I have not been riding much, Gentle Readers of This Blog, except very short runs to the store and other errands on the Desert San Campus Bike. Very cold here in Kansas and we went through two large snow storms. I didn't mind so much--the snow took its time melting. Just not really much to write you guys about... And applying for jobs takes time--cover letter and then up-loading everything. One place I've applied to a few times makes it pretty hard; you have to have everything ready and written, and be prepared to fill out the entire application in one sitting--new each time. I'm getting pretty good, still it took me a hour and half to fill in all the stuff like name, address, your job duties, etc.
So that's what I've been doing, mes amis--and believe me it has been driving me crazy. Finally Little Egypt and I go on the vacation we meant to go on back in early June--but my fall and injury keep that from happening. After three times to go to New York City (we tried to go but there was a blizzard here in KS and the Interstate, as well as the KC airport, were closed) we made it to Hawaii.
I've been to Hawaii many times--I have had family that's lived there since after WWII, so we've always had places to stay, etc. This time Little E and I went to the Big Island of Hawaii and Volcanoes Nat'l Park for about a week, before our trip over to Honolulu. Here's just a few picks for you!
So in 1996, the lava flowed down the mountain (as it has done for thousands of years) and pretty much covered up everything--like the farms and the jungle, etc. People still own the land, but its covered with about 20 feet of rock. Eventually things will grow but really its a tough call. These people rebuilt, but really I don't see why. People are drawn here because they feel the power of the ocean and of the volcano; and I have to say it is powerful--and powerfully indifferent to mere mortals. In a few years, the volcano could pour out more lava and this house destroyed.
Imagine driving home for work and seeing this! Everything melted and vaporized by slow moving lava. Actually most of the Big Island, like around Kona, is uninhabitable. The forests and farms and whatever else was there is covered by lava flow eventually. Hilo and other parts of Hawaii reminded me of rural South Dakota actually--pastoral with cows and horses, and little farms, etc. Hawaiians are great people--they're not wealthy or show-off types. I liked them. Hawaii is just fine with me and I really like Hilo the best--Hawaii (Big Island) doesn't seem so small and crowed and claustrophobic as a place like Oahu, and Honolulu.
That's Diamond Head, and the condos there. Not much of a beach--or any beaches there. We stayed in the Hale Koa on Waikiki--which is a military resort with a private beach for the hotel. It was very affordable for us to stay and while we paid only $60 a night (because of Little Egypt military deployment thing) very tiny rooms in shabby hotels can cost $250 and up! Waikiki is a fantasy for some people--it is nice, and I met a lot of very friendly people there--mostly retired Navy and Marines that come back and stay at the Hale Koa for sentimental reasons--being stationed in Honolulu for many years when they were in the service years ago.
But lots of pretty girls--we saw a lot of fake boobs this trip--don't know what's up with that. I would say Waikiki is about a third attractive women (some fake boobs squeezed in there--women in their 40's) a third older people that have had so much sun that their skin is like dark-brown leather, and then a third just families. Regular people just enjoying the sun and the sea and a bit of peacefulness. Oh I forgot to mention tattoos--guys tended to have tattoos (usually pretty awful ones) I don't get the tattoo thing--kinda becoming pedestrian and blue collar--mostly military guys. I saw some attractive young women but often they had some kind of shitty knife-thru-the-skull tat badly conceived and on their upper arm or on the thigh... Yuck.
We went out on a sailboat and saw a few whales, sea turtles, and some dolphins. Just a chance to get out and relax. Everyone had fun and I talked to many people from many different parts of the USA. I really enjoyed talking with a guy my age and his dad that have bought a sail boat, and are learning how to do all the sailing and navigating from classes they're taking. The plan to sail from where the live in California, to Hawaii! I thought that was cool! They said you can do it and it takes about two weeks!
Another man I met was an Englishman, and a few years back he said he was in Fiji, and took a vacation where he was a crew member on a replica of a Tall Ship. So he worked as a sailor, and worked very hard. He said it was the best time in his life those two weeks--I believe he said the replica ship was that of one like the Bounty. Not sure.
Anyway, we arrived back to Kansas City to find ourselves having to dig our car out of a few feet of snow at the airport parking lot. And then we had a few more days of the white stuff you see up there!
So it was tough to come home to snow--but I'm happy to report that while I'm writing, the snow is melting and the sun is shining! Its getting warm and I'm getting the Garmin 800 Edge put on the Mighty Trek. This coming up weekend (Easter) I should be out for a few rides, and get in some miles before rain starts up. Really I think Spring is finally here!