Archive for the 'Travel' category

Sightseeing on Maui and my very first overnight guest in a car

 | January 11, 2009 6:30 pm

I had about a week and a half for sight-seeing on Maui and spent the first two nights at a hostel, (renting a car for the night of New Year’s Eve was a ridiculous $101 a day, Jan 1-9, was a more reasonable $18). My idea was to rent the car and live in that while sightseeing the island. It’s been interesting because Hawaii is a bit different than the mainland, so some of my little tricks for finding places to stay don’t work so well. Also, going back to not having tinted windows and curtains has been strange. I miss my stealth!

Renting a car makes it real easy to make friends at a hostel, and after I moved out I hung out with J and D, two guys who were sightseeing in Hawaii after J’s brother’s wedding.

We did some picnicking on the beach, drove around West Maui (which I think is a better drive than the Road to Hana), biked down the volcano, hung at the pool and topped it off by watching and making fun of a couple of westerns. Actually, come to think of it, we made fun of a lot of things. Exactly my type of company.

Lack of planning (partly our fault for constantly distracting him) left D without a place to stay the night before he took the ferry to Honolulu so I had my first overnight guest while living in a car. I wish it’d been in an area I knew better. We had a couple false starts (or stops, rather) trying to pick out a place to stay, but in the end D found a nice residential area and we slept pretty well until about 6am. Or at least I did. D is 6’1″ so I doubt he was quite as comfortable in the passenger seat as I was in the driver’s seat. I was happy to introduce the whole sleeping in a car thing to someone new. I was quite amused by the whole thing.

Then again, I’m quite amused by many things.

For J: Why does the moon rise 50 minutes LATER each day. Trust the astrophysicist.

Kalalau trail, but not to the Kalalau Valley

 | January 5, 2009 6:04 pm

Alas, I did not make it to the Kalalau Valley on my hike. The whole trail is 11 miles with a campground 6 miles in. My plan had been to go the first 6 miles, camp and then hit the rest the next day. The second half includes some pretty crazy cliffs off of a tiny trail. Or so I’m told. I didn’t make it past the 6 mile mark. Those first 6 miles took me 9.5 hours and when it poured rain all night and the next morning I decided I didn’t feel like doing those cliffs. So I turned around and did the first 4 miles back, camped another night and did the last 2 miles the third day. Hitched a ride down to Kaapa and hung out with my cousin for a couple days, (more on that in a future post). Perhaps I chose a rather ambitious trail for my very first backpacking trip. (It’s rated a 9 most places I read). By the time I got to the 2 mile marker I realized that I might be over my head when it was clear that my (I thought) conservative guess of 1 mile per hour needed to be changed to 1 mile per hour and a half.

Oh well, at least I got an idea of what backpacking is like, (even if I did spend only 3 days rather than 6 out there). I don’t think I’ll be doing the Appalachian Trail anytime soon, but I would still like to do some shorter trail (hopefully with more success than the Kalalau trail). In fact, I think I’m going to make it one of my new year’s resolutions to do either a backpacking or bicycling trip sometime this year.

Rain

 | July 6, 2008 8:02 pm

I’ve been looking forward to having it rain while on the road for quite awhile and so far all I’ve gotten are a few drops in the afternoon. Tonight is a bit better. Not a proper rain yet, but a steady sprinkle that shows some promise. I only wish that I were spending the night at a campground or some place with more romance where I could curl up under my covers and listen to the pattering on the roof. Instead I’ll be in a Walmart parking lot for the night in a small town in Utah. I have been putting off getting my oil changed and it can wait no longer since this is the last town of any size I’ll be going through for at least another hundred miles and the oil light’s been on for the last 50 miles into town. Unfortunately I arrived here Saturday night and all the shops are closed on Sunday.

ahh well. It’s not as if I had any particlar plans for today beyond reading and reorganizing the car anyway. I even began sorting through some of the hundreds of pictures I’ve taken in the last week. Though I’m typing this on my phone so posting those will have to wait.

I spent the last two days at Dinosaur National Monument. Two days was enough for now but I already want to go back sometime and do more exploring on the Green River. Preferably sometime when the mosquitos aren’t so bad. I got eaten alive by them, a red ant and something else I never sawM but must have been a spider because it left a bite mark 3 or 4 times the size of a mosquito’s that still itches today.

Book suggestions?

 | May 24, 2008 4:38 pm

As a side note before I begin, it turns out the problem with the install was not my fault, but a problem with the server.  That makes me feel a bit better even if it is still 7 hours of my life that I’ll never get back.

As a side note, I just wanted to mention that I’m finally reading Blue Highways.  Only just started it, but enjoying it so far.

Perhaps I should start a book page.  What are people suggestions for travel related books?  Currently on my list to finish/start:

  • Blue Highways – William Least Heat-Moon
  • Travels with Charley – John Steinbeck (Also, I’ve still never read Grapes of Wrath)
  • American Nomads – Richard Grant
  • Doing Nothing – Tom Lutz   (not about travel exactly)
  • Travel in the Ancient World – Lionel Casson (One of my favorite authors.  I read this a long time ago and finally getting back to it.)

I’m sure there’s a couple more about travel in the shopping bag of books I’ve got in the van, but that’s all I can think of at the moment.

Any suggestions?

Death Valley!!

 | April 25, 2008 8:06 pm

Yeah, I know.  I’ve just skipped a bunch to get from Spokane to Death Valley.  I’ll explain later.

Tomorrow, I’m going to be visiting the lowest elevation in the continental US.  I’m certain that while there I’ll be tempted to dig a hole and make it even lower.

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