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Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

Where’s Hiker Smurf?

Now that he has found his way out of the box in the garage/storage, Hiker Smurf has taken to the trails with alacrity. He loves hiking.  He loves being outside.  He loves nature.  He also enjoys photobombing my scenic shots. 

Here he is. 

Where is he?

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You can participate in Aloha Friday over HERE.

Welcome to this week’s edition of Aloha Friday. In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too.

Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link below. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

My question is:

What’s your idea of the perfect Spring day?

Stone Girl’s Answer:

I love hiking in the spring when the wildflowers are out.  If I get a bright sunny day that is not too hot and not too cold, the perfect Spring day looks a little like this:

Hiking in California – March 2010

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Hiking on Haleakala

Hooray!

Sweetie and I made it out for another hiking trip this weekend.  He worked Saturday and Sunday but was happy to leave work behind on Monday if I scheduled a hike for us.  So I pulled out my trusty hiking book and found a nice-sounding trail up on Haleakala, our friendly neighborhood volcano here on Maui.

Since we were driving up Haleakala, it was quite natural to stop at the Kula Lodge for breakfast.  I got my eggs Benedict while Sweetie ordered a scrumptious waffle with strawberry cream cheese and fresh strawberries.  It was soooooo good.  Thank goodness we had some vigorous hiking scheduled after breakfast!

We drove up the volcano.  It’s amazing to me how high you can get so fast.  The entrance to the national park is probably only 30 miles or so away from Kahului at sea level.  Drive across the isthmus and straight up the volcano, and boom – we were at 6,000 feet.  The top of Haleakala is over 10,000 feet.  

I picked a hike that starts near the Hosmer Grove campground, right at the entrance of Haleakala National Park.  You can check out some Haleakala hikes here:

 http://www.nps.gov/archive/hale/pages/tier_two/trails_summit.htm

I do want to try out more hikes higher up the volcano.  But this seemed a good one to start with.  We were actually lucky there was cloud cover because there are no trees on the trail – just a lot of brush and scrub.  I imagine it would be quite hot on a sunny day. 

We parked the car, put on our hiking shoes, and pulled out the backpack and my hiking sticks.  We started up the trail and it looked a lot like this:

We passed several areas of lava rock and some potential areas with small waterfalls if there had been any water.  We haven’t had a lot of rain lately, so it looks like this:

Lots of nice greenery that looks like this:

We climbed up higher and passed the junction of the Halemauu trail that leads to another parking lot.  We were soon surrounded by clouds and had to put our windbreakers on because it was pretty chilly. 

We hiked down to the edge of the crater.  Or so it said in the hiking book.  I could not have told you if we were on the edge of a crater or next to one of the great pyramids of Egypt because it looked like this:

We could not see a thing!  I couldn’t believe we completed the hike up just to sit and stare at a wall of clouds.  So, I plopped down on a rock and told Sweetie we were going to wait until the clouds parted.  He pulled his windbreaker over his head and sat down next to me as we sat and listened to the sounds of other hikers’ voices somewhere below us.  Finally, a bit of wind!  The movement of clouds……and we saw this:

Hooray!  It was a gorgeous view.  My pictures can’t capture the shades of green and tranquil beauty that lay before us.  It honestly looked like something out of a dream for me. 

We saw the hill next to us and the zig-zagging line of the Halemauu trail:

We enjoyed the view for a while, then headed back down the hill the way we came:

It was a great day for a hike.  The only bummer was that we heard about a hiker who was hurt on the trail.  Right after we passed the trail junction, we saw a man huffing his way up the hill towards us.  He asked us if he was far from the trail head.  We had traveled about 2.5 miles from our starting point, but the junction also led to another parking lot in 0.7 miles so we told him it was close.  He said there a hiker down on the trail (he must have been much farther down on the Halemauu trail) and he was trying to get to the road to help give information to any rescue crew that came.  He said they had already called 911.  As Sweetie and I hiked back down the trail, we saw the fire rescue helicopter fly over and around us as we took a picture near the junction.  I was thinking there wasn’t much the helicopter could do because visibility was so poor.  It flew back down the hill.  Then, as we were walking down it flew back up the hill.  When we got back to our car, the helicopter flew over us again and landed right next to the side of the road.  We were driving towards the park entrance when we were stopped by a fire crew member.  We saw another firefighter walking a woman towards their waiting truck.  She had a fire-fighter’s coat wrapped around her and Sweetie and I thought – “Well, that’s good.  Whoever she is, looks like she can walk on her own.”  We drove past and headed home.  Unfortunately, I found out yesterday that the hiker was an older Maui resident and he died up on Haleakala while out with family members.  They don’t know exactly what happened.  He was riding his horse while his family was hiking and it seems he and the horse fell.  Sad to hear.  We get occasional fatal accidents on Maui in the waters but rarely to hikers anywhere on the island.  Reminds me to stay safe out in the wild.  It’s beautiful but sometimes unforgiving. 

