John & Anne Wiley

2017/08/03

Pinnacle – First Falls

After family fun and a glorious flight over the highest point on Maui we had yet more warm times with family that evening and of course the next morning. The sky opened up this day so we took another opportunity to fly! 😀

This time we went even “higher” in a way, because the clouds were higher and had more openings. So after takeoff we turned toward Molokai to try for a closer look at the towering waterfalls on the northwest coast of that island. The air was still moist, so the thin haze made sunbeams over the Maui mountains perhaps similar to our beaming smiles.

3265 Maui Sunbeams

3265 Maui Sunbeams

Next we got another look at the northeast coast of Maui, closer than we’d seen it from the airliner when we first arrived here before our adventures down under the equator in New Zealand and Australia.

3268 Closer Look

3268 Closer Look

After all the recent rains, waterfalls were perhaps even more abundant and powerful than normal. Like this one as we neared the farthest point West that we’d reached by car from Lahaina a couple of days earlier.

3274 First Falls

3274 First Falls

Soon we were reaching the point where we began to climb for extra safety during our crossing to Molokai. Seeing landmarks like these rocks from the air that we’d seen during the drive, we were reminded once again how much a small plane adds to our experience of place.

3277 Getting to the Point

3277 Getting to the Point

After the time we passed the rocky point, we were high enough that this was a long zoom pic. There’s a popular blow hole there, but the calm seas and level of tide didn’t allow for any hint of spray as we’d climbed past.

3295 Rocky Point

3295 Rocky Point

We felt some familiarity looking back at Maui, having enjoyed so much time exploring there by air and ground with friends and family.

3296 Looking Back

3296 Looking Back

The northwest coast of Molokai boasts tall cliffs with magnificent waterfalls. But at this time of year and time of day it was almost completely in shadow, further obscured by misty air. So it was a delight to be greeted by this waterfall tumbling over rocks partly lit in the afternoon sun.

3316 First Molokai Falls

3316 First Molokai Falls

Now as you might guess, we have a lot of pix from this flight. So I’ll close for now and try to narrow down the total of 29 pix I’ve chosen for posting. This way, even if I don’t eliminate any of them at least you won’t get overwhelmed by the flood of memories I’d like to share. 🙂

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2017/08/02

Higher

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,O U Adventure — John @ 07:18

January second brought us a first: flying a small plane over Haleakalā. It began with another “explore” day for the family, with people going off in assorted groups of varying sizes to do different things. As you might imagine, our choice of activity was flying so we decided on a flight to Hana. Moments after takeoff, that plan changed.

3041 Soft Wall

3041 Soft Wall

While much of Maui had clear blue skies, starting at about Ako Point there was a low cloud layer to the East. Hana would almost certainly be under it, and I didn’t want to fly low over ocean or dense jungle. So began our climb to see if by some fluke the Hana area was clear so we could nip out for a look. A couple of minutes later it was clear that the cloud extended well out East over the ocean.

3073 Hana Veil Dance

3073 Hana Veil Dance

Already having some altitude and being near it, Haleakalā was the obvious Plan B. So after this glance at the last visible Hana Road waterfalls we turned southeast climbing at full power.

3081 Tinted Moonscape

3081 Tinted Moonscape

Soon varied colors and textures in a crater moonscape was capped by the observatory.

3099 Up The Rim

3099 Up The Rim

It’s vast and of course our panorama was striking in every direction well beyond what the camera can capture, but here’s another angle revealing hints of green as we crossed toward the East coast.

3109 Touch of Green

3109 Touches of Green

Flying past the caldera’s East rim, Hana again tempted us with this slice of Kipahulu Point, site of Charles Lindbergh’s grave. Of course Hana itself (and its airport) was off to the left under that cloud so we kept on climbing.

3140 Riot of Green

3140 Riot of Green

In the hazy distance, the snow-capped big island of Hawaii also tempted us but the trip we planned from home had already been modified by persistent cloud and rain. Flying all the islands and having time on each is a great excuse to go back.

3143 Near Yet Far

3143 Near Yet Far

So before turning back we took a long look at the eastern side of Maui while anticipating a flight that includes Hana next time.

3160 Last Glance

3160 Last Glance

Out across the caldera from here offered better light with less haze to dim the colors.

3178 Shades of Caldera

3178 Shades of Caldera

Past the observatory near the road are some interesting small craters that get you pondering how active this volcano might still be, even above that caldera we’d crossed minutes before.

3203 Little Craters

3203 Little Craters

Looking back along that ridge past those craters we took a last look at the observatory.

3212 Over the Top

3212 Over the Top

Easing off the throttle to cool the engine gradually, we began descent back to the airport (OGG). In minutes we were preparing to land, with a good view of the big sugar mill in its process of shutting down for good.

3248 Sweet Ride

3248 Sweet Ride

In well under an hour we’d sated our souls with food for dreams.

2017/08/01

Many Maui

We added to the “Maui” we first explored together some years ago and the ones we enjoyed recently, as previously described here in the O.U. Adventure. Adding my family is the biggest new Maui, because it’s a wonderful place for family fun. We started off the last day of 2016 hanging out, then formed a threesome for a drive from Lahaina through Kapalua and beyond. That’s the rainy side.

2960 Rain Shrouded Molokai

2960 Rain Shrouded Molokai

It was beautiful! We’d thought about driving all the way to Kahului, but the weather changed our minds. As you might imagine, we have lots of pix. Speaking of which, all of us took many pix of the family fun and closeness but we’ve already shared those around so I’ll mostly stick with scenery. Like this striking clash of rock and surf.

