Hawaii, 1974

by Don Chesnut 2005

In January or February of 1974, I had to go to Honolulu, Hawaii to help my long-estranged wife, Terry, and my son, Donald ("Monkey") with some legal matters (that's another story). I packed my bicycle and a small backpack and eventually landed at the Honolulu airport. I put my bicycle together, got a map of Honolulu and headed to the opposite side of the city to an area on the other side of Diamond Head. The police pulled me over just as I was getting to the city and gave me a ticket for not having a bicycle license plate. They told me I couldn't ride my bike; I had to walk it to where I was going (20 miles away). After they left, I bought a flashlight (it was dark by then), taped it to my bike and rode the rest of the way. I stayed about a week on Oahu and traveled around a bit. I went body surfing in the same place where the Bonzai Pipeline is. This is not a body surfing beach and I thought I was going to drown, although I'm a good swimmer.

Later, my Dad joined me. Dad, Donald and I went to the Big Island (Hawaii). We did the usual tour including walking through lava tubes, looking down the crater at Kilauea, and sampling fresh pineapple. A recent lava flow had blocked off one of the Park roads. After that, we went to the island of Kauai and took a boat tour to the Fern Grotto, etc. Later we took a helicopter ride to Waimea Canyon. My Dad took a lot of pictures, but I haven't been able to find them yet. These are mine. The following are descriptions and links to photographs. Or you may just want to view the photographs in the thumbnail directory (no maps or descriptions).

Helicopter ride to Waimea Canyon, Kauai

After our visit to Kauai, we went back to Oahu. Dad went back home to Kentucky, and I joined Terry and her group of friends. The group then went to Maui and we stayed in Lahaina. While there, I went swimming in a secluded bay were mother whales and their calves swimming. Through a series of very unusual and interesting events, I got separated from the group (another very interesting story that I may tell sometime). After helping a couple of the fellows get a job at Lahaina, I hitched a ride to the north side of the island, to Iao Valley State Park.

Iao Valley State Park, Maui

While I was leaving the Park, a fellow with a fruit-stand truck asked me to do him a favor. He asked if I would drive his other truck back down to town. Because I had to walk several miles in that direction anyway, I agreed to do it. When we got to town, he gave me a couple of dollars and two coconuts. When I got to town, it was afternoon. I decided to hitch a ride to Haleakala Crater and camp out in the Park. It was a winter afternoon and the days were short. I caught a ride to the top of Haleakala with a fellow who was the night-time overseer at a communications station. He told me there were no camping areas at the top. He said that I was welcome to stay the night at the station. By then it was getting dark anyway and too late to go all the way back down the mountain..

The next day, I got up, thanked the overseer, and hiked down to the Park Visitors Center (Google Map of station and visitor's center). I found that there were trails across the crater and that one could camp at the far end of the crater. I also learned that there was a long trail down the volcano to the ocean. To hike and camp in the crater, I had to register (they didn't want people lost). After registering, I set out down the crater. See Haleakala National Park web site (external site) and the Haleakala National Park Page (external site). I took the Keoneheehee (Sliding Sands) trail from the visitors center to Paliku cabin across the crater (10.4 miles)(Google Map).

The next morning, I headed down to the ocean through a rift valley on the south side of the volcano (Kaupo Gap trail)(Google Map). Walking downhill all day is painful; I had blisters on the bottoms and tops of my feet and my calves were very sore.

After this, I didn't have much money left and only an airline ticket back to Kentucky. I flew from Maui to the Oahu airport. I decided to stop off at San Francisco to visit my cousin, Richard Hackney. I stayed with him for about a week and then flew back to Kentucky.

I was really broke by the time I got back to Kentucky, but I'd had a pretty good trip.

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