Hope you all had a good weekend!

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Last week started out pretty crappy but has ended up quite nice.

Monday and Tuesday were the bad headache days.  I had been working on the computer during the day on Monday, then was watching the news.  I was working out while watching TV.  It took me a while to figure out the problem with my TV screen was not really my TV, but my eyes.  I was seeing some areas that seemed strangely pixelated and kept trying to clear up my focus.  I actually called Sweetie at work to find out how late he would be working.  I was feeling unsteady and my head was starting to hurt.  Sweetie got home and I tried rubbing my head around my right eye.  This just made it worse as I then had stabbing pain behind my eyes.  I started blubbering – not so much because of the bad pain but just because it was freaking me out a little and then I felt rush of emotion after I rubbed my head.  Strange.  Noises sounded a little weird to me.  Sweetie said something and I asked “What is wrong with your voice?”  I lay on the couch for a while but was determined to cook dinner for us.  So, I finally got up, made dinner, ate dinner and spent the rest of the evening on the couch and in bed.

So Tuesday rolls around and I tried to stay away from the computer during the morning.  I was trying not to focus too hard on anything.  Makes for a boring morning for me.  I jumped back on in the afternoon.  I turned on the 5 o’clock news and everything just went haywire in my head.  I held up my left hand, put it next to the side of my face, and started waving it all over the place.  But I couldn’t see a thing.  I had lost all peripheral vision on my left side.  I was seeing some spots again and tried to go lay down in bed.  That didn’t help as I got completely nauseous.  I grabbed the phone and went to sit down on the floor next to a trash can.  I called Sweetie again and he asked me how I was doing.  I told him it was much worse than Monday.  I asked him if I had a migraine since he gets them and knows the symptoms.  He said yes and that he was coming home from work (it was after 5 anyway).  This was good to hear because I felt like I really needed some water and a little bit of bread to chew on but I was now sitting on the bathroom floor and was too nauseous and in too much pain to walk out to the kitchen.  Sweetie came home, brought me some bread and water, and got me to go back to bed.  He brought me a damp cloth to put on my head.  But it smelled strange to me.  Everything smelled bad.  I told him everything smelled weird and he said that was part of the migraine too.  I chewed a few bites of bread, took an Advil and finally managed to fall asleep.  I woke up a couple hours later and managed to eat some chicken noodle soup.

I went to see an optometrist on Wednesday and got a new prescription for my glasses.  That should help a little bit.  This new optometrist figured out what my old doc learned long ago – my brain is stubborn (that’s how my old doc put it).  I am very farsighted in my left eye.  And there is a big difference in the prescriptions for my two eyes.  But, my brain won’t accept all the correction it needs for my left eye.  So, instead of relaxing and accepting the lense’s help to see clearer, my brain fights really hard to try and focus on its own.  This puts more strain on my brain.  As the years pass, my eye muscles will relax and my brain will accept more correction.  This new doc said she is giving me a prescription slightly stronger than my brain seemed willing to accept, but that I should get used to it and it will help my brain relax a little. 

Is that what caused the migraines?  It could be a few things.  I think eye strain probably contributed.  I think I haven’t been sleeping enough lately.  We also had pretty bad vog at the beginning of last week.  It comes over from the volcano on the Big Island, across Maui, all the way to Oahu.  The air was just thick with vog on Monday and Tuesday of last week. 

Anyway, I’ve felt my eyes get very tired this week, but no major headaches, thank goodness.

And!  The vog finally left with our lovely Maui winds and Sweetie and I managed to get a hike in on Sunday.  Hooray!!  I’ve been wanting to hike more.  Hard to do when Sweetie works 7 days a week.  But true to his word – he told me “Just plan it and I will be there.”  So, I picked a trail-head on the northwest side, we packed up my backpack, found the trail, and away we went.  So nice to walk outside for a while.

So, to end on a good note, here are some pictures from our hike this weekend.  Aloha!

 
 
Waterfalls!
 
The trail was very muddy.  It was a little comical watching us try to get back down the hill.  There were very steep parts at the top of the hike and we slipped a lot in the wet clay mud.
 
A great view of Kahului at the northern end of Maui’s isthmus.
 
 
 
Sweetie has to get his close-ups.
 

 

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