Page 5 of Dawn and Steve Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu April 23rd 2010

One morning we took glider rides from Dillingham airfield on the north end of Oahu. The gliders are towed up into the air by another small plane, then they ride the air currents above the northern mountains. We were hoping to get some good pictures from the air, but because of the bubble of plexiglass enclosing the cockpit, there was always glare in the pictures. Despite that, we had a great view from up there, and our planes even circled around each other a few times so that we could see each other. It was a neat experience, and you can’t beat the view from up there.... read more
Steve's glider ride
Steve in the glider
Gliders are towed into the air

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu April 22nd 2010

Hanauma Bay is a semi-circular cove that is the top of an old eroded volcano with lots of coral reef just below the surface. It is an underwater state park, which means that you have to pay to go in, watch a video on the things you will see, how to protect the coral and the fish, and yourself. It is shallow and safe for all ages - for the most part, and there are so many colorful fish that it is called Hawaii's fishbowl. Because of this, it gets pretty crowded, so we went early. But even as tons of people streamed in all day, it didn't really seem to get too crowded. It is a big place. Lifeguards watch over people as well, and tell you where the currents are, where it is safe ... read more

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu April 20th 2010

Oahu is the most populated island, and at first we were going to skip it. We sure are glad we didn't! It is absolutely beautiful. It is easy to see why people were so drawn to this island and settled here. We hated the traffic - big busy freeways, just like LA. But we loved the scenery. The mountains rise out of the middle of the island like a green velvet curtain, topped by clouds that hang onto the tops of the mountains like whipped cream on an ice cream sunday. The roads from one side of the island to the other go over and through these mountains on pretty roads that rise into the clouds and take you through tunnels. It is windy, but not too windy. Beautiful beaches ring the entire island - some ... read more
Paddlers at Kailua beach
Along the east shore
Another east shore beach

North America » United States » Hawaii » Molokai April 17th 2010

Kalaupapa overlook provides a scenic view of the Kalaupapa peninsula some 1600 feet below. Interpretive plaques explain the history of the leprosy settlement below; the town of Kalaupapa can be seen from the overlook. The peninsula is a lava slab that is surrounded on three sides by the sea, and backed by the world’s tallest sea cliffs which separate this peninsula from the rest of the island. This geography made this the perfect place to isolate leprosy patients from the rest of the islands. Leprosy was spreading through the islands rapidly in the 1800’s, and in 1865 King Kamehameha made it illegal for those diagnosed with leprosy to live anywhere in Hawaii expect here, enacting a law that banished people with leprosy to Kalaupapa. Early on, patients were forcibly taken from their families and dumped off ... read more
Mule ready for the ride down the mountain
Steve at Kalaupapa Lookout
Phallic Rock 1

North America » United States » Hawaii » Molokai April 15th 2010

The Hawaiian music that we were looking for on the other islands is plentiful here - and free! The Kapuna (elders) get together and play their ukeleles and guitars and sing both traditional Hawaiian songs and old-time songs from the 40’s and 50’s at the Molokai Hotel every Friday from 4 - 6 pm. You can get beer on tap for $3, and there are some inexpensive appetizers that can be shared. Everyone has a good time - both the performers and the audience as they encourage you to sing along if you like. We went both Fridays that we were here, and enjoyed both nights. Another great musical group we found here is a jazz group that plays at the Coffees of Hawaii (plantation, coffee bar, outdoor restaurant, gift shop) every Saturday night from 6 ... read more
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North America » United States » Hawaii » Molokai April 11th 2010

The search for a nice beach on Molokai was a frustration. Higher winds and rough seas make all the islands a little more dangerous in the winter time, and you have to pick your places carefully. Since the south shore is the most protected and would be the safest for swimming, we drove all along the south side of the island and stopped at every place that any map made any suggestion of a beach, but none of them were very nice. Little or no sand - mostly rocks. Shallow muddy water, or the alternative, huge crashing waves against rocks. The coconut grove near town had a bit of beach behind it, but it was also narrow, muddy, and worse. While walking along the shore there, I stepped in some black mud that sucked my foot ... read more
01 Crab beach in front of Molokai Shores
02 As tide goes out it exposes the mud
03 Another muddy beach along the south highway

North America » United States » Hawaii » Molokai April 6th 2010

Our flight in to Molokai showed us some spectacular scenery. Molokai has the tallest sea cliffs in the world, averaging around 2,000 feet, with the highest at 3,300 feet. The sheer drop into the ocean, with waterfalls cascading down the rock walls are really awe inspiring. We also flew over the famous Kalaupapa Peninsula, the most remote part of the most remote island, where leprosy patients were forced into isolation in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Before landing we got a good sight of red dirt farms that makes the red dirt on Maui seem pale in comparison. Once we landed and began to look around, I must admit that at first we were a little disappointed with Molokai. We don’t often get to take vacations to the sea-side, but when we do, there are ... read more
02 Eastern point of Molokai
03 Molokai has the tallest sea cliffs in the world
04 More of tallest sea cliffs

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui April 5th 2010

Iao Valley State park is a short drive up the road from dry, dusty central Maui, and very quickly you are in rain forest. A large rock formation is called the Ioa needle. This is the site of an historic battle where King Kamehameha defeated the warriors of Maui, and the rivers ran red with blood. Now it is a peaceful, albeit foggy and damp park with walking trails and rivers. Just down the road from Iao Valley park is Kepaniwai Park which pays tribute to the varied ethnic heritages of Hawaii. There are a Japanese garden, Chinese Pavilion, Filipino farmer's home, a Hawaiian home, and a New England missionary style home. We were most taken with the Japanese and the Chinese pavilions and gardens, with the Iao Valley's misty mountains in the background.... read more
Iao Needle
Filipino Farmers
Chinese Garden with Iao Valley in background

North America » United States » Hawaii » Hana April 4th 2010

If highway 340 around the West Maui mountains is the narrowest and most scary road on Maui, then the road to Hana is the prettiest. Some guide books warn that this road is also narrow and twisty, but it actually is two lanes all the way to Hana, and not scary to drive at all. The road does get narrow for a little ways if you go past Hana and around the back of Haleakela, with a section of it unpaved, and this is another place that the car rental companies don't want you to go. So, since we didn't know that the road was so good, and we wanted to go all the way around, I thought that we should take a tour so that Steve could be a passenger for once and be able ... read more
Twin Falls
Waterfalls along road to Hana
More falls along road to Hana

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui » Upcountry April 3rd 2010

Haleakala crater is the extinct volcano that formed the eastern part of Maui. There is a switchback road travelling up to the top of the crater, going so high that you literally drive through clouds, then are above them at an elevation of over 10,000 feet. It always is so pretty when you get above the clouds! We had read about a bicycle trip down the side of the mountain which had sounded like fun, but it turns out that the road up and down from the crater is so very steep, and without a shoulder to make it safe for bikers, that people get hurt by doing that. Not only that, the wind is so strong and the air is so cold that they provide you parkas and gloves so you don't freeze. And the ... read more
Looking down into the Valley on the road to Haleakala
More of the road to Haleakala
At the top of Haleakala

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