We were picked up last night from the airport by our host. The view from our room is of the city and is pretty amazing. Lucas and his mother are very nice and fun. They're both basically vegans. We had fun chatting with them quite a bit last night.

This morning, we headed out to get breakfast. Unfortunately, the house is up quite a hill. We walked a mile down and found a small grocery store and a cute cafe. We had breakfast at the cafe, walked around a little bit, then headed back to the supermarket, back up the hill in the hot sun, and home.

We were due for our second Twinrix shot (Hep A and Hep B shot in one) so I called a travel clinic that was a little under 2 miles away. They could get us in at 2. We headed back out and hoofed it down there. We each got our shot and decided to walk around and explore some. We walked down to the beach and over to Waikiki before starting to work our way back, finding dinner along the way. We ended up walking around 13-14 miles today total. We're hurting pretty good.


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Long Hike 
There was a trail about four blocks away that went down to the water. We grabbed our stuff and headed out. Apparently the hike was 2 miles (one way) and about 1900 feet down.... It was pretty toasty on the way down. Starting about halfway down, you're basically just walking through old lava flow. Once we got down there, we found out that the snorkeling there is supposedly amazing. We did bring our goggles, but didn't have snorkel gear. We went in for a bit. It was really clear and lots of fish. So, we'll see how snorkeling on other parts of the isle goes and then decide if we'll have to try kayaking there (what a lot of the people there did).

Once we were done, we headed back up the hill. So hot. But we made it in one piece and sat and worked for the rest of the day.


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Swinging Bridges!!! 
Today we decided to go on a little hike. We hung around the house for a few hours in the morning, then left for Kahului to get lunch at a store that has only vegetarian stuff in it. Their hot deli/buffet is huge! It was very good.

From there, we headed down the highway to check out a hike that is supposed to have a couple swinging bridges on it. We weren't quite sure where to find it. We eventually did though. It was on a plantation, so we had to pay $6 per person.... Seemed a bit steep, but the hike was gorgeous and fun. At the end is a pool you can swim in. We didn't bring our suits, but it was still a great hike.

Our general plan was to head to Paia afterwards to play in the waves and have a good dinner. It ended up being too late, so we worked our way home and stopped in Lahaina again. The hope was for pizza, but we were not impressed with the menu. We ended up finding a Vietnamese place that was very good. We just headed home after that. Very fun day.


Laura in front of a Banyon Tree. These trees are super neat. Their branches let out 'feelers' that are roots and will basically create a whole nother tree trunk. There is one in Lahaina that you would swear is multiple trees.

Laura by a super pretty flower.

Laura and I walking across one of the swinging bridges. (Click on photo to see it larger.)

Joe in the bamboo forest.

The three of us at the pool at the end!

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We survived! 
We arrived at the campground in a favorite park of ours, Lava Beds national monument. Very remote, No roads, etc for dozens of miles in many directions. After dinner, we decided we would run off to Heppe Cave, a 4 mile bike ride and half mile trail, but figured we would just have enough time. We traveled into the cave, which had three large 30' - 50' ground openings, connected by 300' caves. After getting to the last opening, we found we could easily get back up, and decided to take an overland shortcut back to the trail. It turned out the ground cover was different in this area, and we had trouble seeing far, and getting through the thick 10' bushes. After going a bit and searching around for the giant (we thought un-missable) cave openings, we started worrying as it was getting dark. Loose lava rock, spiny bushes, and thick bushes forced redirection, making it impossible to keep a proper unchecked heading. We tried to head back to find the end of the cave, and failed. We discussed the only nearby road which was running north and south about a half mile away. We figured safest bet would be to head due east asap while the sun was setting. We rushed forward. Unfortunately it was very cloudy, and difficult to tell the proper sunset direction. The ground cover continued to get more difficult. After an hour of rushed, pained bushwhacking, the sun fully set and we could no longer deduce a proper heading... Fighting any worry we decided since we had hooded sweatshirts and flashlights, the best bet would be to stay put until the, hopefully cloudless, sunrise showed us proper East. We were foodless, waterless and fireless so were slightly limited in options. There was some wind, so we looked for low ground with good bush cover, and dug in a bed, preparing for the 30ish degree night. We lay there conserving heat and energy for a long couple hours.... . . . . I was getting sore and decided to go for a walk around the area within shout distance. After coming upon a clearing I discovered the clouds nearly fully clearing. Located the big dipper, and started trying to recall the north star bit.. Which part of the big dipper points to it? I yelled for Miranda to join me. We both thought the front of the spoon pointed to it. She also believed she remembered that the north star is a part of the little dipper. We eventually found the harder-to-identify uglier little dipper. However there was a far brighter star (possibly planet) but 120degrees opposite of the proposed (pretty dim) north star, this caused us to doubt our astronomy. We decided that even if we were going off the wrong star and the bright one was correct, the only result would be us heading north instead of East. this would only send us along the road and negligibly off course. So, we decided to hike for 40minutes Heading Directly east via the north star. We trotted on, luckily more clear ground now. After 10 short minutes, we came upon the road, each went a different way, I found our bikes a quarter mile down, and biked carrying Miranda's back to her, We got home 25 minutes later happier to be in a comfy bed than in a very long time. We survived! So, we now, will never forget, the big dipper front of spoon does point at north star, North star is reliable navigation, and always bring a fire starting method ANYWHERE ;)

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Goat Mountain 
Yesterday, we woke up and headed for the trailhead, which was up a road that we had already driven up and knew about. The hope was that while we were hiking, we would get the battery charged back up, so we parked in a spot where we hoped the sun would stay out and not be blocked by the trees.

The hike was 3.2 miles with a 2900 foot gain in elevation. The first couple miles were absolutely gorgeous. The forest floor was covered in needles from the pine trees and the trail continually switched back up the mountain, but didn't get too steep, for the most part. Once we started getting higher, it felt like we were walking through a jungle. There were trees a bit off the trail, but mostly smaller ones, and the sides of the trail were very overgrown, enough so that they practically covered the trail. When we finally got out of that, we started heading up a steep slope. We finally got to the top and noticed a group sitting there, so went over to chat. They were with the forest service and were up there to work on a section of the trail. They claimed the trail kept going, so we headed off.

We kept hiking up the mountain, crossing snow, until we got to a steep slope. We could see the trail up the slope, so kept heading up. A section of the trail was washed out from a mudslide. We scrambled up to the next section of trail and kept going. There was another section that was washed out! We decided to just call it good from there. That's the point where I took the first photo. It was super steep! We walked down the trail until we got to where it was washed out again, then went straight down the mountainside to the lower trail and kept going from there.

We eventually learned that the technical end of the trail was the lookout where we saw the group of forest service workers. Though on our walk down, they were working on one of the steep sections of trail. It was a huge mud pit. I just about fell in trying to balance on the rocks they were putting there. They were working on diverting the water off the trail and putting rocks on the trail.

We made it back and the RV was in the shade... Of course. We did get enough power for another day or so though, so we headed back to where we stayed for those couple days earlier in the week. The cats were happy to get to go out again.

This morning, we heard thunder, so knew a storm was probably coming. We got everything packed up in case we had to leave, but let the cats run around outside still. Now it is pouring and poor Curly and Pickles are under the RV because they're too afraid to get in the RV. Once the rain lets up a little again I think I'll try to get them again.


The top of the hike.

Joe in a very cool looking tree along the side of the road.

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