Hawaii – Day 7 – my last day…Waimea, little adventures and Aloha

Jim had one more adventure in store for us.  Well, 4 to be exact, although I didn’t expect the last two.  We drove up Hawi Rd and took the right turn towards Waimea.  Actually, there are two Waimeas in Hawaii, one in Maui and one on the isand of Hawaii.  The postman’s name was Kamuela and when mail got delivered incorrectly to the Waimea in Maui, the post office would say, “Oh send this to Kamuela.  So the town is aka Kamuela.

On the way up we hit a 3500’ elevation.  One side of the road would be clear, and the other would be covered in cloud.  Some of the pictures I took show a vast contrast between very wet side of one road and a very clear, bucolic scene right on the other side.

We found a huge waterfall just off the road.  The drop was at least 100’ and it was windy…. Very hard to get down into the area where we could shoot from.  But we made it.  However, I was too scared to look over the edge of the waterfall.  Jim attempted to but only caught the lip of the fall.  We were attempting a shot of the fall from the top all the way down, but that was not going to happen.  We did get some very nice shots from the side and across the road we were able to view the run off of the mountain that led to the falls.

Driving into Wiamia, the climate changes dramatically.  It seems to be constantly wet.  I feel for you Seattle and Oregonian folks.  This must be how it is out there.  It was a great drive on into town.  We then turned around.   On the way back, at the peak was our second unexpected adventure for the morning.  At 3500’ There is a small reserve for native Hawaiian trees.  As we walked in, we heard the sound of rushing water.  We discovered another small fall coming down from the run off from all of the rains.  We tried to figure out how to get down to it and we finally found that if we wind ourselves all the way through to the top of the park, there are stairs cut into the ground that leads us down to the spot where we can view the falls.  I took a few pictures but I was unfortunately out of time.  We could not climb up to the top of the falls.  This will be an activity for the next time I’m here.

We came back the way we came.  Jim and I had a nice heart felt man-to-man talk.  I expressed my gratitude for the wonderful gift of friendship, as did he.  I’ve appreciated my friend’s warmth and friendship and although I was happy for him that he was moving to this special place, I knew that our day to day interaction would end.  So for the short time that I was in Hawaii, I got to experience him, his wonderful family, and his new friends in Hawi, Hawaii.

I had cleaned up and packed early this morning and was all ready to load my stuff into the van.  I did a quick check, took a moment to savor the room that was my home for the last 7 days, and closed the door.  I loaded up my suitcase and backpack, now packed with some trinkets, gifts, shells, coral and the wonderful pumpkin lasagna that Leah made the night before and we left the house.

Today was a shopping day for Jim.   We picked up Audrey at Beach 69 to go grab lunch and start their shopping. Kona has some big box stores like Target and Costco.  There is also a nice health food store and the plan was:


Go to health food store

Drop me off.

So, the third adventure: Lunch!  We stopped at a place called Genki Sushi.  This is sushi on conveyer belts.  The food was really good.  Fresh made with two chef stations loading on the rolls, nigiri sushi and French fries (yes, there were French fries…. I can show you pictures).  Now this is my kind of adventure.  You have the all of the elements of something epic:

Strategy – (how do I distract Mark so that I can grab the oncoming dynamite roll)

Suspense – (Ohhhh the chef just put something I really want but it has to go all the way around.  Will I get it?)

Drama – (Oh no, not another spamusubi)

Fulfillment – (holy Jeebus I’m full)

From here we went to the health food store.  I stocked up on some chocolate and macadamia nuts and Jim started a part of his shopping.  When we finished we drove towards the airport.

On the way to pick up Audrey,  Jim started to tell me about how the reefs are teaming with life.  He told me one day before he had to fly out to the mainland, Leah drove him to a point and he dropped in, only to find a 6’ black tip reef shark.  Although these sharks are seldom dangerous to man, a 6’ anything in the water next to me is disconcerting.  Apparently it was for Jim too.  He finally got it to shoo and he was able to climb back onto shore.

Coming back from the health food store, we decided to go for my one last adventure.  We went to the point where he jumped off.  This point was a little different.  There is no beach and the ocean bottom is about 40’ down.  Hence there are no waves crashing at the shore.  There is just a swell.  The visibility is just crazy.  You can see down all the way to the bottom.  We stayed there a few minutes.  I asked Audrey to take a couple more pictures of Jim and me and she did.

We got to the airport, said our good byes and I headed towards the TSA station.  The lasagna that Leah cooked last night perplexed the TSA folks.  They finally opened it and saw that it was in fact lasagna and let it go.  I sat for a while in the open outside airport until my flight arrived.

As I write this, I am in row 16D, right next to an emergency exit.  I like the leg room but am not crazy about my seat not going back.  I have edited all my pictures and converted them to jpg files that will be ready to upload as soon as I get connected to the internet.

I’ve kept busy and now I’m going to shut down the mac.  I have an Alaska Airlines Visa application that’s going to give me some points for signing up and I am going to start to work on getting back here.  But after all of this is done, the mac is put away, the application is signed.  I’m going to sit for a while.  I may laugh, I may smile, and I may cry.  There was depth, meaning, beauty, and joy all around me.  I felt at home… like I’ve never felt at home in another location.  I am going to contemplate this last week that meant so very much to me.  I am going to honor the time I’ve spent with old friends and new with my feelings of joy of meeting, and the sorrow of saying good bye, and the opportunity to come back to this magical place in a very short while.

The last of my shots can be found here:


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Karuna says:

    Beautiful, Mark! It sounds like an amazing adventure both outwardly and inward. May you continue to hold all the beauty and mystery of this journey within your soul so that it can feed you when you need it, uplift you when you are down, and add to the joy you already experience daily!!

  2. Rob Appelman says:

    Mark, Thanks for sharing your experiences and all those wonderful pictures. Reading your stories and seeing those pictures was like being there a little bit. Could feel your emotions between the lines. Makes me wish even more to go there some day..
    All the best,

  3. Great stories Mark!! Just a little clarity though. I don’t think Maui has a Waimea but Kauai does and Oahu has Waimea valley. And I think your friend is a little kolohe and a great storyteller but I believe Kamuela is named after Samuel Parker of Parker Ranch. Kamuela is Samuel in Hawaiian.

  4. James Land says:

    Hoʻokolohe only! The legend has Samuel Parker as one of two possibilities; the other is Samuel M. Spencer (1875-1960). I think the story of “send it up to Kamuela” is certainly more fun and easier to remember than honoring a man who some would rather forget. The decimation of native habitat for cows and the introduction of the mongoose are not parts of Hawaiian history that I honor.

    —The Friend

    1. markdeso says:

      Amen! And given the perspective that Samuel Parker could be to that era what Monsanto is today, I’d agree that it’s a better memory to send it to Kamuela Spencer!

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