Christmas in Hawaii Part 4

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Haleakala Day 2, 8:00 am

I’ve been up for about 75 minutes now. I amde 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 guiatarist, 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 Kaui to go to Halape. Shoot, maybe I’ll just go to Kaui 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 realisticly 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 derserves 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.