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08 Jan '15

CRITICAL HABITAT

Posted by admin
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The key to any healthy relationship is spontaneity. My girls and I made a spontaneous decision to fly out to the Big Island to taste a bit of island snow only hours before our departure. So the plan was we would fly out to Kona at 6:47am and run up to Mauna Kea to frolic in the frozen rain for a few hours. Then we would haul ass back down the mountain to catch our 7:20pm flight back to HNL. Well, like most plans made in haste, we ran into a few hiccups along the way. The first bump in the road came when we arrived a few minutes late to the airport and were unable to check in to our scheduled flight. Oh shit, Kristen is looking at me like my name is Clark W Griswold, and Capri is holding the tears back at the thought of not getting to throw a snowball at her dad. Don't fret, I stayed true to character and chatted up a HA employee and was able to get us on the next flight out with upgraded seats. As we prepared for take off in our gold club seats (which by the way had mucho leg room), I look over at Kristen and say, "See babe, I planned it like this all along." Unimpressed, she rolled her eyes and turned her attention back to her book. I turned my attention to the window and watched Oahu disappear almost as fast as our travel itinerary had been planned. Once we land at KOA we are greeted by that, oh so familiar, Kona air that I love so much. We get the rental car and are off to our first stop, which was at my favorite diner, for provisions before embarking on the day's adventure. I had been checking the Mauna Kea summit conditions all morning and was hoping the sunshine would be enough to melt the thick layer of ice on the summit road in time for the park rangers to reopen it before our arrival. No such luck. After 3 hours of driving, we are greeted at the Mauna Kea Summit Visitor Center by multiple government agencies guarding the gate to the summit like it was Fort Knox. Again, I look at Kristen, and she gives me stink eye and again, I look at Capri, and she is holding the tears back at the thought of once again not getting to throw a snowball at her dad. As any competent father knows, you must always have a plan B to keep your family happy. Since my trusty Hawaii Island consultant (Kema) had sent me a text earlier, recommending that the Mauna Loa summit was almost always open, we turn around and opt for plan B. After an additional hour long drive on a single lane road that included many hairpin turns, we finally arrive at the frozen wonderland we had been questing for. Kristen's frown is instantly turned upside down, Capri hops out of the car and proceeds to make a huge snowball and throws it directly at me, all while wearing a great smile. Mission accomplished. I drop a few cuzzo lights on the ground and let snow bring out the blue mountains. Mother nature's cooler. A few hours later, I begin to notice that the high altitude has begun to take effect on my girls. Kristen is giving me googly eyes and Capri is holding her chest saying, "Daddy, I feel sleepy." OK, time to roll out. I pack it up and begin the long descent back to Kona town. Not even 10 minutes into our ride down the hill, I look over and see that Kristen is sleeping like a baby, a quick glance in the rear view mirror reveals Capri is knocked out as well. I then look at myself in the mirror and say, "You da man!" With the girls comatosed by the effects of snow time, there was only a few things left to do. First, tune my pandora to the Morrissey station, second put on my sunglasses, and finally crack a cold one. I drove in peaceful bliss watching the landscape change through polarized lenses and enjoyed the relaxing tunes of the Moz, I can only describe it as cinematic. 3 hours later my daydream was abruptly interrupted by Capri awaking with the words "Daddy, I'm hungry", a few seconds later Kristen regained consciousness and softly said "Can you turn that down please." I instantly thought, "Ahhh...back to reality!" Cheers - RM
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