2967 Fluid vs. Solid

2967 Fluid vs. Solid

By the time we were driving back, Molokai was melting out of the clouds.

3014 Mist & Mountain

3014 Mist & Mountain

Back on the dry side we all enjoyed cool Maui drinks and were treated to a final 2016 sunset out beyond Lanai.

3026 Lanai Finale

3026 Lanai Finale

We quietly took in a distant fireworks show to launch 2017. I have to share this blurry pic after the show, of the kids squealing with delight as they ran around the lawn with sparklers. If you recall this from childhood or have watched kids doing it, maybe you can understand why I smile recalling it from this painterly cellphone pic.

203500 Sparkling Youth

203500 Sparkling Youth

Also this next pic of a little angel fearlessly climbing high into a mall playground structure as adults watched alertly. 🙂

143425 Climbing

143425 Climbing

After a full day 1/1/17 recovering from one drink too many and discovering more Maui in assorted small groups, we reconvened for group pix that ended at the beach. While kids ran in the sand, the rest of us talked quietly as if unconsciously realizing that our time here was growing short. Again the sun slipped into the sea beyond Lanai, and we plotted more Maui for the morrow.

175320 Savoring Sunset

175320 Savoring Sunset

2017/07/31

Aloha

We slept perhaps three hours between us on that long NZ-HI flight, so when Honolulu lights appeared we got to watch.

061813 Honolulu Lights

061813 Honolulu Lights

We sleepily enjoyed our first day back in the U.S. despite a canceled flight from HNL to Maui, and our third phone failure including the expensive new one from Sydney. Yet our spirits soared when we finally did lift off, giving us yet another aerial look at Oahu and now familiar Waikiki, Molokai, Lanai, and even distant Hawaii.

162900 Waikiki

162900 Waikiki

Needless to say, we have quite a few pix of that crossing even though they’re from a phone (with at least a working camera) looking through an airliner window. One of the clearest pix in the set is this one on final approach to OGG at Kahului, Maui.

165752 Kahului

165752 Kahului

With our schedule for the day now completely random, we had the great good fortune to connect with sweet friend Paula. She too was exhausted, so after some warm conversation we turned in early for an especially delicious sleep. After a morning walk with more deep dialog we began the family phase of this epic journey. We met up with our daughter, husband and grand daughter at a traditional Hawaiian location.

120954 Ancient Ritual

120954 Ancient Ritual

Yes, that’s Costco. With so many family members about to arrive, we needed to get supplies. Our precious little one had acquired blisters on her feet so I carried her around the store to our mutual delight. Then we drove in two cars to the magnificent vacation home gifted to all of us by my amazing sister. It was her gift that had prompted our extension of the trip to include all the wonders of NZ & AU. So it was no surprise to see this rainbow over the house as we arrived.

165147 Rainbow Greeting

165147 Rainbow Greeting

Soon our bundle of delight joined us exploring while everyone else trickled in and her perfect parents continued setting up for the stay.

171430 Memories with Grammy

171430 Memories with Grammy

Much of our next day was taken up by my sudden intense sore throat. We were all terrified it was contagious, but in the end it may have been an extreme allergic reaction. I was well enough the next night to join the family for an authentic luau meal and performance.

194514 Luau

194514 Luau

Also performing were the kids, after having watched the show intently.

200548 Apprentice Dancers

200548 Apprentice Dancers

By the next morning I was feeling nearly normal, and once the pix from our last day of 2016 are ready to post here you can come along on our driving tour and join us celebrating an especially Happy New Year.

2017/07/29

High Lights

This trip of a lifetime to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia brought countless highlights. Having finished our time in Queenstown, NZ we were headed toward the next peak experience: celebrating the New Year with my family back on Maui. Of course, for aviators like us another highlight would be the journey there.

141016 Into The Blue

141016 Into The Blue

Though forecasts said we’d see clouds on the short Auckland hop to catch our night flight to Maui, the airport looked like this. A few minutes after boarding we were looking through a blurry jet window back at Queenstown and all our new memories there.

141019 Queenstown Into Memory

141019 Queenstown Into Memory

Moments later we got this view of the area far across the other side of the lake, where we first spotted Queenstown from that small plane so long ago (a few days).

141021 Both Sides

141021 Both Sides

Soon after, we got a last look back at vanishing Queenstown now far at the end of the other arm of the massive lake.

144424 Looking Back

144424 Looking Back

Despite the gloomy forecast, Aoraki peeked out of the clouds gathering on our path to bid farewell.

150214 Mount Cook

150214 Aoraki (Mount Cook)

Also departing it seemed, were the dwindling glaciers flanking the peak.

150303 Glacier Remnants

150303 Glacier Remnants

Soon we crossed from South Island to North Island and were treated to a cloudless view of distant Ruapehu at the zoom limits of a cell camera through jet plexi.

154608 Ruapehu

154608 Ruapehu

Beneath that solid cloud deck Auckland was inviting in muted colors, with the bustling city tower barely visible in the far distance beyond a quiet cemetery.

160000 Muted Auckland

160000 Muted Auckland

Making our wait for the connecting flight a delight, we were joined by our new friend we’d shared that glorious Ardmore GA flight with. He’d made a special trip to see us off and chat about our hopes of him coming to the U.S.

175636 Hero John

175636 Hero John

So many wonderful people we’d met in our New Zealand travels, and John is an exemplar. He capped our last moments here, and before long we rode new wings into the night reaching toward the high lights of sparkling stars. Soon memories of our times in this enchanted land faded into the realm of dreams.

213548 Dream Trip

213548 Dream Trip

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