Pete's Stuff

A‘ole Nā Malihini ‘Āina - ‘Ekolu

After the first few days in Moloka‘i, my attention started to turn to the highlands in the center spine of the island, particularly the Moloka‘i Forest Reserve. I started to hatch a plan, involving a steep hike up from where we were staying on the south shore, up and over the 4,000-foot crest to the Waikolu Valley overlook, where we could get a view of the north slope down to the ocean.

Lelehune over the Waikolu Valley.

So late on Thursday afternoon, I decided to investigate some of the trails leading up from the south shore.


A‘ole Nā Malihini ‘Āina - ‘Elua

On Wednesday we took a tour of the island by car, to get our bearings. We headed back through Kaunakakai town and then north to Pala‘au State Park for the Kalaupapa lookout and Phallic Rock. As we turned off the main road and started heading northeast through Kualapu‘u, the road started to steadily rise out of the dry lowlands into mid-altitude woodland, and finally into a higher-altitude ironwood forest a good 1500 feet above the ocean. The spine of the island is located well north of center, so that the south-facing slopes are relatively gentle scrubland. But the north-facing slopes are steep, forbidding, and completely lush from the ocean moisture driven in by the trade winds.

The road dead-ends at the state park - which isn't the kind we're used to in Minnesota. It's more of a wayside rest. We walked out a couple hundred meters to the Kalaupapa lookout for a gorgeous view of the eponymous peninsula.

The Kalaupapa lookout.


A‘ole Nā Malihini ‘Āina - ‘Ekahi

Moloka‘i is one of the lesser known Hawaiian islands, almost due east of O‘ahu across a 26-mile wide channel. It's billed in all the travel literature as the "Friendly Isle", although I'm not convinced the residents would refer to themselves with such a marketing term! Tuesday before last, we took a vacation within-a-vacation by packing two backpacks and heading out to the airport to get on an interisland commuter flight.

Sunset over Kaunakakai.


Diamond Head

Diamond Head, or Lē‘ahi, is one of the most well known natural features in Honolulu. It's the remains of an old cinder cone, with a central crater that's not obvious from the ground but shows up great from the air:

Diamond Head from above, looking approximately south. Taken out the window of our plane to Moloka‘i.

Most of the roads you see in the crater are not public - they're actually access roads for a military installation and an FAA installation, except for the bottom right one, which is the beginning of the hiking trail up to the high point visible on the right side. I took this trail the afternoon before we left for Moloka‘i. More photos below.


Mānoa Falls

Mānoa Falls is a short skip and a hop from my temporary home, up at the end of one of many steep, lush valleys that rise to the north from Honolulu. At the end of the road there's a small parking lot, and then a rocky, wet, slippery trail up another mile or so, maybe less. This morning we biked up and took the hike. Here's a quick sample.

Relaxing along the stream.

More photos below.


On a White Sandy Beach

We were playing in the sun
We were having so much fun
On a white, sandy beach of Hawai‘i

Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole (iTunes link)

It's less than two weeks until I get on a nonstop, 8½ hour flight from Minneapolis to Honolulu. I've spent a little time working out an itinerary - nothing too complicated to prevent us from relaxing and enjoying things, but enough to get in some unique experiences.


Money, Money, Money

So as everyone no doubt knows, I was in San Francisco this week for the annual Oracle conference. I posted on Monday night, which ended up being a rare free day, but since then it's been a nonstop display of frankly, money. Not to say it isn't a little exciting to be here, though. To make it sound super c00l, I can say that I spent four nights in a great city, saw Aerosmith, Roger Daltrey, Devotchka, and the Pogues in concert, survived an earthquake and a typhoon, and came awful close to the president, the vice president, and the governor of California. Not too bad!


Cable Car Quickie

One day down so far. I went to the opening keynote address in the big auditorium at Moscone, and then had four breakout sessions in the late morning and afternoon. After things wrapped up, we reconvened at the hotel and rode the cable car down to Fisherman's Wharf for dinner.

On the Powell-Mason line. My co-workers Pete, Scott, and Jonathan.

Off to San Francisco!

This afternoon I'm off to the airport to get on a plane for San Francisco for four days of Oracle Open World, courtesy of my employer. Sure, it's a technical conference sponsored by a (very) large software vendor who's just gone on a buying spree in the past few years. So there's sure to be a lot of interesting sessions, lots of people to talk to, a great venue (Moscone Center) in downtown San Francisco, and a chance to feel the pulse of the industry's direction - plus just a dash of hype and bullshit, and voila! I'm a professional!

Last time I went out of town for work was several years ago, in October - I went to Denver for a weeklong training session on BEA Systems' application server. They put me up at at the Denver Tech Center in the southeastern area of the city, and it was a very nice time, even though the only good running area was near Cherry Creek Reservoir. Three of the four days I was there, the weather jumped up into the 70s. Mind you, at that time of year, it could also have been snowing. The classes only went to 4 PM each day, sometimes earlier. One of the four days we adjourned at 2 PM! So I took the opportunity to drive my rental car (which was on my own dime, by the way) up to Loveland Pass and hiked east up to the summit of Mount Sniktau in beautiful warm clear, mountain air as the sun lowered to the horizon. Going in, I hadn't expected the chance to enjoy the locale, but I was glad to get it.

This is going to be an
interesting combination.

I'm guessing this conference will be pretty much the same. It's a good time of year for the Bay Area, and the scheduled sessions are over by 5 PM. They do have various mixers and cocktail parties and whatnot scheduled in the early evening, and I'll no doubt attend one or two of them. I'm going with three other people - my boss (the other Pete) and Jonathan and Scott from the marketing division, so it should be a little more sociable than if they were sending me alone. But, I think, there'll plenty of chances for taking advantage of what the city has to offer once the sun goes down. Our hotel is a couple of blocks from the event center, and both right in the middle of everything.

The main after-hours event I've looking forward to is a concert at the Warfield Theater on Tuesday night - Jonathan and I both got tickets to see Devotchka and the Pogues (who, thankfully, are playing with the iconic toothless Irish drunk Shane McGowan.) I'll let you figure out which is which in the photo. Either way, it's going to be one hell of a show.

Then I'll be back on Thursday night, only to turn around and head up to Camp Ripley for the Minnegoat weekend. Such a busy schedule. Sigh... poor me.

More Colorado/Wyoming Photos

I've posted some more photos from my Colorado/Wyoming trip.

See more photos of runners from Laramie Daze.

Ian running his course at Bisbee Hill

Or more photos from Estes Park, Garden of the Gods, and Kite Lake.

Riverwalk in Estes Park

Next page »