Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dreaming of a White 2013

The snow is still confused about where to land.  Chances are, you may have gotten more snow since Christmas that da Harbor has.  Not even a full inch down in town.  But scoot up the hill to the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, and they have six fluffy inches!

The ice is nice, though.  Not for skating, but traversing and ice fishing.  Medora, Manganese and Fanny Hooe are all walkable... at least the parts I tried!  *Note: always use extreme caution when walking out onto the ice as conditions may shift over time.  I am the one to talk.  I do use cation, but I also take my chances.  I'm living and learning!

I saw a little spot of sunshine this morning.  Just enough to perk me right up and stick my face out in it. It's so glorious, and such a welcome sight, that I can't resist.  It's a wonder how we can go for so many days without a shadow or sparkle outside.  When it hits, we notice it.  Otherwise, here's to another Vitamin D3!

So, yeah, I've been hiking in the woods.  Still.  Not many other options right now.  We have had some snowmobilers in town, but I haven't gotten to ask how the trial conditions are.

Since I don't have any good pictures of snow to show for this winter, how about a picture from the archives!

Snowstorm of February 2008
That's a cabin on the left!

Wishful thinking for 2013!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Mainland!

I'm back where I belong.  Safe and sound.  Hello Keweenaw!

There are some things I will miss about Hawai'i, though.  Here are a few:

- Being able to have a beach day any day

- Eating fresh, local fruit, veggies, beef and fishies

- The bright colors of the flowers and the lush green of the trees

- The aquaness of the ocean

- Pronouncing the Hawai'ian words in their 12 letter alphabet

- The evening sounds of the frogs and other bugs

- Keeping all the windows open all the time (unless the rain comes in sideways!)

- The mountains and valleys

Sunset from the top of Mauna Kea

- Rainbows!

This is quite Hawai'i

But home definitely has its perks as well.  The first one I noticed?  Crisp, cool, fresh air.  Breathe it in, baby!

The winter is nothing to brag about here yet.  The winds keep blowing from the north over Lake Superior, tumbling the waves.  The snow is only 2 inches of crust.  Lake Medora is mostly frozen over with snow on top.  Fanny Hooe has a couple inches of ice as well.  It has potential for skating if the ice gets thicker before the snow hits!

And it's the holidays, so we have to be ready for a party almost every night!  This is a great community.  The kinship (and hardship) of the locals is a feeling I have found unmatched no matter where I have been.  It is the first thing that Aaron and I noticed that made us want to call this home.  It certainly is.

May your holiday season be merry and bright.  May your heart be filled with peace and joy. May you remember why you are fortunate when you are around those you love.  And if you're alone, remember why you are a gift!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tropical Excursions

I had a couple once-in-a-lifetime events this week.  Things I never thought I would do, not even in Hawai'i.  

The first was a snorkel at Pu'uhonau o Honaunau National Historic Park (aka Two Step).  It's south of Kona off of Highway 11.  Popular spot, and I can see why.  We snorkeled at Kiholo Bay last week, but sight distance was limited due to fresh water mixing with salt water and dark clouds.  This day's adventures were taken in the sunshine and clear water.

I felt so amazing swimming with these fish.  There's nothing quite like it.  I could tell they were used to people.  They just went about their business, eating off the coral.

Since I do not have the technology to record what I saw, I found someone on youtube who did.  Thank you itchykat!

That's pretty much what I saw.  A few other types of fish as well.  One of the coolest parts of being in there was floating between rock crests.  The waves would break above me and toss me around with their current.  Thank goodness for flippers!

Yesterday was an adventure of a lifetime.  Kilauea Mountain is active on the island, and lava is running down into the ocean.  We started a hike at 3 am over hardened lava to get to the fresh flow.  

Three year old lava flow... our terrain in the dark

We hiked for two miles to the ocean's edge, where neither one of them seem to mind each other's presence.  The lava flowed in bright orange, and the waves crashed over it.  Hawai'i gets bigger as this outpouring expands, and it gets smaller as these massive chunks crack and fall into the ocean.

Here is a video as I walked over it.  Don't worry, Mama and Papa!  I survived!

And here is an awesome one that Aaron shot.  I have never seen anything like this before.  It was hot!

As the sun came up, we were able to see the terrain we were on beyond our headlight range.  That in itself was an awakening experience.  I know a guy who gives great tours if you ever want to go!

Besides that, I have some neat pictures of rainforest trees.  Enjoy!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Hawaiian Time

Are you ready for this?  

Aaron and I are on our long-awaited honeymoon.  We are staying with his brother, Adam and his wife, Julie (bless their hearts) in Laupahoehoe on the big island.  Let me tell you about the typical parts of the day.

We get up with the sunrise, approximately 6:30 am.  We put on some cool, colorful clothes since it's going to be 80 degrees.  We go out into the yard and raid the fruit trees.

Starfruit, a favorite

Pomellos, like grapefruit!

Best lemons I've ever had

I got to cut some bananas to ripen on the porch

Pretty pink flowers (I don't eat them)

Then Adam and Julie take us on an adventure!  We get home, eat, and I write about the day's adventures.  As darkness falls, guess what we hear.  Spring peepers!  I guess they have a different name here, but let me tell you, it sounds like Clyde's field to me!  That is certainly a welcome sound.

Now let me show you where we've been in the order we went.

Akaka Falls (We were still pretty white!)

Banyan Trees

Lots of sharks at Shark Bay

Hiking to Kiholo Bay for snorkeling

Swimming at Kua Beach was fricken awesome!

Inside a lava cave north of Kona on Highway 19


Pink flowers near Waipi'o Valley

What?  I love pink flowers

Our descent into Pololu Valley
(Don't ask me about the hike back up)

The hills and flora of Pololu

And the crab, of course

A drive down Highway 200 "Saddle Road"

Entering active volcano area!

Two different lava flows from Kilauea

The lava took out the old road!

A whole new shore formed from this lava

The only trees we saw in this whole area

The lava took out the new road too!

The Kilauea Crater, still smokin'

A view from the top of the ridge

Aaron enjoying our hike to the crater

A purple fiddlehead!

The lava spurted from that reddish hole in the middle

I wanted to take a piece of Kilauea with me,
but Pele would curse me

Can you see the steam rising from this crater?

The sun behind the sulfur cloud

And the Kilauea Crater glowing at night

On our way to South Point
The trees grow into the constant wind

A video of the tide pool at South Point

Our desert hike to Green Sand Beach

Two miles later... Green Sand Beach!

The green sand formed from lava

Then we made it back to South Point, the southern most point in the U.S., where Aaron and Adam jumped off the 40 foot cliff into the ocean.  Not me, boy!

Aaron takes the plunge

Turtle resting area.
Shhh!  They're sleeping!

That's pretty much it so far.  I'll spare you any jibber jabber.  This took me long enough!  Aloha!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Winter to... Summer?

The snow is darn near gone in da Harbor.  How do I know?  I checked out the Copper Harbor webcam on Sharon's blog.  According to the weather, I don't think the snow will be voluptuous anytime soon!

But Sharon can keep you updated on the weather.  I am enjoying 80 degrees on a little island in the middle of the Pacific.  That's right.  I'm in Hawaii!

When I get a few more pictures to chose from, I'll show you what I've been up to.  Our days have been pretty action packed, so I have lots of great stories for you.  I just wanted to gently transition you from my last pictures of snow to green valleys and bright flowers.

I know, it's kind of a tease, but now you know what's coming up.  You also know not to bring your skis up to Copper Harbor.  That will save you some embarrassment!