Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy 4th!

We've been having lazier and lazier mornings on this trip. The jetlag has worn off and now we're back on a normal schedule, which does not include waking up at 6am. Friday morning we drove to the northern part of the island and ran on the Pololu Valley Trail. There were a surprising number of other people there as well, and parking was a bit crowded. Another scorcher today, though more of this trail was in the shade. We had heard that part of the trail past the beach had been wiped out in an earthquake, but people had put up ropes to help you up and down. We met a friendly group coming back who told us how to find them and how easy they were to use, so we also went down the ropes as well (Despite my initial misgivings before seeing them). Fortunately it was not the landslide rubble that I thought it would be, but rather a very steep trail that was mostly washed out. It was a fun adventure going up and down the ropes, and my arms were sore the next day.
View from the top of Pololu

On the beach on the way back from the run. Only one more hill!

I think all that running in the sun earns a fun drink

And sushi platters.
Following this we explored the town of Hawi, which had good (and unique) sushi and cute gift shops. Then we drove down the northwest coast searching for good snorkeling spots. We found a good spot with clear water and a lot of fish at Kapa'a Beach Park - but nothing terribly exciting. Still it was fun to explore for a bit and we did see a trumpet fish for the first time.

The second beach, Mauna Kea Beach, ended up being too sandy and therefore too murky to snorkel, so we just enjoyed the waves for a bit before heading back home for dinner.

The 4th of July on Big Island started off with a rodeo at Parker Ranch! Ross and I don't think we have been to a rodeo before, although I do remember watching something when we used to camp at Lake George in Colorado. We enjoyed Team Mugging and the Junior and Senior Mugging. It was adorable watching the 7 year olds get close enough to tag the steers (who were also pretty adorable).



Then off to another beach! We went to 'Anaeho'omalu Bay (also known as A Bay). The reef here was really nice and the underwater relief was unusual and fun to look at. Unfortunately that was mostly all I could see since again the sand was tossed up making the water murky. There were fish, but often I couldn't even tell what kind they were. The major highlight was when we were coming back in and were about 6 feet from the shore. Ross suddenly stopped and grabbed my arm. The visibility was so bad that he hadn't noticed until he was about an arm length away from the head of a sea turtle. He had reached out toward it thinking it was a rock and then it looked at him. We watched him floating for a bit, but then he moved too far away to see (which was basically any distance over an arm's length) so we let him be. Fun to see one so unexpectedly and so close to shore!

Later that night we took our sushi and Race for the Galaxy to Spencer Beach Park to watch the sunset and fireworks. Happy 4th!


And now today, which was our most action packed day. After intervals across the street on quiet Mud Lane we headed back to the east side for some ziplining! We've never been before and going over the river and small waterfalls was beautiful. Once they told us we could go upsidedown we did most of the lines like that.

That was followed by driving to our new place on the south-west coast, just up the street from Pebble Beach. After checking in we headed to our next adventure, which was snorkeling with manta rays. I do not even have the words this evening to describe how incredible this was. Sure, there is some waiting around but when they appear they are inches from your face. I'll leave you with some short video snippets that Ross shot below.



video

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