Kalalau Valley
One of the more interesting things about Hawai'i is its geology. The islands are tiny specks of rock out in the middle of the Pacific. Nothing surrounds them but lots and lots of water. At one end of the island chain are the active volcanos that slowly build up the big island of Hawai'i. Though geologists are already tracking the next island in the chain, Lo'ihi Seamount, that will not emerge from the ocean for another 100,000 year.
View of Hanapepe
The big shield volcanos are not spectacular peaks but closer up the lava flows are awe inspiring.

At the other end of the chain are the eroded islands. The erosion causes tall spires and peaks that are truly spectacular from a distance, and difficult to hike around from close up. The most eroded island still left on the chain is Kure, now nothing more than an atoll. Of the public islands, the oldest island is Kauai. This is where we will spend our second week on the islands. The first week will be spent at the other end of the chain, on the big island of Hawai'i.

Most of the time when we travel it is just us, or maybe another couple with us. This was going to be a big trip, a family reunion for my mother's side of the family, with 25 people going. Most of us hadn't seen the whole family for years and years. We debated many places to hold it, but in the end we picked Hawaii.

Helicopter view of waterfalls in Hanapepe Valley
Coordinating such a large trip takes a lot of work. The first problem is where to stay. Both of my uncles, Harold and Ted, have many time shares. They worked hard to find timeshares for everyone at the same place. Half of us would stay for just the first week on the big island and the other half would stay for both weeks. The next step is the flights and car rentals. Harold stepped in and worked on the travel agent planning, which the rest of us really appreciated. The last planning step is group activities. I stepped in to do most of that.

Kalalau Valley

It was a wonderful trip, both to see my family and to see the islands. Though we did many things together as a group - a luau, kayaking, the volcano - we also had lots of time to spend on our own, exploring things that matched our own personal interest. Harold and Kay played golf; Ted and Judy saw the observetory; my family stayed overnight at the volcano so we could hike the next day. My personal favorites were hiking the Kilauea Iki Trail at 6 in the morning in the fog. And on Kauai, kayaking the Na Pali Coast. My son Ben emphatically tell us the volcano was best on the big island, though on Kauai he can't choose between the helicopter ride and our dinner at a hibachi restaurant. Which brings us to another must have on the island. Make sure you have Ono (or Wahoo in mainland terms) - a type of fish. The name in Hawaiian means delicious and it truly is.

This website is my journal from our trip. Though it won't have everything the whole group did, maybe it will bring back some fun memories. Though I took a few photos on the trip most of them were taken by my husband Joel.

Joel says: Make sure you visit the Photo Section. The journal pages only contain a small subset of the hundreds of pictures that I took.

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Text and images © Copyright 2001 Joel and Daphne Gould. If there are any problems or questions email Daphne Gould.