Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hawaii: Appendix 1 {Underwater Photographs}

These are just a few of the shots we took while diving along the Kona Coast.
All photos taken with Kodak disposable underwater cameras. Obviously not the greatest, but with a bright sunny day and the 100ft visibility in the Hawaiian waters, they do all right.

One of the many "caves" along the rock volcanic Kona Coast.



A pod of spinner nose dolphin cruising overhead.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

CHRISTMAS CARD 08'


Third shortest day of the year; Christmas Eve BC Ski @ South Fork

Gretchen making her way up to the saddle.
Samuel, Jack, & Jasper happy its Christmas Eve, happy to be in the Snow, and happy to be out Skiing.Gretchen with an awesome sunset falling on the shoulders of Temptation Peak, Anchorage in the background.
We even saw Santa Claus flying overhead!!!!!And then he actually landed his sled on the ridge and got some sweet turns in the fresh powder on North Bowl!!!!!

If you were wondering where Santa rips it up, its in Alaska; he loves to get Chugached!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hawaii: Conclusion - Honolulu, Oahu; 26.2 miles to the End

Honolulu, big city Hawaii. You can't really tell where Pearl City ends and Honolulu begins, or where they meet up with Waikiki, its a continuous band of suburbia and cityscape's spread across the entire southern end of the island of Oahu.
We began our visit to Oahu with a stop by the Honolulu Marathon Expo to pick up our race packets for the race in two days.

Pearl Harbor.

USS Arizona memorial, still leaking oil over 60 years later.

Gretchen on the Waikiki Beach, unfortunately it was a rain jacket day instead of Bikini's....

More tourist-ness at the Dole Pineapple Plantation.

North shore, a Mecca for surfers. Basically in the winter months some monster 20-30 foot waves hit these beaches coming strait from the North Pacific (thank you Alaska) nearly 7000 miles away.

What an eclectic group of surfers and travelers. We saw numerous Volks Wagons and old school buses converted into campers parked along the strand. Eat, Sleep, and Surf...
Gretchen "scoping" out the perfect "set" before she goes into "hang ten"
Sam says "I'll stay on the beach, i prefer snow to water any day of the week"
The perfect ending to 9 days in Hawaii, running 26.2 miles with 25,000 people in the Honolulu Marathon!!!

Hawaii: Chapter 6 - Hilo & Beyond

Hilo, once hoped to be the "Honolulu of the Big Island" is now a little town trying to fill a big cities shoes. It's actually a gorgeous location. Very different from Kona. If Kona is built into the slopes of Mauna Loa dropping into the sea, then Hilo is built into the rainforests on the flatter slopes of Mauna Kea. I believe the statistic is roughly 175 inches of rainfall a year...
Despite all this rainfall, the Big Island is still in a draught, as seen in these photographs taken of Rainbow Falls, just on the outskirts of Hilo. A once roaring falls is now just a trickle. Originally named because you could see the full spectrum of light in the misty rainbows this falls would create....

One of the gorgeous parts of Hilo was the way life was intertwined with the forest. This park within town had some amazing Banyan Trees.
I love the way the branches reach in all directions. For scale to the enormousness of these tree's, you can see Gretchen in the foreground near the "trunk".
Ok, so sometimes we choose to do the doorky tourist thing; but hey, when in Hawaii, why not stop and check out the Macadamia Nut factory, right?
This picture was taken for Beth. We found an awesome NOAA Underwater Ecology museum in Hilo.

Hilo, as seen from "Pineapple Island".

Gorgeous Hibiscus Flower.
The best beach on the Big Island (according to the guide book).
Sea turtles.
Doing my best Don Johnson impression chillin in the open air airport lounge.
We were sad to say goodbye to the big island, but the nonstop travelers we are, ready to check out another one of the Hawaiian Island. On to Oahu.
Bye bye Kona Coast.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hawaii: Chapter 5 - Volcano National Park

Volcano National Park, a unique place where you can witness first hand land being created by active Volcano's.

Kilauea Crater; we were able to hike across a portion of this crater. Most of the crater is closed due to current volcanic activity.
It rained a lot here, especially at elevations above 4,000ft.
But "duh" we're in the rainforest...Thurston Lava Tube. This old lava tube was broken up into two portions, one lit, one unlit. We walked down the unlit portion with just one headlamp for nearly 400 meters before turning back, it was really dark.
I had some fun playing with my D80 and longer shutter speeds (Sam kneeling on left, Gretchen spinning the light on right).Beware, Sulfur Dioxide venting EVERYWHERE...
Old lava flow running across the coastal road.

Cool volcanic rock arch going into the sea