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16 July 2017 : to Oakland            jump to this page > > >
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North Coast natives call the counties south of Mendocino "down below" and there are advantages to going there, a principle one being numerous excellent restaurants. Catelli's now in its fifth generation of family ownership, is one of our favorites.

Sienna braved the increasingly busy highway south of Geyserville, a sort of southern edge of Mendonesia, and dropped us at Santa Rosa airport, where we caught the Airport Express to OAK – Oakland International, our point of departure for Hawaii.




I did something strange to my camera, and it took some wild photos ... Neil, our Airport Express driver to Petaluma, who chattered constantly, told us all that Sunday afternoons on 101 were nightmarish, with everyone who'd gone to the wine country driving home. He took us on a back road into Petaluma, where we transferred to Mike's bus, and the real fun began. He too took a back road, the Black Point Cutoff over the Petaluma River, but through San Rafael there are no options. 

By the time we reached the East Bay, any suggestions of natural beauty were safely extinguished by a layer of summer smog.

17 July 2017 : to Hawaii            jump to this page > > >
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Up early (5am) and relatively bright, we navigated shuttle, check-in, and TSA without much fuss. Once past the dragons of TSA, we found Kathleen, Michael, and Tallulah MacDonald, also on their way to Kauai. 

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over San Francisco and away...

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Five quick hours later, the islands hove up out of the cloud, and then the plane wheeled into final approach to LIH. Out our window, Nawiliwili and the rugged southeast coast of Kauai appeared.

We got our bags, our car, and wandered around looking (first) for a supermarket, and then something for lunch; found 'em both ... and then north just a few miles to Kauai Beach Inn. We were able to check in early. Hot and sweaty, we were glad to shed traveling clothes and meet up with Chad and his ladies at the sand pool. Sorry, no pictures: no camera, just hangin' out with the girls in the warm shallow water.

1 August 2017 : Manini Beach            jump to this page > > >
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Awoke too early, buzzing about a travel day; packed and ready to go half an hour ahead of plan the rest of the day was easy: a leisurely Stromboli (delicious bread stuffed with egg, potatoes, and, I think, Laulau (taro leaves), the what passes for rush hour on Kauai, gas up across from the sadly defunct Hanamaulu Cafe and Teahouse, tussle with TSA, and the the Island Show.

We saw 'em all: Oahu, featuring Waikiki Beach (as close as I want to get!), Kaluapapa where my great-Auntie Helen was Big Nurse for decades, Maui's Haleakala above the clouds ... and then we were wheels down on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii.


Kailua-Kona is rapidly Honolulu-izing itself -- we have noticed this happening each time we return. Now the necrosis has extended well up Hualalai, almost to Keahole Airport, and up toward Captain Cook as far as Holualoa. 

4 August 2017 : Above Kamuela            jump to this page > > >
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We spent the day driving around the Big Island counter-clockwise, across the most volcanically active place on the island. Over the area where lava is pushing into the sea, there was a mighty cloud, and all through Hawaii Volcano National Park it was raining no pictures of Halemaumau. This image is of the Kau and Puna districts of Hawaii, the windward, stormy, far south, looking northeast toward the presently active part of the Volcano.

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North from Hilo along the Hamakua Coast. For a short stretch we were able to travel on the old Mamalahoa Highway, the original road from Hilo to what was then called Waimea, the seat of the Parker Ranch and our day's destination -- well, close.

We had time to take the side trip to the Waipio Valley overlook, another sentimental destination. Many years ago, we walked down the steep 4-wheel drive track to the valley with our packs on, and stayed overnight at Tom Araki's motel -- sadly no longer extant.

8 August 2017 : Oakland            jump to this page > > >
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30 August 2018 : to Caspar            jump to this page > > >
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This ground under this stretch of road is constantly moving – subduction, y'know – and so expect to see flaggers and one-lane traffic.

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One last reminder not to take our smooth highways for granted: a twelve minute wait while the boyz get their pilot car turned around. During the delay, no fewer than three cars tried to bull their way past the line of patiently waiting cars. No ill wind department: we're first in line with the twisty, mountainous bit of Highway One from Leggett to Westport ahead of us, meaning that we won't have to wait for any frightened jerk from Georgia who's hauling his house on his back and is petrified by edges.

next group : Brookings, OR

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