Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Angelica came to Coconut with me today (it was my last day..... sad!) and we were snorking the reef by the point and...
1. saw a baby jellyfish - roughtly the size of a nickel,
2. saw a sad sick diseased giant honu that had big tumors growing out of its head,
3. got buzzed by a 6-8' hammerhead (I think)!!!

I say 'I think' because bythe time it registered in my head that I'd ust seen a shark swim very close to me and that it was big, I was out of there. I don't think it was bigger than 8' but it was definitely no smaller than the same size as us, I think it was bigger than us for sure, but I can't really say. It was thick. I was SO scared! and of course, Angelica was ready to go chase it, disappointed she hadn't seen it. I was pretty impressed by how fast I can swim! by the time we got close enough to the island that I was willing to stop I was shaking so badly I could barely stand! It was pretty funny, I just fell back down into the water..

It's even funnier now that I'm wiriting this, but just a few hours ago I felt like I'd just cheated death. And upon reflection, I doubt it had even the remotest interest in us, but I wasn't really interested in sticking around to find out. Once we got back to the Point Lab, Ku'ulei told us that they come into the bay to have their pups. I'd heard that but told myself repeatedly that I'd never see any. Exciting!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Colorado Day 5

Today we hiked to Copeland, Cascade, and Ouzel Falls. It was pretty great to be so near rivers for the whole day - they're my favorite!! There were many spots along the way where I'd have been content to just flop down and sun myself all day long - not even making it up to the 'destinations'.

No idea what this flower is, but it's so pretty!

I loved these bridges!

Cascade Falls

Family Portrait!

Ouzel Falls

This was our lunch spot for the day - pretty sweet view

We took a differnt trek back to the car - following a 'llamas and hikers only' trail - meaning no horses or other 'stock' - it was pretty fun - mostly walking down a little stream. We barely passed another 2 people. Very nice, great day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Colorado Day 4

Today we started out at the Bear Lake trail head and hiked to Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and Emerald Lake. We got a pretty late start, but luckily the hikes weren't very long or very steep so we were able to cover ground pretty steadily -especially once we got warmed up.

Nymph Lake was first on the trail - I think it was less than a 1/2 mile - real small lake, we saw some ducks, had a snack and then moved on towards Dream Lake. The scenery on this hike was so killer! Huge views everywhere totally made for a super hike.


We definitely ran into a little bit of weather, nothing major though. Just enough to keep us from sweating or getting too hot. I really like hiking in that kind of weather.. little bit of sun, little bit of rain, some wind, repeat!
There was also a lot more snow on the trail than any of us were really expecting, which also made for a fun day. I was kicking myself a little bit for not packing my boots for this trip - I guess it shows my level of ignorance about June in the Rockies! No trouble though I didn't fall into any of the lakes and my two pairs of socks kept my feet plenty warm.

After Dream Lake, we were on to Emerald. There was a lot more snow for this part of the hike, and I was lucky that a guy on his way down gave me the hiking stick he'd picked up. It really made sliding around on the snow more enjoyable for me.

We hung out at Emerald Lake and ate some lunch before heading back down. The views were pretty special and it was hard to get myself to leave.

My favorite part of today was watching my dad stomp through the snow. It cracked me up - it was like seeing him as a 7 year old little boy back in the UP. I tried to get a movie of it, but I was a little late - the deep and steep snow was pretty much done and there wasn't much reason to stomp through it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Colorado Day 3

Today we drove Trail Ridge Road. I expected many precarious ledges and to be simultaneously scared for my life and awed by the beauty around me.

The weather started rolling in soon after we started the drive. We thought it was going to be rain, but soon found out that because of our elevation it was more of the hail-snow we'd experienced at Cub Lake yesterday. Semi-dense balls of snow driven by serious winds!

Visibility kept getting more and more restricted until we were barely able to drive because we could only see 5-10' in front of the car... but yet the road remained open! (we'd been told the road would be closed at Rainbow Curve - only 11 miles down the road)

We made it to the Alpine Visitors Center juuuuuust as the clouds were clearing. The view was so exciting and spectacular - I couldn't possibly capture it with a camera, but I did my best.

The snow was deep and when we started heading up the little trail to the top of the hill by the center, I was definitely regretting that I hadn't brought my boots -there was deep snow on either side of the trail - which was intermittently covered in slush deep enough to soak my puny running shoes.

