mar 31

Casita Chronicles

THE 50th STATE

Mar  31  2015

Today we decided to go to the top of the highest mountain in Hawaii 13,700 feet  Mani kea .  This massive ancient Volcano has on its summit some 20 different observatories from countries around the world that due to its location on the earth and clarity have contributed greatly to our understanding of the universe.  Currently a new and more sophisticated telescope is being planned.  There is a point where 8 miles from the top the pavement ends and it becomes a dirt road.  Here we found native hawaiians protesting the new telescope?  I did not even bother to converse with them.  They claim the mountain is a “sacred” place and it should not be allowed.  First of all there are observatories on top already, whats one more?  Second,  native Hawaiians prior to the advent of “non native” probably never even made it to the top.  I won’t go any further with this its not worth wasting time on.  The thing that really irked me was the cautions and attempts to stop people from venturing up to the summit.  They tell everyone they need a 4WD and even then it is soo dangerous fear fear fear.  Having come from Colorado where this is a second rate mountain it was appalling.  We went anyway in our rental 2WD car.  Unfortunately the trouble we had was the car overheated after the first 2 miles and it was not even steep nor was the road anything but wide and smooth.  How else do you get cement mixers and equipment up there?  A wonderful couple our age Bruno and Marie from Switzerland picked us up and took us in their car to the top.  Guess what, the last 4 miles to the top were newly paved!! All that BS, mis information and fear mongering.  It was a wondrous sight despite the clouds below us obstructing our view of the sea.  Going from sea level where we have been living for almost 3 months to almost 14,000 feet in a matter of an hour left me a little dizzy.  When we got back to our vehicle on the road it had cooled down and started right up.  We went past the discontents and found a grove of trees to stop and have a picnic.  Here on the slopes it is fine grassland and the trees were coniferous.  Mullen was growing and the scent of sage came from somewhere.  I lay in the sun and for a moment I was home again.  We came across some wild goats and Rajni when walking towards them flushed a pheasant.  It was a very wonderful day.  Tomorrow we leave for our next digs a small town near the south point of the island and the count down to returning to Colorado.

mar 29,30

Casita Chronicles

THE 50th STATE

Mar  29,30  2015

Sunday,  yoga day,  the day of Lord.   We spent it snorkeling the famed tidal ponds not far from our place.  We also went to Champaign bay which has hot water vents into the small end of the bay.  I like that one the best, plenty of fish and the waves of hot fresh water attempting to mix with the sea water.  Got some sun finally, baking on the black lava rocks.

30

Today I decided to attempt what no other Lincoln County Man has done.  To run across the  Ka’u    Desert.  This sun baked tortured landscape of nothing but ow ow rock and black pumice chips is a life less place.  Literally.  The trail of almost 9 miles across is by rock cairn so don’t get lost!!  It does however have a cool breeze blowing off of the second highest mountain on the island on its flanks of 13,600 feet and you can see snow fields.  Along the way I checked out 3 humungus holes, one with a cinder cone around it.  I could not see the bottom!! and when I threw in a rock I never heard it hit.  There is also fossilized footprints from around 1790, I will attach the story.  In any case I stripped down to my shorts and since I was traveling light did not take the camera but only a bottle of water and the phone.  I planned to fill my mouth of with water and then after the 9 mile run across the desert to spit it out.  That, did not happen.  It is also my mothers birthday so I made the epic journey in her honor and it was Fing awesome!!!!!!!  Rajni let me off and drove to the other side of the desert and picked me up.  To date this was the funnest thing I have done yet in Hawaii.

As the story goes:

In 1782, Kalaniopuʻu, Aliʻi Nui of Hawaiʻi, died. In accordance with his wishes, his son, Kiwalaʻo became heir of Hawaiʻi Island. Kamehameha, the nephew of Kalaniopuʻu, had hoped to be named his successor. When he was not, Kamehameha became upset and launched a campaign to overthrow his cousin Kiwalaʻo. In July 1782, Kamehameha defeated Kiwalaʻo at the Battle of Mokuohai. Unbeknownst to Kamehameha, some of Kiwalaʻo’s family members escaped the battle. Keoua, Kiwalaʻo’s half-brother, was one of the warriors who survived. Keoua returned to his home district of Kaʻu. Keoua’s uncle, Keawemauhili, was able to escape as well and he returned to his home district of Hilo.

For some time, these three leaders kept to themselves not wanting to accept one or the other as paramount chief. Keawemauhili finally decided that he was going to accept Kamehameha as his aliʻi nui and sent his own sons to assist Kamehameha in his efforts to gain control of the islands. This decision enraged Keoua. He decided to take action and thus attacked Hilo, killing his uncle. The death of Keawemauhili, however, was not enough. Keoua drove Kamehameha’s army to Hamakua ravaging the lands in his wake.

