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 Pushing 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↓


What do you expect. A dozen movies have been filmed here along with countless commercials and now the TV series "Lost."

© 2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!