Sunday, July 20, 2014

The "Remnants" of Tropical Storm Wali

Wait, this was a downgraded tropical storm?  After last night and this morning, I'm not certain we'll want to be in our house at 3,200 ft. when the real thing blows in.  It could get ugly around here if 35-40 mph winds and a few inches of rain one day turns into 100 mph winds and a foot of rain.

Good Riddance

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Really High and Dry

Friday was my lieu day (every other Friday), so mid-afternoon we took off to a rarely visited part of Maui.  The Skyline Trail starts at the Observatory just steps from the Haleakala National Park Boundary at 9,925 ft. elevation, where the lush tropical paradise of Maui seems a world away.  This is about as close to flying as you can get without your feet leaving the ground, as 360 degree views abound.  The "trail" follows an old asphalt roadbed for 1/2 mile before turning to a dirt track.  We hiked for 3 hours and encountered no other people, birds, animals, or living creature of any kind.  If you ever trek this way, bring plenty of water, because there's no H2O to be found except for the Pacific Ocean looming 9,000 feet below you.

The Trailhead, Observatory, and the National Park Boundary

Star Thinking about Lava Rock and Past Mishaps from the Trailhead

Doofus and the Pacific Ocean Below

About a mile in we went through a pass and were looking
West at the Island of Lanai
We passed by several cinder cones

Maui from above

Star Hikes by a Cinder Cone ahead of me

At 8,900 feet, we reached the interface of lava and greenery

Our stopping point with the coastline way below

Headed back toward the car, we passed a sign near this area
saying "Watch for Falling Trees."  As Star says, "There hasn't
been a tree here since the beginning of our planet."

The Big Island in the Distance

As sunset neared, the temperatures dropped to around 50.

On our drive back home, I stopped to take this photo of
my workplace far in the distance.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Back in the Saddle at Pilopilo State Park and the Kula Forest Reserve

Star proclaimed she was ready to hit the trail again this weekend, so on Sunday afternoon we took off to explore a new area; one with few lava rock, and trails similar to those in the Blue Ridge. 

We took it easy on our first hike since the broken ankle, and she responded magnificently.   We went 2 1/4 miles through an unbelievable eucalyptus forest and got in several hundred feet of elevation work. 

Disclaimer:  We are in no way responsible for the
22 seconds of life lost by watching this video.


Eucalyptus Forest

After a couple of miles, we broke out of the trees at 7,000 ft.
and had a great view of old cinder cones on the side of Haleakala.

Looking toward the South Shore driving down.

North and South Shores, Central Maui, and West Maui
Mountains in the distance.

Believe it or not, there is a Frisbee Golf Course to the left of Star.
We passed it on our way down from Polipoli at around 5,000 ft.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Makawao 4th of July Parade

I forgot the camera at the house early this morning, so we had to take these pictures with my "old school" cell phone camera. 

Pre-parade breakfast with picture windows looking out on the
parade route.  Never can have too many pairs of sunglasses here.

My co-workers at Haleakala National Park

Raj and Aaron


Politicians never pass up an opportunity to pander for votes.
This one was the winner.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Maui Swap Meet and other shenanigans

Back home, we call this the flea market, jockey lot, or perhaps a bizarre is more fitting.  It's held every Saturday on the campus of Maui College, and you can find anything from local arts and crafts to Hawaiian plate lunches.  Anyway, the location has a great backdrop.

Afterwards, we drove into Paia and ate lunch at a restaurant the band Kiss opened several months ago called Rock 'n Brews.  They have a great venue for live music.  We'll come back over soon and catch a band.  And yes, we had some brews.

Sporting our new hats from the Maui Swap Meet

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Heli Ops

The pace is quickening at Haleakala this week.  Yesterday, I had basic training in flight operations for the park, and today I was fortunate to assist in an actual helicopter operation delivering supplies (construction materials, firewood, etc.) into the backcountry for our visitor huts. 

Staff loads supplies at the base yard and transports them to a staging area at the helipad.  The supplies are broken down into separate loads based on allowable weight and rigged for pick up.  Next, certain staff members are flown into the crater followed by the supplies.  Today, we had two choppers shuttling.  I assisted with staging materials and ran traffic control, which was great for observing the process and getting to talk to our park visitors about the operation.  At the end of June, I will receive crew training and will probably be participating in the next operation from inside of the crater.

This post is for my good friend, and former USFS employee, Philippe. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Back to Big Beach

Friday took us to lunch at Eskimo Candy in Kihei, where you pick your fresh catch.  Today, it was served with kimchi.  We followed up lunch with an 88 degree afternoon on Big Beach in the North Equatorial Zone.  After working on the side of a volcano in the mid 50's all week, this was a much welcomed change.

The most beautiful beach I have ever stepped foot on.  Isolated,
with a cinder cone on the beach and Haleakala in the background.

Haleakala in the Clouds from Big Beach
Back Home for Sunset