Saturday, April 20, 2013

Recharging: In Photos

Greetings from Hawaii's Big Island. After the season's conclusion, I jetted off here. It's pretty crazy to think that this Hawaiian adventure is my first proper vacation. After a last couple seasons past I would either trade in the cross country skis for an alpine or alpine touring set-up and head right back to my 5th grade class in Leavenworth after a visit with the grandparents. Or in my high school to University of Utah days, hop right into the track and field season. With the buildup to the Sochi Olympics coming, I thought are real recharge with Bettina along the Pacific would be just the ticket. What follows are a couple images and impressions from the time here.

The verdant green mountain and valley of Kailua. We headed across Oahu for some paddling to the Mokulua Islands.

Snorkeling Hanauma Bay is another must-do here in Hawaii. The amount and diversity of the fish I came across here was amazing. I wish I had another, better way to describe it.

I was stoked to run into some sea turtles here at Black Sand Beach. Since then, I've spotted turtles both on land and in the sea several other times.

Leaving in the morning at sea level and near-jungle, then hiking to the top of Mauna Kea at 4,200 meters (almost 14,000 feet) made for a morning of intense juxtapositions. This is the highest point of the Hawaiian Islands, and apparently the best astronomy and star-gazing spot in the world.

A selection of the observatories I came upon on the hike up Mauna Kea. The mountain was unlike any place I've ever been. For miles in any direction there is no vegetation - absolutely zero. I don't think Death Valley or anywhere else on the globe outside the Sahara Desert has anything on this place when it comes to harshness of living.

Another day trip I won't soon forget came from visiting Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. In the distance, the volcano is spewing fumes from the crater. We wanted to run around the whole crater rim trail. But we were turned around due to the toxicity of the air the volcano is currently producing. Being here was to get a little closer to feeling the heartbeat of the earth.

I'm sure, soon enough, my gaze will turn once again to figuring out how to glide on snow as fast and efficiently as possible.  Until then, good luck and viel spass!

Thanks for following along this season! To the best of times. And those that will be.

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