Tuesday, September 26, 2006

So I bought a lot of crapolla today, and studied up on Big Bend. I prolly won't be there long, but I gotta at least make a pit stop, and see what's so big about this bend. I'm too witty. For any gambling addicts who would like to bet viacariously through me. This weeks picks are Louisiana Monroe beats FAU by 13.5. OSU beats ISU by 7. Alabama covers the the 13 point spread against Florida. And South Florida covers the 3.5 point spread against Rutgers.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Well Even though I've been back for about two months, I'm gonna write something up on the last two weeks in Hawaii so I can go back and read this and reminisce.

Week 3
So I make it to the Hostel in Oahu, and try to meet up with Marc, but he's island hopping somewhere, so I make it to my room where I meet Mike, Josue, Laura, and Kaye. The good thing about the Hostel was that I just showed up to my room, and these guys were automatically my best friends.

Mike was an English bloke who really got me wanting to start using words like "bloke" and "proper." He just used his slang with such enthusiasm, and every time he told a story he made sure to tell it with exact detail. Always the right number of people, who was there, the exact time down to 15 minutes. He'd always say "quarter past" or "quarter of." Usually a story told to such detail would be quite boring, but the amount of enthusiasm he put into telling the precise times made the story quite interesting.

Then Josue. Josue was a spanish surfer who lived in the Canary Islands which is a Volcanic chain of Islands in the Mediteranean known as Europe's Hawaii, but really it's closer to Africa. He had a thick Spanish accent, but he had lived in London for the past year, so every once in a while, he'd spit out a line that sounded like a dorky English dude. Cracked me up every time.

Kaye was a hairdresser from England. I typically hate all tatoos, but I liked every single one of her tattoos, and she had several. I particularly liked the vines running up her legs. Laura was Kaye's Irish friend. Those two girls insisted on calling me "Texas." I would always jokingly yell back "My name is ROB!" They didn't get the hint.

Well that was the crew for the next week. Spent several days hangin out. Went to Hanauma Bay. Then I tried to get the group out to Kailua, but it ended up being just Josue and I swimming out to flat island.

After a few days Nikki, the girl from Kauai, showed up. She was in Oahu to party, and used it as a pit stop to the lava flows on the big island. She invited me to go with her, and after about one minute of consideration I was up for it.

We all party all weekend, and we decide to hit the Big Island on Tuesday. So on Sunday, we decide to finally buy our tickets, and on the way to the computers, we run into Marc, also from Kauai. Excited to see the big oaf, we invite him along, and within a minute he agrees to go. Then Mike and Josue are coming downstairs, so we decide to invite them along, and sure enough they are down for it. In the about 15 minutes, a group of 5 people have randomly decided to go to the Big island. (Kaye and Laura later tagged along.)

So we make it to the Big Island at about 8 a.m., rent the car, check out a couple waterfalls, and hike through some lava tubes. Lava tubes are huge tunnel-like caves that were carved out by flowing lava that's no longer present. Then we go to Volcanoes National Park. We get to the trailhead for the hike to the Lava flows just in time to make it for sunset, but we have to practically run the whole way on lava rock. Mike, Marc and I were the only ones up for the physical exertion. The last half mile was pretty much an all out sprint. The lava was pouring into the ocean and huge clouds of steam rose from the ocean.

We make it to our "destination" where we look back at the mountains, and see a huge lava river on the mountain side. Well, we all agreed that that was the place to be. Armed with flashlights, we hiked up the mountain. (I say mountain, but it wasn't steep nor very high in elevation.) Unfortunately that lava was a lot further than it looked. We prolly spent three hours going up hill. I fell a couple times thanks to the rock breaking from under my feet. We went non-stop, and we went fast. We were on a mission to make it to these flows. We finally get to a point where we could see red hot lava rock only 20 feet away. The air was quite warm, but we still had quite some time before reaching the actual lava flow. At one point we walked on a rock where you could see red lava in the cracks underneath the rock. Maybe I'm an idiot, but I wanted to keep going. Luckily the wackos around me were sane enough to turn aroud, and I followed. At our highest point, we turned around, and could see the light from the lava extending all the way to the ocean. It looked like the city lights of Honolulu.

Well that hike, that day, that view, was my most amazing experience in all of Hawaii. We made it back to the ocean to meet up with the rest of the crew. They all wanted to see the lava flow in the ocean. I wanted to die from exhaustion. Mike and I took a nap on the lava rock while the rest of the crew REALLY pushed their luck by getting quite close to the lava. It turns out they were on the bench. The bench is the newly formed land mass created by the lava. The only thing is, this land mass occasionally falls into the ocean several acres at a time. People have died on the bench. People have also died from the steaming hot waves. I guess they had fun, but they all agreed they would never do it again. Josue, the dark-tanned hispanic dude, turned completely white when he found out what the bench was.

Got back to the car at about 4:00 a.m., and that was our day in the Big Island. After that, the crew pretty much split up, all going their seperate ways. Marc and I went back to Oahu.

The group of us makes it out to the volcanic rock. The lava actually flows over a road that I'm guessing was constructed in the 60's. Imagine being so exhausted that you look at this rock, and think about how confortable it would be to lay down it.

This is where the lava flows into the ocean

This was the most dangerous point. Time to turn around when you can see lava under the cracks.

Week 4 - pictures to be added later
Spent most of the week unwinding from that hike. Got a nice little sinus infection from the lack of food, rest, and the toxic fumes. I'm assuming they are toxic, but it might just be water vapor. That week I buddied up with Kevin, Jade, Gianna, and Shawn. Kevin was from Essex, England. He used a lot of english slang, and he would snap his fingers all the time. Jade and Gianna were two Aussie girls. They were both half italian, and had an elegant beauty to them, but then they would shout out "Drink up" in the worst australian accent. And boy were they loud. A conversation with them was like a yelling contest. Crazy fun girls.
And Shawn. Shawn was an enlish teacher from Indiana. His girlfriend talked him into moving to Hawaii, and within one week, he had a job in Kailua, but his gf couldn't move until September.

I finally muster some energy and do the Stairway to Heaven hike which is 4000+ steps straight up the side of a mountain. Never have I stopped so often from exaustion on a hike, but never have I stopped so often on the way back to take in the sheer beauty. On one side, the mountains where the highway tunnels out, and on the other side, a view of all of Kaneohe Bay. China Man's hat. Everything.

The next day I'm crazy enough to try to take on Mount Ka'ala, the highest point on Oahu. Kevin tags along, and boy was he mad at me, but I warned him he would be mad. We didn't make it to the top, and at the trail head, we cross three old hawaiians who are VERY drunk. They have a car that won't start, and they offer us a ride downhill, that's hard to refuse in our exhaustion. We want to get back to the Hostel and relax ASAP, but this crazy hawaiian keeps stopping at all these viewpoints, and takes us to three of his friends houses. The whole time we need to catch the 2 hour bus ride back, and don't want to be driving with this waisted dude. Anyways I could go on and on.

Finally, I swim out to Flat Island, and come back to make my flight. I almost missed my flight, and wish I would have.

There might be stairs but it's not cheating.

You get to the top and get to play harps with angels. . . Actually I recollect seeing yet another huge flight of stairs.

View from Stairway to Heaven

This is a sattellite dish at the top. Apparently they're the reason for these stairs to nowhere. Unfortunately the view sucks from here thanks to the clouds. Yeah that's right. Heaven's overrated.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hey Catho, here's how much faith I have in your alma mater. I just put $100 on Texas to beat the 32 point spread. At least now the game will be interesting to watch. BTW, this Saturday KICKS ASS for College Football.