Kamehameha quickly counterattacked and drove Keoua back to Hilo. The battle in Hilo not being decisive, both armies retreated, with Keoua heading back to his home district of Kaʻu. The route to Kaʻu that Keoua and his troops chose was by way of Kīlauea Volcano. Keoua and his army started their march to Kaʻu and on the first night camped on Kīlauea near a heiau dedicated to Pele, the fire goddess. This was a period of volcanic activity at Kīlauea caldera. Fearing they had somehow angered Pele, Keoua decided to remain there for several days to bestow offerings in an attempt to appease her. Upon leaving Kīlauea summit, Keoua split his army into three different companies that left the crater at different intervals.

The first company had not gone far when the earth started to tremble violently. Volcanic ash and hot gas exploded out of the caldera. Then, a huge, dense cloud of ash, sand and rocks was ejected out of the crater and rained down for miles around. Unable to escape, all of the individuals in the second party died. One lone pig is said to have survived.

Not far behind, the rear-company by chance survived the catastrophe because they were not in the path of the hot ash. Picking themselves up, they continued on their journey determined to get to Kaʻu. They were startled when they came upon members of the second company lying down across the desert floor. When to their surprise, the second company was not resting but in fact lay dead. Discovering this, it is believed that the rear-company choose to move on, not staying to mourn the deaths of their fellow compatriots.

The ash, which settled across the desert floor, provided an excellent medium in which footprints have been fossilized. It has been suggested that the footprints are what remains of Keoua’s fallen warriors. This suggestion was first made by Thomas Jaggar in 1921, but it was purely speculation. Recent archeological and geologic research in the area indicates that the history of the Kaʻu desert may be much more complex and that the footprints may not be from the 1790 eruption but rather may be evidence of everyday life activities in this area.

mar 28

Casita Chronicles

THE 50th STATE

Mar  28  2015

So very tired today after a wonderful drive to the northern extreme of the island.  We started out with the Saturday farmers market in Hilo.  Rajni has become addicted to avocado’s having eaten them off the tree every meal for the last 2.5 months.  It was a busy scene.  We drove north along the coast with its waterfalls and magnificent eucaliptist Forrest.   Then we came to the jewel of the state of Hawaii  the town and region around Waimea.  This high plateau off of the highest mountain is like being back on the high plains in spring.  Cool crisp air and green grass that would make any rancher’s socks go up and down.  Indeed it is Ranch country and the town has a western feel.  If there was any place I would move to in Hawaii it would be Waimea.  Indeed it is cow country.  King Kamehameha the great was gifted some texas long horn cattle way back in the early 1800’s.  He let them loose and they became wild and by the reign of his grandson had taken over a large part of “the big island”  The Hawaiians were afraid of them so he brought in some Vaquero’s from Mexico who taught the hawaiians to ride rope and capture the herds along with of course being incredibly cruel to animals.  The result was a thriving grass fed cattle industry in some of the most panoramic spaces in the world.   I ate at Burger King with the gift certificate my sister gave me for my birthday (comfort food).   Then it was to the end of the island.  Here I wanted to visit the birth place of Komehemeha.  Interestingly enough it was not signed and access was nearly impossible.  Mrs O and I had to trespass across a private ranch to get to it.  The palace of his birth is a couple of stones throw away from the temple where 10’s of thousands of people were sacrificed, flayed and eaten.  The SOM heavily charged with the anxiety, panic, and fear of this human experience has long since been balanced and today is but a windswept area.  Few come here but it is a reminder of the danger of obedience to an unseen divinity to which someone professes its will.  We saw some whales off the shore and then it was a long drive home.

mar 27

Casita Chronicles

THE 50th STATE

Mar 27  2015

The soil here is very thin and beneath or exposed is a sheet of rock they call ow ow due to its sharp serrated surface.  You need to have feet like Evan Ravitz to walk on it.   I saw my first feral pigs today while out running some backroads where we are living.  They were small but yummy looking.  Too fast to catch however.   It was a rare sunny day and we spent it touring the shoreline a mass of old lava flows.  We found a black sand beach the product of lava exploding when it hits the cold water.  It was a poor excuse for a beach, hard to reach, small and rocky with pummeling waves.  It was a haven for nudist and it was nice to be free of cloths for awhile.  We soaked in several warm springs visiting with locals and tourists alike.  It amazed me in the shallow soil how life has taken root and on one stretch the trees were massive??  Everywhere we caught glimpses of mongoose imported from India.  In Pahoa the outlaw town of Hawaii we had pizza for dinner.  This is the center of the sustainability counter culture.  The communes are everywhere in violation of statues and laws but seem to be flourishing.  Lots of dreadlocks and beater vehicles.  The only grocery store contained only non GMO etc type food at outlandish prices.  Mrs O was in Heaven.  I personally did not notice them being any healthier looking or robust, and as Rajni pointed out no Hawaiians.  It was a wonderful day but living like a normal tourist is making me soft not having to find a place to camp or hard ground to sleep on.  Rajni says we deserve it and I will acquiesce.  Meanwhile charlie out in the bush is getting stronger!!

