Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 20 - Pearl Harbor & Aloha!

Can't believe we are at the end of our time in Hawaii - it was so action-packed and went so quickly!

What a wonderful three weeks we have had together.

Our last day began with an early rise of the sun on Kauai. A few of us saw our last sunrise a little after 7AM on the beautiful green island. Then we headed for the airport to catch our flight to Oahu.

Our trip back east was to be a long trip and it was overnight, which gave us the chance to see a little of the area and we headed straight for Pearl Harbor.

Our choice of travel mode to Pearl Harbor
Waiting for the bus
The harbor is only a couple of miles away, so we were eager to get there. While at the airport before the bus came, we did see a few Pro-bowl NFL football players coming through on their way to play in the Pro-Bowl this coming Sunday.

We only had a little amount of time before we had to head back to catch our flight
Rockets and torpedoes in front of the museum area
Unlike wars of the past, the battle of the Pacific Theater of War in WWII the plane was sea power - not the Battleship
USS Bowfin in Pearl Harbor
The anchor of the USS Arizona

The surprise attack on the US fleet harbored in Pearl Harbor, Oahu by the Japan air power launched from carriers was one of the worse moments in our nations history. On December 7, 1941 early on that Sunday morning Japan launched about 350 airplanes - fighters and bombers to destroy the air and naval power of the United States, to clear the way for unimpeded takeover of the entire Pacific. The statistics are sobering as they reflect real lives of fallen heroes: 2,390 killed in the attack, hundreds of others wounded, all battleships in the Pacific damaged or sunk, nearly all military fighter planes destroyed.

The USS Arizona Memorial on the right
After a one-hour movie in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Theater we boarded this ferry to the Arizona
Entering the memorial

Part of the deck of the USS Arizona

Part of the battleship turret

Oil stills leaks from the USS Arizona and remains a tomb for the 1,177 men who died here. The ship exploded and sank in 9 minutes

The wall of brave Navy and Marine soldiers

Old Glory at the USS Arizona

Heading to the ferry out of the entrance

The flags at Pearl Harbor
Catching the bus back we made our flight with about an hour and a half of down time. Our flight to Atlanta was great with fun entertainment in each seat, but the turbulence was one of the biggest challenges of flight many of us had ever experienced. One stewardess said, "The air turbulence yesterday was the worst I have experienced in 35 years". After the flight, she said it wasn't as bad as the day before.

Arriving in Grand Rapids to the cold and snow was a joy - even if not the beauty of Hawaii. It was great to be back home and back to our School. Much love to all of you. Mahalo (Thank you) and Aloha (Good-bye).

Miles Hiked today and yesterday 0.7
Miles Hiked in Hawaii: 60.5 miles
Miles on the car: 1499 miles
Number of U-Turns: 23
Number of flights on this interim: 9

Tired Prof's out-hiked by these young college men and women
Professor Van Kooten "survives" Haleakala on Day 13
Professor VanHorn sleeps on a black sand beach after the Day 7 Lava hike
Professor's Jan and Gerry Van Kooten enjoy a snooze on the lawn of a National Park on Day 10

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 19 - Na Pali and Local

Today our group split up and took two directions, the Na Pali coast and the local Kapa'a scene.

For those who hung around Kapa'a, we went swimming and slept in the hammocks and did a little local snorkeling, to to recover before our trip to Pearl Harbor tomorrow.

The rest of the group made their way to the Na Pali coast to hike and hang out in Hanalei. Thanks to Alex G for these great pictures from that trip!

Wailua Falls

Heading down to the falls

A thing of beauty

Looks like a highly eroded remains of pillow basalt, maybe broken off from somewhere around here. Not sure though
A little closer - A little wetter
Another wonder of Kauai
Onto the Na Pali coast hike to the Queens Bath

A lush environment
A falls around the corner
The coast line was pummeled today by the huge surf!
Sadly 23 have died here. Watching from a distance is a respect to the power that can overcome in natural settings
The Queen's Bath with huge surf
Onto the beach and a really cool cave!

No Parking - A spider lives here
Where does it end?

Wow, the surf is powerful!
Just feet in today with the huge waves
Professor Van Kooten bids Kauai a good-bye from the hot tub overlooking the ocean at our accommodations
Miles Hiked today and yesterday 1.1
Miles Hiked in Hawaii: 59.8 miles
Miles on the car: 1392 miles
Number of U-Turns: 22
Number of amazing days in Hawaii - all of them!

Daily Kauai Chicken/Rooster Picture

East, west, north, or south  you find them everywhere on Kauai
Tomorrow is Pearl Harbor - a sobering morning. And then off to fly home.

Day 18 - In the Land of Hanalei

A much needed day of rest on this beautiful Sunday on Kauai. Sorry for the short delay in this blog entry as the blogger got a bit of sickness and missed the taco party last night while sleeping.

We arose to the beautiful Sunday on this island of green and headed to worship. Driving to the north side of Kauai presented new viewscapes for us to enjoy and ocean vistas galore.

Arriving in the town of Hanalei, we attended the Wai`oli Hui`ia Church, which has a rich history dating back to the early 1800's arrival of the Congregational missionaries to the island. We sang and prayed in Hawaii and had a joyful time worshiping in this beautiful place.

Wai'oli Hui'ia Church
After church we sat on the restful lawn on the other side seen in the picture above to have a short game plan talk for the day and Micah and Tyler W. each shared from their heart wonderful devotions times. 

Having a little time before some swimming, we visited the town of Hanalei and many of got some fresh fruit smoothies and shaved ice (and a few us caught the tail-end of the 49er's and Falcons football matchup).

Playing with our Puff Football in the ocean
The north shore of the islands in Hawaii are apt to have massive surfer waves. We had about 20 foot waves which made it impossible to really go out to snorkel, so instead we found a protected beach surrounded by coral reefs and just played in the shallows and land on the beach. Several of us had a relaxing doze.

After a couple of hours we finished our relaxing Sunday at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. Joining a total of 565 wildlife refuges across the United States, this preserve protects many birds, dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, and native plants. It also is the location for a lighthouse built in 1913. This is the northern-most point on Kauai.

See the little white dots on the land? Those are the Red-Footed Boobies that enjoy sanctuary here
Looking to the west on from Kilauea Point
1913 Lighthouse. No longer in operation a smaller light functions behind this one (not pictured)
The official state bird - the Ne Ne. This bird is a lot like the Canadian Goose in the way it acts on the ground
To finish our peaceful day we had a Taco Party with some kind students cooking for all at our condo apartment resort.
Our condos have outdoor fire pits

Jan coordinated the purchase of the food and lends a hand to Jaclyn as they cut some of the chicken
Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!
The feast begins!
The cooks. Thanks Tyler, Brianna, Jaclyn, Ian, and Leah. Thanks!
Time to eat
Tomorrow is out last day on Kauai. We plan to meet in the morning and have a day full of activities around the island. Some are planning on spending the day at the resort, others are going to the Na Pali coast to hike to the Queen's bath, some are snorkeling and others are doing some shopping in Kapa'a. After tomorrow we head to Honolulu to see the USS Arizona memorial and then fly home.

Miles Hiked today and yesterday 0.6
 Miles Hiked in Hawaii: 58.7 miles
Miles on the car: 1342 miles
Number of U-Turns: 22
Boxes of cereal consumed on this trip:  105

Daily Kauai Chicken/Rooster Picture
Yes, Yes...Why did the rooster cross....