Christmas in Hawaii Part 4

Haleakala Day 2, 8:00 am

I’ve been up for about 75 minutes now. I made some grits and took pictures of the sunrise. There is an interesting group of hippies staying the cabin about 200 yards down the hill from my campsite, and i photographed one of them, Tony, a guitarist, sitting on the corral gate.

Tony followed the Grateful Dead for three years, seeing 75 of their shows, and so did another person in the group. They told me about hotels full of Dead fas, an artful bizarre in every show’s parking lot, a caved in roof, and “spinning”. Apparently, you can get high from standing in one spot and spinning around, even so high as to leave your own body to become “pure consciousness”. Huh. I may have to give that a try.

Oh yea, Mom and Toni gave me a down jacket, and it really has been a blessing. It is my first and it is so nice to wear after dark and in the morning; I’m always looking for an excuse to put it on. The best part is that once I wake up and I;ve used it for a pillow, I can slip it on and – voila! – It’s preheated.

PS, the hippies told me about a lava tube about 15 minutes from here.

Paliku = “Standing cliff”

The short video clip I shot as I walked into camp explains why: I’m situated at the back of a valley against tall and lush cliffs. Clouds seem to constantly roll over the top but burn off before they reach the warm valley floor. It is sprinkling, fine and misty, but the sun is shining brightly. My campsite here is gorgeous, tucked away beneath a common native tree and looking due south out of the valley and over the ocean. A nene just wandered by. Apparently there are just 600 of them here. They are a type of endangered goose with a grey body and a black head, and a white ring around their neck. They are very peaceful and friendly, and besides me they are the only inhabitants of Paliku at the moment. It is a very peaceful place. The breeze comes every so slightly now and again, and despite the bright sun it is cool and I am wearing long sleeves and pants. It sprinkling again, and I have the rain fly pulled back on my tent.

“Eric, I am going to change your life.” He is at a very malleable age, and i would like to make a positive change in his life, by taking him backpacking. Really get him out of his element. (Transcription note: this is a reference to Eric, the little brother of Lisa, my girlfriend at the time. Admittedly, it sounds a little prepossessed, but I was 24.)

“Lisa? I’m going to change your life” Alright, I think I already have. Anyway, I’m feeling quite inspired just now. I have so much spirit to share. I’m brimming with ways to share it. How about this: Lisa and I come back here to Haleakala crater, about a month earlier in the year when the Siliverswords are blooming, and take horses down to the cabin for a night? Of course, most of the Silverswords were over by Holua, so maybe just backpacking would be better. Then we’ll mountain bike here and in Makawao. In fact, maybe we’ll just mountain bike through the Silverswords, lol. We’ll check out Hana, maybe stay at the fancy hotel for a night, then hitch back and fly to Kauai to go to Halape. Shoot, maybe I’ll just go to Kauai this trip.

Hidden Lava Tube

So I had the pleasure of adding, in pen, a new feature to my Haleakala topo map: a thus far unnamed lava tube. It’s just outside Holua on a southerly side trail. You climb down a very old, rusty, and yet sturdy, ladder through a sky light to a large antechamber. Heading north and generally down hill leads to a very low (8″) crawl for about fifteen feet, then some standing water, and finally a dead end at about 1/4 mile. Heading uphill takes you to second opening at about 1/2 mile, where you can egress to see Holua from afar, and then this direction continues to a dead end. One interesting place was a sort of balcony, reachable from the backside, which overlooked a lower portion of the cave. It was imbued with good energy and covered in candle wax.

Ok, so realistically I’m thinking Lisa and I should go backpack in either Utah-Arizona, a la the Grand Canyon, or New Mexico if that isn’t warm enough between when we get back from Dillon (January 2nd, I’ve made us new years reservations) and when we go back to school at ACC (January 22nd.) Yea! I will have to pay for it, but I don’t mind, she deserves it. Each day I have been here it has been sunny in the morning and rainy in the afternoon, a lot like Colorado in the summer, and today is no different.

