Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hello 2009!

Just got back from Kona and am now convinced that we are indeed crazy.

I mean, who in their right mind would go to see snow in Hawaii? Or forget to bring their camera?!!

Umm, that would be us on both counts and, yes, there is snow in Hawaii. And thank goodness for disposable cameras!

The Big Island has a couple 13,000+ foot volcanoes and during the winters they get some snow on top. Here we are at about 9000 feet on our way to see it and some of the world's largest telescopes at the Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea (13,796 ft or 4205 m). Mauna Loa, the other volcano, is in the background.


On top it was like 20 degrees with the wind making it feel like single digits. BRRRR! The Hawaii Forest & Trail summit tour folks know that most people who come to Hawaii don't bring parkas so they had some for us. Dave was delighted to find that his Blackberry could get a signal up there. Groan! I buttoned every snap on the parka and waddled about like a penguin.


The scenery was surreal. High above the clouds, not a palm tree or beach in sight. Are we really still in Hawaii?

Besides the telescopes and snow, many people come up to watch the sunset and then gaze at the night sky. Mauna Kea is the best place in the world to stargaze (hence why the huge telescopes are there) and despite the bitter cold (and I hate being cold), I found that part of the tour to be quite interesting. The hot chocolate and homemade cookies they gave us probably helped :-)

The following week we kicked off the new year by riding the entire 112 mile Kona Ironman bike course. About 15 miles from the Hawi turnaround, we saw a couple of cyclists flying down the hill on the other side of the road with a support van following close behind. Was that someone we should know?

Yup, later we found out that Lance Armstrong was training on the island. But we saw him again cruising along the Queen K Highway a couple days later and this time we recognized the yellow and black Livestrong jersey (with the white van behind again), waved and he waved back -- Cool!

Other trip highlights: eating a Hawaiian energy bar (spam misubi) at mile 75 of our century ride, watching a bunch of movies that are now out on video, going swimming together (Dave got a lesson and is trying to work out some shoulder issues), mid-morning and mid-afternoon naps, Dave finding out he'll be going to Singapore to teach a class and in doing so, be able to fly around the world (one of those things he's always wanted to do), me just having Dave around for 3 weeks straight (he had ~60 business trips last year!).

Tomorrow is the Zoom Yah Yah Marathon, which would mean I'm now in Minnesota. I don't know which is crazier, having to run 150 laps around an indoor track or having to catch up on 235 new blog posts, but both will be done this weekend!

30 comments:

Stef said...

GOOD LUCK on the marathon Shirley. Very glad you are back!!!! Happy New Year!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Welcome back to blog land! Great pics from Big Island. We were there last March so I appreciate your photos even more now.

Best wishes at your marathon.

Calyx Meredith said...

Well I helped you out on clearing your blog backlog by not posting much. Best of luck in the Zoom Yah Yah and HOW COOL TO SEE LANCE!!!

lizzie lee said...

Hey, beautiful pictures and congrats for the 112 miles on the Ironman course.

Save that wave to Lance Armstrong and don't wash it ever!!

RoadBunner said...

Welcome back!

I was going to say, "You took those coats to Hawaii with you?!" but then you answered my remark :)

Good luck with your marathon!!

Sunshine said...

What a beautiful post... loved the pictures!

Thanks for writing.
We are coming down.

Will arrive after you have started running.. but will stay until we can congratulate you on your finish.

We will run downstairs part of the time just to get in our miles for the day.

Be sure to take some chap stick along. Lips can get pretty dry indoors.

Best of luck. You go Girl!!!

Jenny Davidson said...

Have a great run, and a very happy new year! At least it is not a 1/10 mile track like the one I occasionally run on at the Columbia gym!

Kevin said...

Welcome back to the mainlaind and blog land. Good luck at the marathon.

Petraruns said...

What a COOL trip! Snow, observatories, bike rides, Lance and LOTS of time with your lovely Dave. Great stuff honey. Are you going along with Dave to Singapore?

Good luck with ZoomYahYah - it sounds sort of crazy but fun. Can't wait to read all about it. All love!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Love the post. What an experience and to see Lance-wow.

