Thursday, May 21, 2009

First Hawaii Report

We are back from Hawaii. Actually we have been back since last Saturday afternoon. However, I deemed it more important to do laundry, organize the photos, cut the grass (it is not good to let your yard grow for over 3 weeks), actually get back work, and have the ringinging in my ears looked at (more on that in following reports).

We departed Reagan National at about 7am on 7 May for 13 glorious hours of air travel. But before you feel too sorry for us, we did have 1st Class seats. The bride is a frequent traveler and has amassed an ass-load (in airline jargon) of miles. Her status does make traveling with her very nice. Up front with the free drinks--not in the back with the sheeple. We make it to Phoenix, changed planes and started the long over-water leg of our trip. All total from take-off to landing was about 13 hours. The beauty was we landed at 2pm Hawaii time. (Bree I don't know how you make those long hauls).

We rented our Jeep and took off for the hotel. We arrived at the hotel, had a celebratory drink, gawked at the beauty, and settled into our room. I know we ate dinner, but to be honest I can't remember where. All I know is we were in bed very early because we had to be up early so we could catch get to the Haleakala Bike Company for to catch the van to the top of Mount Haleakala for the glorious sunrise and the ensuing bike ride down the mountain.

We checked in about 3am and were fitted with our helmets, wind top and pants, and of course the much needed helmet (they all had face guards--is this a message). One of the ladies on the trip was from the Boston area (sorry if I can't remember your name) who had competed in the Tri Nationals last year (if you do read this, please say hello and I do apologize for not remembering your name). The trip up the mountain took about an hour and it was full of plenty of switch backs.

We arrived at the top about 520, put on all of our snivel gear, took a potty break, and arranged our selves to see a very glorious sunrise. I did not take a tripod with me due to the bike trip back down the mountain. It was a pain in the ass to shoot in low-light handheld. Most of these photos were at either 1600 or 3200 iso.
This is the bride and I (in all our snivel gear) right after sunrise. It was about 35 degrees with a pretty strong wind.
The sun is just breaking over the clouds at over 10 feet. It really was spectacular.

The sun is trying very hard to get up. The clouds over the lower peaks were truly amazing. The bride coudn't have had a better big number birthday.

After the sunrise, we loaded back in the van and headed out of the park (you can't start organized bike rides in the park) and saddled up. The first part of the ride was rather windy and chilly. I was riding a well used Gary Fisher Soft tail mountain bike. I was not use to a bike that was the so loose. It took a few miles to get where I was comfortable on it. The ride down the volcano was exhilirating and took about 2.5 hours. That does include a stop for a very yummy breakfast of pancakes with coconut syrup.

The next post--Why my ears are ringing.


Kim said...

wow the pictures are amazing. sounds like so far the long plane ride was worth it!

Lesser is More said...

Wow, thats a nice view - must be pretty high up there. 2.5 hours downhill? How long would it take to ride UP it?

Jen said...

Ooohh. A Hawaii Report! The hub and I are going out at the end of this year...can't wait!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

wow, lucky bride, sounds like you had a great time!

Trishie said...

First class to Hawaii? I am SO jealous ! What awesome photos ! Are you doing any local races this year? I'm doing NorthEast - it's an Oly about an hour north of Balt.

Rainmaker said...

Very nice. I've always wanted to go up and see the sunrise there - looks incredible and the pics came out great.