As I promised myself, my second draft of my personal creed is shown on the facing page. Lacking a few yet-to-be-decided details, it will take the general form shown, with a mission statement and paradigm at the top, tie-togethers at the bottom, and the middle populated by three health pillars and accompanying details.

One thing that I really love about backpacking is that I get to have all of my favorite possessions; tromping through a veritable “middle of nowhere” such as Haleakala crate with all of your toys is a lot of fun! I love you AJ! (AKA thank you for the stove, tent and sleeping bag.) You rule Ben! (Thank you for the sleeping pad.) Good call Tim! (Thank you for the rain jacket!) Mom, Toni, I love you two and you are both so generous. Right on Thomas – thanks for the flowlights. These are all things that I wouldn’t have in my life if it weren’t for your influence.

To complete my kit I just need some better pants, something thicker and waterproof but light enough for everyday use.

Christmas in Hawaii Part 3

Day 5 – Sunday 🙂

I love my mom, but I feel like I came here to be on my own, and i haven’t done it yet, except for a few hours yesterday which were quite nice.

So far I’m still wining it, not even a plan for the next couple hours, let alone the time between now and when my mom flies out tomorrow afternoon.

Monday – Haleakala Day 1

I am rockin’ and rollin’. I am feeling so strong so inspired, so full of love and even a little proud (I have not decided if that’s a bad thing or not – to be proud, that is.) I set out from Haleakala summit around 3 pm and I hiked until just after dark, to Holua, covering 7.8 miles.I enjoyed some great conversation at Holua cabin, sitting around the picnic table with a group of locals (who don’t speak in pidgin) before I set up my camp and spun poi to “Louder” by Jose Amnesia, among others. crambled eggs and bacon made for a delicious hot dinner. Hoping mom got the rental car back okay and made her flight; she dropped me at the park headquarters with just enough time to get to the airport from way up here.

Monday – Day 6

I’m learning to get along with my mother again, but it has been hard because her beleif system is so far removed from my own. It is embued by ideas like: “I’m determined by my __ (parents, genetics, environment, etc….)”; “I’m not responsible for my __ (emotions, finances, past, future, etc….)”; and even “Everyone is out to get me.” I feel bad becasue she talks and talks and talks (usually about the past) when it’s obvious, and she knows, nobody wants to hear it. She really needs a better paradigm (“and maybe a therapist?”

I got up early and went biking in the national forest by Makawao. It was great. The trails were really wet so they are tackier than riding in the American west. Most of the time you’re riding on mud covered by leaves and drifiting around corners is nuts. I even rode a really sweet ravine with berms as I descended through the off-limits freeride area behind the water department. Great day – hiking and biking – I feel like my mind body and soul have all been reinvigorated, and now I’m ready to get to bed nice and early. I’ve been thinking a lot about my creed (and talknig to myself about it,) but work on that will have to wait until tomorrow. (Transcription note: my language and ideas at this time were influenced by Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)

Days 2, 3 and 4 of Christmas in Hawaii

Day 2: Slept in and rode as a passenger in Steve’s maniac mobile as we sped wildly through fog up and down the hills around Honolulu playing dance music. Ya!

Day 3: Maui Begins. The Valley Isle looms ahead of me. My 8:43 am flight to Maui was canceled and my shuttle was running 15 minutes late, but I managed to get a hot breakfast and an earlier flight. Met up with mom and we went to the beach. The surf was up. I swam a bunch. Kinda hurt my neck and right ankle.

Day 4: Downhill Mountain Bike descent of Haleakala. I rented a Specialized Enduro for the weekend and road it down the Skyline Trail on Haleakala. Great ride.

I got stuck in a rain storm and got a flat tire and had to have mom come pick me up. Thank god I had reception!

I’ve been a little frustrated. I’m getting tired of mom’s incessant gabbing. Need to get good long rest. I love myself. I approve of myself. I am willing to change. I am willing to let go.

