Mar 21, 2008 Finally, I made it to our distant Island State
2008-Mar-23 After five glorious days in Hawaii, reality wasted no
time welcoming me back. It was the beginning of a Chicago March snowstorm. Yup,
on the first day of spring in Chicagoland, eight inches of snow fell.
Thankfully, my own house was spared, and only saw about 2 inches.
I'll let the pictures tell the story. It wasn't my typical flying trip.
The only flying was done getting there and returning. That's no small
deal, though, being 8 air hours there and 7.5 hours coming back. I rode
in the cockpit going out because all the seats were taken but that
turned out to be quite enjoyable. It was my first time up front of the
Boeing 777. Normally I'd really rather ride in back, especially on a
long trip, because it's more comfortable and you're not "on" so much.
But these pilots made it enjoyable. Plus, they were true professionals
who worked well together.
2008-Mar-16 The day before leaving I called paraglider pilot and
instructor Ray, who lives on Maui. I was going
to Hawaii with two others and wanted to do some free flying. Even though this was to
be mostly a non-flying trips but there's no sense in wasting
soarable weather. When I finally got to talk with Ray it was sounding
good until he found out I was only there until Thursday. "Not good," he
said. Then he used the word "nuclear" in describing conditions.
Nuclear is a fine term when it refers to power plants and submarine
propulsion—not paragliding winds. "All week long" he said. Great. I
didn't even bother packing my gear. It looked like the only way I would
see the ground from above was to climb to a high spot myself. As it
turns out, we did a lot of that.
My friend, Mike Tes, works at the New York TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach
CONtrol), the facility where the movie
Tin was based on. Apparently, one of
the characters was scripted after an an actual controller who worked
there. And another character strikes a very close resemblance to Mike.
Life was as abundant as the view was beautiful. Apparently the local
birds are fearless. No doubt due to the steady diet of tourist-given
kibbles and bits.
Hiking Diamond Head↓
Stop At Kualoa Ranch↓
On day 3 we rented Harley Davidson motorcycles for a trip around the
island. That was cool. First off, the Harleys were a great ride. I
expected a rougher, louder experience and was pleasantly surprised. I'll
admit to having all my experience astride various rice burners and the
Fat Boy model I rode was a great mount.
1. Mike on the left, Tim & I on the right. Piloting a "Hog" was easy,
smoother than I thought and more comfy than I expected. We spent the
entire day on and off the bikes.
2. Various animals roamed loose about the ranch including this oversized
porker. Sorry fella.
3, 4 & 5. James, a student at the Morman University, sidelines this job
and obviously enjoys it.
1,2,3 On the Ranch tour. James was getting creative with the Dinosaur
head. ILM he's not but it was a funny effect no less. I'm holding a
hinged tree trunk that, in the movie, fell over as the Jurassic joggers
fled some on-screen horror. "No Whining". Oh how I'd like to hang that
sign above various places I've been!
Cruising the North Shore↓
Back to Honolulu↓
Hiking near Sandy Beach↓