Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Hawaii

We crammed as much Hawaii as we could into the week of April 15-24, touring Maui, Oahu and the Big Island. We lost a half day on the front end as a Russian volcano disrupted air traffic through Seattle and we arrived midday Sunday. On our first full day, Monday, we flew to Oahu and toured the Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor. We drove around the island a bit before returning the same day to our rental in Maui.


USS Missouri

Next up was a tour of a cocao plantation on Tuesday, which was more interesting than I thought it would be.


Cocoa

On Wednesday, it was back on an airplane headed to the Big Island. We drove counter-clockwise from Kona and were rained on almost all day. By the time we got to Volcanoes National Park, it was so foggy that we couldn't see any of the sights. After overnighting in Hilo, we decided to head back to the park on Thursday and were able to see all that we had missed the day before, including the KÄ«lauea crater and the lava cliffs abutting the ocean. When I was in Hawaii in the late 80's, we saw from the air as hot lava hit the ocean and raised columns of steam. No such luck this time.


Lava meets the sea.

It was back to Maui Thursday night, and I was finally able to just sit around the unit and relax much of Friday. We had an oceanfront lanai with a seawall, and there were little crabs skittering around on the rocks. Later on Friday the Green Sea Turtles made their presence known just off shore, and I got a few shots of them. We did not take a whale watch cruise, but from our lanai we could see the whales several miles off shore doing tail slaps and breaching. Supposedly it is near the end of the season for whales near Maui, but I could tell the people who did take the cruises got tremendous views. Oh well, some other time (and place probably).


Turtle gets flipped in the surf.

Saturday we foolishly made the "can't-miss" drive on the Road to Hana. It is the worst road of any length I have ever been on in my life. To say that it was narrow, curvy, rough and dangerous is an understatement. There were some interesting stops along the way such as Haleakalā National Park, but "never again." Sunday we did some last-minute dining and shopping before taking a redeye back to the mainland, arriving Monday morning.


The Road to Hana sucks. Sorry, it's the truth.

I'm conflicted about vacations like this. On one hand, you want to see everything. On the other hand, you want to relax. If I had to do it over again I would do more relaxing and less traveling. Particularly not driving to Hana. Also, I ceremoniously deleted the Hawaiian Airlines app from my phone. The four flights we took were all a little bit or a lot late, and I hope I never have to use them again. Like I said, next time I'll do more relaxing, less traveling.

Saturday, April 01, 2023

Contenders

I snapped a contender for 2023 Photo of the Year today, catching this fox hunting voles just outside my back garage door. A split second after I got this image, the fox took off like a shot. I hope he comes back and gets some more voles.


Fox eating a vole.

A few other early contenders for 2023 POY:


A bison is not a uniform shade of brown, Badlands.

Frosty morning in Custer State Park.

Bighorn ram jumps a creek, Custer State Park.

Bighorn ram on the rocks, Custer State Park.

Frost-covered bison, Wind Cave.

Yellowstone coyotes.

Back yard hawk.

Yellowstone bighorn.