Day 1: A Christmas Journey to Hawaii

I could not have imagined a more perfect start to my trip, and that certainly is not to say that everything has gone smoothly. Quite the opposite in fact, and I love it. I chuckle to myself as I write this.

I didn’t pack yesterday, so I had to get up at 6am to do that. It took me a solid two hours to find everything, fill my first aid kit, repackage some food and finally shove it all into my backpack, which, would have been fine if I hadn’t spent an hour showering and making breakfast.

So we raced to DIA. I missed check in by 7 minutes and things looked grim. I told Lisa I wasn’t upset and it really wasn’t anybody’s fault, but I was a little nervous that my reservations would fall like dominoes after I missed my LA-bound flight.

Stroke of luck #1: THere was another flight to LA 50 minutes later and I could still make my LAX-HNL flight.

Interjection: perhaps it is more important to travel not for the people you will meet or the strange cultures you will experience but for an entirely different and much more physical reason altogether: so that you can experience how your home is seen from afar. As I fly over Colorado I realize that it is a beautiful and arid expanse, largely unpopulated if not unexplored. More importantly though, I realize that so often I experience it from the literally low points. I am a little scared now that I realize that so much exists up high, but I believe it was time for me to be shown this.

So anyway, I checked in, checked my pack, parked the car with Lisa, and she and I, and Sophie, went and had breakfast at the Coyote Grill. Oh and when we parked we… Ok, wait.

So driving into the airport the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” played from Lisa’s iPod. We were speeding badly. “You can make it Jude” the song said, so I turned it up. Apparently Lisa paused it at some point, because after I checked in I got back in and we sped off to park, and when I hit play, at full volume, the glorious triumphant ending played “Nah, nah, nah-na-na-nahh… Hey Jude, jude, judee judee judee judeee… oh!”

So I put on my theme song for this trip – “I’m sliding off the world” by Gareth Emery. As the Climax played we parked, my excitement enduring, and we shared a log, passionate kiss.

Sophie hid in Lisa’s lap, peering out from under the table at the security passing by – “No Dogs Allowed”. They saw me off and I yelled across the airport, “I love you guys! Muh!” We waved goodbye.

I graciously cut some people in the security line and ran to the gate, where the door had already been shut and locked.

Stroke of Luck #2: “If you were any later you wouldn’t be doing as well right now,” said the gate attendant as we walked briskly to B45. “Find your seat ASAP, please.” He unlocked the door and i ran down the jetway. I should be Honolulu by 6:30 local time.

But why hadn’t I packed before this morning, anyway? Same reason I didn’t study for finals (which were on Monday): Huh. There are a lot of ways to answer this: The cool answer: I was snowboarding. The reflective answer: I believed deep inside that everything would turn out right. The deep answer: A part of me feels undeserving so I procrastinated. THe truthful answer: I felt a little bit undeserving so I used snowboarding and Lisa and my Dad’s birthday (51st!) as an excuse to procrastinate.

4:40 pm, LA time: Well, I’m not going to be in Honolulu by 6:30, but my journey just got a whole lot more interesting. After my LA-HNL plane broke down, we sat on the tarmac for two hours before everyone deplaned and rushed to gate 72 to get on flight 935 to HNL. I got there to find 50+ people in line. Hopeless. The next flight would be at 8:45 pm.

I wondered up to the front of the line where I overheard someone say that they had called United and changed their reservation to flight 935, which I promptly did. The gentleman was friendly and in five minutes I was checking in (I cut the 50+ people in line.) Finally, we were pushing back and I rescheduled my pickup by Lida and her boyfriend. I don’t know if my backpack is on this flight.

7-ish: This is amazing. As we chase the sun I watch it set, going on about an hour now, and it’s still looking like it did when I first noted the magenta to orange gradient that then faded into yellow, light green and, my favorite, cyan, and finally a dark electric blue. Wow. Almost as spectacular as the progressive, gliding glints of all the water below as we crossed the western US today.