time to land on Polihale Beach. There were quite a few breaking waves, so we landed one kayak at a time. We sat offshore watching the other kayaks in the group land on the shore, and waited for our turn. Finally the time arrived. We paddled in towards the shore, and were told to paddle hard in. Then Ivan (the tour guide) swam out to us, grabbed our bow and waited for the right time between waves to guide us in. That time would never arrive. We had to ferociously back paddle to avoid waves breaking on us. After two such times, Ivan just stared rather wide-eyed behind us, and didn't tell us to back-paddle. I was compelled to look behind me to see what exactly inspires silence in a guide. This was just in time to see a huge wave starting to crash right on us. Enough time to take a deep breath and say "Here goes." If you were surfing, this would have been the right place and time to catch the wave. However, we aren't big surf-kayakers (not yet, at least). It was in the next few seconds that we learned both broaching and maytagging, but not pearling* (fortunately). We shot forward with the wave at a hundred miles an hour, nearly impaled Ivan, and rode with the wave. Soon the boat turned sideways, parallel to the wave (this is broaching), and shortly afterwards rolled over, taking us with it. This is maytagging. (capsizing in a churning wave). As the kayak fell on top of me and scrubbed me into the sand while simultaneously being transported forward by the wave, I felt slightly worried. It was kind of like boogie boarding -- sometimes the wave sucks you under, tosses you about and you don't know which way is up (also maytagging!). Of course, this time around I knew that the kayak was on top of me, and hence, which way gravity was pointing. I finally figured out that I should roll out from under the kayak, towards the shore. It seemed to work. At the same moment another guide appeared, asking if I was okay. I was. Nathan appeared shortly thereafter. He also seemed okay. And Ivan did not get impaled by the kayak. He said it was like boogie boarding on the kayak. It was an interesting end to the trip.

*pearling -- when the kayak flips end over end, the long way.

Sat Jul 13 20:46:01 2002 (rr)
Book: Moon Guide Kauai
Location: Kauai
Our first full day in kauai, we took of from are very nice B&B and went for a hike on the amazing napali coasst. We started from the worlds most crowded parking lot and did a beach to beach climb. It was pretty hillybut not to bad (even with me in my tevas , my new hikers since I sent home the real hiker in HK). The veiws where amazing with mountains jutting up behind us , and the cliffs and seas in front. A good short hike.

The next day we did a longer 5mi 4.5hr, hike down the Waimeia canyon on the other side of the napali coast. The canyon is stunning, deep, red from the iron in the rocks, drier than around the coast but still green. Truely amazing very much like a the pictures of the grand canyon, but green. And of course less deep. The is something about canyon light. It was truely amazing, this is a great hike, I have no clue why the cguide books don't absolutly rave about it. A great day.

Yesterday we did the beach thing at a couple of beaches , and found us a room up north for the next 3 days.

Tommorrow we do a guided kayak trip up the napali coast. This should be amazing. Hopefully it will be better than the tour in yap which was beautiful, but with a near mute guide.

Tuesday we're supposed to go to Seattle, but it looks like we're extending for a week to go to the Big Island.

Hawaii is a very good place, indeed.

- Nathan

Mon Jul 8 19:49:20 2002 (rr)
Book: Hidden Hawaii
Location: Hawaii
Aloha! After total airport HELL* we are in Hawaii, and time travellers to boot. We arrived in Hawaii at 5 pm July 7th, yet only reserved the flight at 9 pm on July 7th. We're staying in a pleasant kitchenette unit a block from Waikiki Beach and in fact are using a computer with an ocean view.

*you don't want to know. it sucked. but we didn't get singled out by security for the first time in the U.S.

Sat Jul 6 05:52:04 2002 (rr)
Book: Micronesia Moon Guide
We have survived our first ever typhoon! Typhoon Chata'an scored a direct hit on Guam, and we watched the storm from our hotel room while eating our emergency provisions of peanut butter and chocolate (no Spam). We even saw the eye of the storm. Lots of trees got knocked over. OUr hotel did not. I believe the power is still out, but there are tons of generators and the phones in our area work.
Our flight was of course cancelled as take-off time coincided with the worst part of the storm. We are on stand by for the next flight on Sunday. If that doesn't work out we won't be able to go to Pohnpei as the flight is totally booked for the foreseeable future. Nathan says next time we don't fly into the typhoon.

Wed Jul 3 02:27:13 2002 (rr)
Book: Micronesia Moon Guide
so i really really hope we don't get hit by the typhoon in Guam, because we are going to go there anyway. Mostly because the flight we wanted to switch to is full, and we'd have to stay here for an additional week, which seems like a long time. So what it comes down to is hoping that we don't end up wishing we had stayed in sunny, calm, peaceful, 5 knots an hour wind Yap for the extra week, that the typhoon takes a left or right turn somewhere, or that it decides to arrive fashionably late (a few hours after our plane to Pohnpei takes off). My fear is of being evacuated to a musty basement because trees are flying through hotel windows and having to eat cold Spam for a week.

Tue Jul 2 23:52:38 2002 (rr)
Book: Micronesia Moon Guide
This link no longer works - on 12/10/2002 it shows a picture of Australia. Who knows what else it will show in the future...At the time, it showed a large swirl of clouds headed for the isle of Guam.

Mon Jul 1 22:00:13 2002 (rr)
Book: Micronesia Moon Guide
Location: Yap
Yap is very cool, the weather is even improving. Walked and biked all over the island yesterday, with stops to go visit villages that are accessible via beautiful stone paths. Saw a number of stone money banks -- walkways that are lined with the sometimes huge stone money (or rai). Our hotel is very nice with individual thatched bungalows surrounded by ginger plants and palm trees.

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Palau Pictures
Yap Pictures
Hawaii Pictures
Taiwan Pictures

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