Beth and Niel in Hawaii
Oct 7 - 21, 2008


Oct 7

We had a good flight.

Beth got to wiggle her toes in the sands on Waikiki Beach this evening before supper.

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Oct 8

Beth and Niel had another good day. They stopped by the Moana Hotel and sat under a banyan tree that Vance recalls from the late 40s when he flew for PamAm.

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Oct 9

Today we took an 8 hour tour that covered 120 miles, 8 stops and most of Oahu. One stop was a Dole Pineapple outlet/garden/farm. Niel always thought pineapples grew on trees sort of like coconuts.

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Oct 10

This morning we had a very moving visit to the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor.This afternoon we explored a little bit more and plan a picnic tonight on the beach.

More pictures from Oct 10

The Big Island of Hawaii

Oct 11

Today we spent mostly traveling. We saw a completely different view of Hawaii. We're now staying in the Hawaii Volcano National Park. They've had an eruption going since mid March. We can see the plume of ash, steam and gas from our room.

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Oct 12

Today Beth and Niel did mostly domestic stuff like laundry and church. This evening we did go take a closer look at nearby steam vents. While it is getting into the mid 80s elsewhere on Hawaii, We are experiencing high 50s here. A jacket feels good.

We are staying at the top of Kilauea, on the rim of the caldera. Within that caldera is the smaller Halemaumau Crater which includes a vent producing the plume of ash, steam and gas that we see from our room. A webcam of the action within Halemaumau Crater is at

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Oct 13a

Today we hiked the Kilauea Iki Crater and Thurston Lava Tube. It was especially neat to realize that the trail we walked today was a couple 100 feet deep in molten lava just 50 years ago. It seemed solid now and not even that warm (but Beth and I did find a steam vent that could cook vegetables next time we want a hot lunch).

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Oct 13b

Here are two pictures Niel took at night under a full moon.

The one with the trees in the foreground is taken from the walkway in front of our room. It shows the plume across the Kilauea Caldera. The base of the plume is about 2 miles away but can not be seen from our angle. On the horizon close to the right hand edge of the picture you see a light. The is the Jaggar Museum.

The other picture is from the Jaggar Museum. The Jaggar Museum is higher so from there you can see into the Halemaumau Crater and the base of the plume. From there the base of the plume is less than 1 mile away.

Oct 14

Today we got away from volcanoes and toured around a bit more of the eastern side of Hawaii. One spot we found was an overlook into the 2000 foot deep Waipio Valley. The road down includes a 25% grade. Rental cars aren't allowed.

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Oct 15

Today we came back round to Kona on the western side on Hawaii. On the way we stopped at a black sand beach. It looks and feels just like regular sand (it even tracks into the car) but it is black like a lot of the lava rock that we see. Tomorrow we head off for phase three, the garden island of Kauai.

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Oct 16

We shifted over to the island of Kauai today. Kauai does not have the wall to wall hotels of Honolulu or the active volcnoes of Hawaii. It's total population is only around 40,000. Right now the weather is a little warm and humid but the locals say that the trade winds are coming and will cool things off a little. Byrna asked about flowers. We are seeing lots that we would never see in Minnesota and also some neat shrubs and trees but so far not flowers for a far as the eye can see. We'll see what comes up as we tour Kauai.

More pictures from Oct 16

Oct 17

Today our main activity was driving (and a little hiking) the 3500 foot deep Wiamea Canyon (see ). We had great views and a lot of color (but the wrong time of year for a lot of flowers). This evening we went to a luau - a lot of fun, good food and good entertainment.

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Oct 18

Today Beth and Niel explored the northeastern part of Kauai including several beaches, the first church on the area (est 1843) and the Kilauea Point Lighthouse. We even spent part of the afternoon swimming in the Pacific and souvenir shopping.

We continued our tradition of taking along picnic supplies and finding a picturesque (and cheap) spot for our noon meal.

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Oct 19

Before church we took a walk along the shore/beach by our hotel. Some of this area is still recovering from Hurricane Iniki in 1992. We wondered if the wind blown look of the shore line along here was due to Iniki.

Another surprise was the number of wild chickens on Kauai. Many natural predators never got established on the Hawaiian islands. On the other islands the mongoose was brought over and turned loose to help control the rats (another human introduced pest) that were in the sugar cane fields. Mongooses also like eggs and birds. They control the chicken population on the other islands but not on Kauai.

Now have to start to think about returning to the real world.

More pictures from Oct 19


Oct 20/21

After a short night we got into Minneapolis, scraped off the car and made it home.

We had a great time and a lot of fun.

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