Monday, November 24, 2014

We like the desolation

Going to Maui reaffirmed things I already knew. Given a choice, I like the wild, the windswept, the remote. J and I cavalierly drove the "back road", one that many forums warned against, that the rental car agreement would not cover. And the wild landscape was my favorite part. The good, along with the hours of snorkeling among multi-colored fish and green turtles. "But we like the desolation," J said, and it's true, we both do.

Great beach to walk to, not so great for snorkeling!

The not so good? People, so many people. So many resorts, so much development. Maui has a completely different vibe to me than the Big Island, which I prefer. And there were so many people desperately in need of a jog. Perhaps it's because I come from a fit community (a third of the people because they exercise, another third are fit because of their job and the last third are ranchers) but it was shocking to see what the average American now looks like. Don't get me wrong, I empathize greatly with people who struggle with their weight. I'm really only the weight I like to be when coming off a long distance hike, but that's not sustainable, because in real life, only the unemployed and retired could exercise 10-12 hours a day. But honestly, I did 
not see a lot of struggling. I saw a lot of sitting and a lot of eating. And I know that sounds really judgmental. I'm sorry. I just wish people knew how good it feels to be in shape.

Also? I'm not a beach sitter. The best beaches were the ones we stumbled to over lava rocks and slippery cinders.

Red Sand Beach. Not easy to get to, but not that hard either. A little hippie encampment was set up here.

Another thing I learned? I'm a vacation snob. My time off is so precious and hard earned. For each hour spent in an airport there's an equal hour of work time. Honestly? I can't keep at this pace much longer. The mountains--and sometimes the ocean--are calling. I don't know how much longer I can resist. But relying on my husband's income? Never been an option for me. Besides, how could I go play while  he was working? Unemployment? No. So here I sit, trying to figure it all out. Again.

Maui turned out to be mixed for me. I could get used to swimming in tropical water. And I'd save a fortune on clothes. No puffys, no boots, no gloves, no hats. Also, no pants. My hair looked great on Maui (darn you, hard water of Eastern Oregon!). In the end, though, it wouldn't be enough for me. Not enough hiking, not enough solitude. You don't really go to Hawaii for that. But where? Time to move on!

Except here. Hiking the Kings Highway. Not a tourist to be seen.





10 comments:

  1. Interesting view of what those of us who haven't visited think of as "island paradise." Yes, we like the desolate, too. Were biking with friends a few summers ago on a rural road very near pavement and development and one woman didn't like it at all 'cause she said it was "too desolate." Glad you had warm and ocean beaches and snorkeling, though!

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  2. I think it depends on what you're there for. For people who just want to be warm and maybe sit on a beach, it is paradise. I did love the snorkeling, though.

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  3. Beautiful photos! I'm like you - I don't care for crowds. I've never been to Hawaii but I'd like to go once.

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    1. You would probably like parts of the Big Island. The park is amazing. And there's a northern section I want to explore. Maybe Molokai as well.

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  4. I have been to both Oahu, and the Big Island. I was in 7th grade when our family went to Oahu, yes it was cool because I got to go to Hawaii and miss school for a week. I had just graduated from HS when I visited the Big Island. All I could remember about Oahu was the tourist traps we visited so I fell in love with the Big Island. The Big Island I was able to experience so much more. I didn't go to be a tourist, I went to study Marine Biology for 10 days. Yes another perk of being a Girl Scout.

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    1. That sounds fun. I admit I don't have a desire to go to Oahu.

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  5. I've never been to HI and probably never will. I went to Jamaica once, a tropical vacation to get out of Seattle, but in general the tropics don't attract me, and crowds even less so. I think the volcanoes would be interesting, but other than that I'd want solitude, that desolation yes. Maybe Kaua'i or Lana'i?

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  6. I really liked Hawaii Volcanoes. Kauai is pretty, lots of traffic. Lanai intrigues me, also Molokai.

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  7. This is what has always kept me away from Hawaii. I don't like sharing my time in nature with crowds of people. I'm not one to hang on the beach all day either. Tell me more about the Big Island?

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  8. I can send you an email, Karen, but I liked that the majority of people there hang out in Kona which leaves a lot of other cool places. Don't get me wrong, it will never be just you out there. The park is beautiful and you can see flowing lava! I still want to explore the north coast. The snorkeling is outstanding. I'm interested in Molokai too.

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