We all made it to the top though and while we were aware of the approaching brew of snow contained in the clouds racing towards us, we managed to see and appreciate the sights while catching our breath from the climb (my RBC count must be SKYROCKETING!!!)

This area used to be a glacier field according to a sign I didn't read - I wonder if it was only 5 years ago or 50....

We road tripped all the way to Grand Lake on the other side of RMNP - pretty awesome trip, amazing views everywhere, then headed back so we could meet up with a friend of my mom's from work (Matt). The trip back was less exciting, except for just after this pic (which I'd been planning all day - wanting to capture just how deep the snow is) when I heard a big rumble of THUNDER!!! sooooooooo awesome!!! I wish it had just raged hard core lightning and fearsome snow, but alas it was a one time event as we raced down the mountain and back to our little cottage. I fell asleep in the car.

Meeting Marr was pretty cool. He's about my age and has been living in CO for a while - serious fisherman/dog lover (you know how I feel there). He had some seriously entertaining stories about fish, bears, and moose that I will take into serious consideration before I'd ever decide to move to CO and become some kind of backwoods mountain-woman. Dinner was killer tonight - buffalo burgers and root veggies! My stomach has never been so pleased.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Colorado Day 2

Today we hiked the Cub Lake Trail. It was pretty easy - 2.3 miles with very little elevation gain - 700' +/- .. It was our first day out though and I still haven't really slept so there was definitely a little tension on the trail, but only at the end when Dad and I were getting hungry.

The landscape was soooooooo beautiful!!! I am so in love with mountains and meadows and rivers... sometimes it just kills me that I live in Hawaii and don't actually find it to be the pinnacle of my existence. If we had rivers (and I mean like mountain rivers, not sludgy crap streams that barely make it to the ocean and only exist on the windward side or when we have days of rain)........ I don't know that I could leave.

We got snowed on pretty quickly into the hike and allllllmost turned back since Steve didn't have his rain gear and I didn't have my hat and gloves (it was cold!) but we persevered (mostly because we couldn't see mom and dad because they were so far ahead - haha) and it stopped pretty quickly. It turned into an amazing day and we didn't have any inclement weather again until we were almost to the end of the hike.

I saw sooo many pretty flowers that smelled soooooooo good! we saw elk (maybe a baby moose), and ducks, magpie, a snake!

We were all pretty done by the end and when we headed out the only focus was food. We stopped in at the Estes Park Brewery but were sorely disappointed, the food was junk!

Dad and I are a liiiiiiiiiittle crank tonight, but hopefully we're going to sleep it off and tomorrow will be a better day.

So far I love Rocky Mountain National Park!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Colorado Day 1

Arrived this morning/noon in Denver and was surprised to have my mom meet me at the gate. So fun! I haven't had someone meet me at the gate since I was 15. Amazing. It was nice to meet up after our respective flights. Dad and Steve met up at the bag claim and we were on our way to Estes Park. I'd had a pretty good flight. I managed to sleep maybe 2 hours or so on my way from HNL to SFO and then had awesome conversation with the guy next to me (Andrew? from Thetford, VT - wish I'd gotten his last name!) from SFO to DEN - we covered all types of issues including all the wonderful uses for acupuncture, undergrad degrees, insurance companies, consulting jobs, math, surgery, it was good fun. And he was pretty cute! It helped that I drank some jasmine tea on the plane, otherwise I'd have been braindead and cranky.

I was soooooooo excited to see my family, I jabbered nonstop at my mom (cause we were in the back seat while my dad and Steve were listening to an audiobook) for a good hour. We finally made it to Estes Park and the first thing out of Mom's mouth was that she was ready to go BAR HOPPING! ridiculous. I love it! I wish I'd brought my camera, but it's not like we did anything that interesting. We played a long, not keeping score game of bar shuffleboard that Steve clearly dominated. Dad and I fought it out for last place.

We went to 2 bars - I had a Fat Tire (yum) and a Moose Drool (fun just for the name, but a little thick for my fatigue level tonight) I definitely was a cheap drunk after so little sleep and am going to be proud if I can stay up until 8pm tonight (only another 1.5 hours!)

I'm hoping to have pics starting tomorrow!