mar 26 plus

Casita Chronicles

THE 50th STATE

Mar 26  2015

Well,  I know everything there is to know about volcanos!!  having visited one of our premier national parks read every sign, watched every film, observed everything in the museum and we did the must do hike in all of Hawaii the 4 mile hike down into the Kilauea Iki caldera.  This volcano erupted shortly after my birth and now I walk across the old lava beds unscathed. It was all so very interesting and we shared the experience with people from just about every country on the globe.  I of course took many photos for them of their families while they butchered our wonderful american language.  My favorite was the lava tubes where I could take Mrs O off into some dark corner.  I do have issues with paying to enter our public lands, always have.  Think about it.  If you took all the entrance fees and such from all the National Parks for a year and added them up they would probably not be very much.  Most likely less than one days pay out for welfare and food stamps for the country.  So how about it, lets see some unselfish giving and have all the welfare recipients send back one days worth of our tax dollars and we can all enter the National Parks for free!!!!  Or better yet, not make one B-1 Bomber.   Enough.   Truth be known I am ready to go home.  Being a tourist is okay but a man has to have purpose after all.  I will get over it when the sun comes out for real.  This part of Hawaii is known for rain and lots of it.  We hope to make it to a beach tomorrow and hopefully it will be sunny.

mar 26

Casita Chronicles

THE 50th STATE

Mar 26  2015

Waking up on the “big island” you are aware of two things kokee  frogs and clouds.  These little creatures fill the night with their song, never heard them in Kauai.  We are on the wet side of this island and clouds are the rule as opposed to clear blue skies.   I am also aware of my diminishing faculties particularly my hearing which is of great irritation to the grand kids and my eyesight which becomes greatly reduced the darker it gets.  Our first Air BandB is in the home of some former South Africans.  Rinna and his mother.  I have not spoken at length with him but we have met many Boars in our travels fleeing from the aftermath of apartheid.  It is always the case when there is oppression.  Freedom in the end is what matters.  Unfortunately,  it is the kind and caring that suffer the most.  They are easy targets for those filled with hatred, jealousy and revenge.  They have found a very nice home here in Hawaii.  This Island is the home of the famous Komehemeha,  his is an interesting story as well.  He grew up a lesser chief but he was a man of huge strength and intelligence a rare combination.  In his case his physical strength kept him alive in his many losses in battle for domination with other chiefs.  Long enough to learn good strategy.   In the end his reign brought one good thing, the dismantling of the temples and the oppressive stratified system that plagued the people of hawaii.  As always the case tho, the descendants and successive monarchs did not continue the benevolent trend, they never do.  I dreamed of Mom last night.  It is always good to see her.  In our last two weeks in the 50th State I am inclined to do more writing and not try to do a whirlwind tour of the island.  How many waterfalls and beach’s do you really need to see.  Our ugly duckling rental car is perfect since we look like locals.  It is multi colored from the repairs and no visors and, well, fells like home.   I just hope it does not break down.  It is a chevy malibu.  My father had one once and I beleive them to be reasonable.  Its a chevy right.  We are in a somewhat rural setting and the water supply is all rain.  Rinna’s water tank looks like a small grain elevator!  The volcano is probably first on our list in the sight seeing Mrs O already has the best hike on the island lined out!!

Mar 25

Casita Chronicles

THE 50th STATE

Mar 25  2015

The last two days on Kauai we spent mostly on the beach.  We returned to two of our favorites Larsens where we found the monk seal.  Indeed, he returned and swam with me for awhile and even swam along the shore as I ran on the beach.  And Moalaa for lots of hot sunny sweaty sandy fun.  We will miss our friends Eric and Sheri and of course my large automobile.   We had a fire and Eric went to town and brought back a very large section of ice cream cake to celebrate our leaving.  Kauai has truly been a rewarding experience and I am up to 20 chapters on my sequel to the best seller Maroons A Human Epic.   In fact with a little effort I may finish the rough draft by the time we return in two weeks.   Kauai has a gentle welcoming atmosphere and many redeeming characteristics the greatest being that one of the few birds imported to the island is ——The western meadowlark the singer of the prettiest song and the state bird of Kansas.  A song only a Lincoln county man would know.  Now we are off to the rock.  The mind numbing sameness of temperature and predictability must not lend itself to creative thinking for those that stay??  How lame is it when the best name for an island they can come up with is  “The Big Island”????  It goes right along with their lame state flag the combination of two foreign countries  Russian and England.  But lets not go back to that topic and forge forward into the the unknown — what the O’s are known for!!!