Good luck on the marathon. I like the name of it.

Shannon said...

I'm glad your blogging again! I missed you. Great seeing Lance Armstrong and good luck with your race.

skoshi said...

Wow, Shirley--135 new blog posts? I have a new appreciation of the time you took to wish me happy birthday!
Thanks for the post and pics. As always, makes me homesick. I've hiked from sea level up to the top of Mauna Loa and spent night at 13,000' (where I was sure I was going to die...needless to say, I was younger).
112 miles on the IM course--great way to kick in the New Year. Hope it wasn't too windy?

That is super nice having your honey around for 3 weeks! Steve put a shout out for you on his blog and that's how I found you're doing the Yah Yah. Have a GREAT run and welcome back to the mainland (cold weather and all)!

Tammy said...

Make sure you have alot of warm clothes in Minnesota, end of next week is going to be frigid, if it's going to me below zero here, I know that poor Minnesota will be far worse. (Plus they have gotten a ton of snow!!) Give yourself a ton of time to travel.

Sarah said...

Ooh, how fun! I've been following Lance on Twitter while he's there. Gorgeous pictures!

Have a blast and I hope you have a great race!!

Road Warrior said...

I'll answer the question for you: running that many laps indoors is the more insane part! Hope you had a good race and welcome back to the continental US!

jeanne said...

that is so awesome! snow, hawaii, lance, 112 miles! and now a marathon run in circles! You rule! good luck!:)

Viv said...

Happy New Year Shirley! I hope you had a great marathon today...looking forward to the reprt. Man what a sweet ride, then bonus on Lance. Oh wee, what a great year it will be.

TRI TO BE FUNNY said...

Can't wait to hear about this crazy indoor marathon!!!

Thanks for sharing the pics!

Susan said...

Welcome back to the mainland!

Wow - Lance - very cool!

Beautiful shots, my friend. No, I do not think "snow" and "Hawaii" in the same sentence. Thanks for opening my eyes!

Susan said...

AND congrats on the ironman ride -- wowee!

Eileen Swanson said...

Welcome back for sure!! Lovely pics, looks like tons of FUN!! Congrats on a great start to 09 ;-)

Gotta Run said...

Now I am totally jealous!!! Hawaii, 112 mile bike on the Kona course, and Lance Armstrong?!! It is all too much. :)

Another marathon.... of course another marathon :)

Irish Blue said...

Lance Armstrong...sweet! Wow, he even waved. I was looking forward to him being at Chicago, by apparently he bailed on that marathon when he started biking again. Bummer...I love his book "It's Not About the Bike".

Sounds like you got a lot of quality time with your hubby. That's good. Sounds like a great start to a new year.

peter said...

Welcome back. Snow in Hawaii? Is this where global warming has teken us? Good luck on that crazy indoors marathon (I guess you're finished by now).

AddictedToEndorphins said...

150 laps around a track? Have fun:P
Welcome back:)

jen said...

Welcome back! We've missed you. :)

Great pictures from the top of Hawaii, wow! I had no idea they got snow occasionally, that's insane! But makes for some amazing shots.

Good luck with the Zoom Ya Ya Marathon, I can't wait to hear how all those laps feel... crazy! Good luck!!

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

Thank you for all your wonderful comments on my recent blogs. They and your posts help me feel connected to the triathlon world. I'm still in hibernation much of the time, but at least it's good to have a bit of a rest from training.

Brittany M. said...

Great pics and recap!! Sounds like you had a blast...and I think someone from FL could go looking for snow in HI...if you were from ND or SD, then I'd be concerned! Though I'm sure MN has plenty of the white stuff for you! Have a great marathon and don't get too dizzy!

Jade Lady said...

hey, not bad for a disposable camera - wow...LANCE - he rocks! so cool to see our favorite Texan on Queen K! Does that mean he's vying for Ironman? haha ...more like you are!

Sounds like the two of you had a fantastic time in Hawaii!

Smithposts said...

Welcome back from the holidays! Hawaii looks positively marvelous...I am going to get there one of these days. Hope you have a happy and healthy 2009!