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Kona Coast, Hawaii
With 8 checked bags (2 for each), Jimmy, Judy and the two of us got on the plane
for a two week trip to Hawaii. Our destination was the Kona where we rented a
car and stayed on the second floor of a condo just 50 feet from the water. The
waves became very rough one day and a native said that happens only three or
four times a year. We had a salt water pool and a fresh water pool and a balcony
that wrapped around two sides of the condo, offering a wonderful view facing
west and the sunset across the Pacific Ocean.
Snorkeling was the main activity of our trip. We must have tries ten different
snorkeling spots and all were great. The water was very clear and the fish were
numerous, large, small, all various shapes and colors.
One day was dedicated to visiting the Kilauea Volcano National Park. We had
hoped to see a lava flow, but the flow was so remote that it could only be
reached by aircraft, a disappointment. We stopped at the southern tip of Hawaii
along the way which is the southern most point of the USA. (Our journey will
take us to the most northern state when we return to the mainland.)
A 30 minute flight, the following week, and we were on the island of Maui. Maui
offers a more lush tropical island and good snorkeling. As luck would have it
the clouds hung around for five days, but we toured and snorkeled every day. The
water here was not as clear as the big island nor was the coral as colorful.
Beautiful beaches, swaying palm trees and flowers adorn the landscape. On the
last day we had a colorful sunset and the next morning we woke early to pack for
the flight home and found a beautiful sunrise. Of course we took a lot of
While we were on Maui we drove the “Road to Henna” a winding road around the
volcano that has waterfalls, spectacular lava cliffs and splashing waves. Ioa
state park is a place where the ancient Hawaiians worshiped and is also the site
of a war where Kamehameha defeated the natives to take control of all the
islands. He became the first and only King of all of Hawaii. He later became a
friend of the United States and eventually a territory. The landscape in this
park is made up of projecting pinnacles in a rainforest, surrounded by clouds
and fog, very eerie. We also visited a Sugar Mill Factory Museum and Tropical
Garden. Sugar used to be the number one crop and main income producer until the
tourist started coming. Sugar Cane was planted and harvested in 1871 after the
Civil War and became very productive.
We finally had a fantastic sunny day and found a beautiful beach with cream
colored sand, sparkling clear blue water, blue skies, with puffy white clouds
and flowers at the edge of the sand, a great picture.
Hawaii became the 49th state in 1959 followed by Alaska the same year.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Upon return to
Los Angeles we immediately collected Crimson from Anita (Judy’s mother) and our
RV from Jimmy’s friend’s house and proceeded to pack for the northern journey to
Alaska. Along the way we spent two days in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National
Parks. This is where one can find the largest trees on earth. The Sequoia tree
is found in California and China, that’s it. Many of the largest trees are named
after Civil War Hero’s because that’s when the naming was done. The General
Sherman tree by volume is the largest living thing on earth. Three grow taller,
one broader, and one lives longer, but the Sequoia is the largest. We felt like
we were in the “Enchanted Forest“. It is a site to see. There were water falls
and rivers and vast mountain ranges. We enjoyed a spectacular view of the High
Sierras looking toward Mt. Whitney from Moro Rock (a thrilling, scary 400 step
and rock climb out onto a bolder standing atop a 6000 foot mountain). These are
wonderful places and every American should see things like this. The Sequoia
trees are unbelievably large and spectacular.
Time was short and we had to head for
Sacramento for more family visiting.
We parked at the Cal Expo RV Park in Sacramento and spent a few days with
Mary Ellen's other brother, Billy
and Joanne, his wife. They treated us to a fine time with Bar-B-Q steaks, a day at Six
Flags and the opening of the new Star Wars movie.
is a "don't miss" place to visit, but we've been there a few times and Alaska
was waiting. It was good to see Michael,
Christy, Jenny and Ryan and the Dogs.
While we were in Sacramento we called Jim and BJ Vaughn, our neighbors in Destin
who live in CA part of the year. They picked us up one day and took us to lunch
at Lake Tahoe, about 65 miles away. Lake Tahoe is one of those “most spectacular
scenes” found in the USA. We spent two weeks in
a few years ago.
Warren is a Capitols buff and we stopped to see the Capitols of
Salem, OR and
Olympia, WA before reaching
Bay, WA and gathered ourselves for the border
crossing. After five nights at a Coast-to-Coast park we trekked across
the Canadian border without trouble and no lines. We went about 40
miles east to a lesser used crossing and it was worth the time. We
were heading northeast anyway.
Vancouver, British Colombia
A wonderful place to visit, but we've been there a couple of times
before, once for a cruise to the Inside Passage. That was a great trip and we
recommend it. If you want to go to Vancouver then you should cross at Peace
Park boarder crossing on I-5.
We could have spent weeks in areas that we had to pass by, Yosemite, Mt. Shasta,
Crater Lake, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainer and Seattle, but Alaska is a long way
off, so we wasted little time getting to the Canadian border and settled down
for two days at Birch Bay near Bellingham, WA. Here we got our prescriptions,
washed clothes, gassed up, got food and generally got ready for the Canadian
experience. The Northwest has some of the most beautiful scenes in the world and
again we have been there before.
We enjoyed Alaska as you can see!
Salmon fishing with the Grizzlies
Mother and Cubs, Salmon Fishing
How much is that doggie in the window? Skagway.
Shuttle at Denali Nat'l Park
MUSH! Sled Dogs
Homer Spit snagging fish
Mt. McKinley 24,000 ft.
Grey Fox on road
More pictures on the
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