danceOff Journal

Hawaiian Vacation – Day 2


Today I wore my new hat with a chin strap. It’s a good thing I’m married. I checked a guide on what ladies look for in a man. Chin straps was near the bottom. I can still feel the strap even though the hat is no longer on. I feel it dangling off my neck and pressing tightly against both sides of my head just in front of my ears. It is as real a feeling as the keys beneath my fingers. But it isn’t really there, just like the slight burn on my hand and face isn’t really there. I mean they are. Ultraviolet damage to the skin tissue is indeed real. But the warmth I feel from it is somewhat misleading.

Even in the coldest breeze it seems like you can still get a burn. Because the damage being done isn’t quite cooking. The heat felt after the burn is from the blood that flushes the area during the healing process. Our sunburn ends up feeling warm because our bodies are trying to repair it. That said, aloe feels lovely.

Today we took the “Hana” Highway. I believe Hana is Hawaiian for “Holy shit a semi is about to hit us.” But I’m getting ahead of myself. We left from the hotel at half passed “I should still be asleep.” The sun was making its way over the horizon and most of the other motorists, I presume, had a glazed expression on their face. We grabbed a few final emergency supplies for the trip and set out on the road. It’s 45 minutes to Walmart as it is, so the entire drive for the day was going to be intense. You don’t do any small drives on Maui methinks.

The first stop before the highway began in earnest welcomed us with a collection of interesting sights. I’m desperately tired right now so I apologize in advance if my descriptions end up being lackluster. Anyways, the ocean waves in this area crested quickly and broke down into a frothy white foam. A bit like a really really salty, and likely not all that tasty, root beer.

stop1Waves

The sun had little issue at this point bursting through the largely cloudless sky. Surfers bobbed up and down on the waves like driftwood, each hoping for the perfect wave to come, but in many cases ending up empty handed. The waves more often than not barely survived long enough to be seen before they dispersed. Lady luck smiled on a few of them.

stop2Surfer

It’s a bitter sweet gift to get those waves I think. Because once they surf into shore they have to take the long, long, long, swim back out to catch another wave. I only saw a few of them get one and I don’t think I saw one get a second before we left. Sometime around here another little something caught my eye.

One of the nicest photos I've ever taken.

One of the nicest photos I’ve ever taken.

I’ve got a ton of photos of this little bird. I’ll probably have a separate post about them sometime. We also saw cows around this area and a sea turtle. The latter is so difficult to see in my photos that it would make a good hidden object game. “Is that a turtle? No, no, that’s a twig.”

Plants are fascinating to me. When you look out at a ridge and see a dozen different kinds of plants all bunched into little colonies it seems so innocent. You don’t realize that all around you a war is going on in slow motion. Each plant trying its hardest to push out all the other plants around it to maximize their sun intake. One of the interesting ramifications of human intervention is that we stopped forest fires. Fire was one of the most powerful tools nature had to keep forests diverse. Large trees would burn to the ground and a new round of combat between plants would begin. This helped to keep things diverse and to keep the cycle of life going.

In part this is why we have such horrendous fires now when they do happen. There is far more thick vegetation in areas in the US than ever before. This isn’t true everywhere but if you hear about states where fires are happening constantly (like say, California) it is certainly true there. We had the best of intentions when we started preventing forest fires and indeed man made ones are certainly not necessary, but as with many things it had an unforeseen negative impact.

But you didn’t ask about that so here is a picture of a blurry black cock.

Liz officially has a file called "Black cock" on her laptop.

Liz officially has a file called “Black cock” on her laptop.

I didn’t get any pictures myself but we also saw some cats around the time I snapped this picture. By now we were a ways into the Hana highway. This is quite an experience. It’s a two way road that seems to be a single lane more often than not. If you’ve ever wondered how two lanes of traffic would operate when they only have a single lane to work with, look no further. It’s chaos and I’m amazed more people don’t die from it.

On more than one occasion Semis and other large vehicles snaked past us with barely a hairs breadth to spare. Madness incarnate all along steep drop offs and jagged stone. The only thing that really matches the insanity of the Hana highway is the scenery. It’s gorgeous and while I’ll admit thoughts of plant combat where what filled my head, someone a little less neurotic would likely find it very relaxing and engrossing.

Each family of color represents another plant clan in the war for the sun.

Each family of color represents another plant clan in the war for the sun.

One of our sub goals was to see water falls. This is something the highway is apparently known for. Unfortunately Hawaii like quite a few other places appears to be somewhat barren. It’s surrounded by that big great wet dessert known as the Pacific Ocean but the fresh water options are much more limited. Being that I live in California currently I can relate to this sort of situation.

The more we looked for them the more we realized that the ultimate destination of this trip was likely going to be a bust. I forget the name of the place but there are these sequestered pits where you can swim around. With the third overlooking the ocean. I’m skipping over a lot of other details because I’m VERY tired but once we reached the park what awaited us was about what we expected.

He looks sad :(.

He looks sad :(.

One of the three had completely dried up and the other two looked to be lower than expected. I’ve never been here before so I had nothing to compare it to. I wasn’t disappointed because I lacked a reference point. Following this we drove around the backside of the island through an area that was more cows and grass than people. I’ve got plenty of pictures from that little excursion as well and will likely include them in a compendium album after the Vacation is over.

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