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Absinth Makes the Heart…

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then you my dear readers, have grown quite a bit  fonder recently.  I have started and stopped about ten different blogs this past month, with none of them proving they had the staying power to be shared in public.  For now, I shall keep them buried in a dark place and hope they sprout inspiration…like little blog mushrooms.

So what have I been up to since my last blog?

August at work was busier than I remember it ever being.  I met some wonderful visitors and was proud of how amazing my coworkers can be when the shit hits the fan and we are all at the end of our ropes.  Somehow we keep our heads up, we get the job done and we still have a bit of fun while doing it.  Our guests could not have been more complimentary of the great service we provide and how genuine we are at making them feel like they are the only thing that matters.

Early August, Emily and I were able to disappear for a weekend to camp in Hana.  It was so nice to take the truck, go backside, and avoid the tourists (in this instance, the term tourist is used in a derogatory way to describe the hundreds of horrible drivers in jeeps and convertible mustangs that congest the road to Hana, stop in the middle of the road to take a picture, climb over fences and onto private property all in the name of following the horrible advice of a certain unmentionable guidebook).

Taking in the view of Big Island on our way to Hana.

Taking in the view of Big Island on our way to Hana.

We camped out at the Kipahulu campground, which is a part of Haleakala National Park.  It’s $10 per vehicle to enter the park and the campsites are free.  Well worth the time and effort to get out there and relax in one of the most peaceful places on Earth.  This type of drive-up camping was super easy and made it much more enjoyable.  We threw everything we needed in the back of the truck, added a cooler and we were on our way.  It was also the perfect test for our new tent.

The campground was clean, offered several barbecue grills and four restrooms.  We camped on a Thursday night, so of the limit of one-hundred campers was not even close to being reached.  We counted seven other camp sites erected, so it was blissfully quiet must of the day and into the night.

Driving my truck and pitching a tent...two of my favorite things.

Driving my truck and pitching a tent…two of my favorite things.

I was able to set my alarm and get up in the middle of the night to take a few star pictures. The rain was on and off, but my timing was spot on and I kept dry.  I sat outside for thirty minutes or so and was able to take a few pictures I was happy with (just wish the clouds had cooperated).

The Milky Way over Kipahulu campground.

The Milky Way over Kipahulu campground.

Staying on the topic of star photography and August…I made up to the summit of Haleakala during one of the nights the Perseids meteor shower was peaking.  I saw a plethora of meteors, but was not able to catch any on my camera that I would care to share with you.  I did get this shot of a Haleakala silversword (‘ahinahina) in full bloom with the Milky Way above it.  I was happy with this shot and ended my night immediately after I took it.

A silversword plant reaches up to touch the stars.

A silversword plant reaches up to touch the stars.

September has been quieter at work, but I think we all needed a breather.  Work will be calm until right before Thanksgiving, so hopefully I will be able to find more time to go on several photographic adventures.

For the last two weeks I’ve had my mom in town.  This morning I drove her to the airport and bid her an emotional aloha.

Having been to Maui many times, we did a little sightseeing, but basically, it was all about relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet from her everyday life.  Highlights of her trip were; meeting Emily, spending time Upcountry and visiting Kula, Makawao and Pukalani towns and just relaxing.  She had a very modest request to view the “On the Wild Side” stick structure installation and my favorite tree at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center which I made happen her second day on the island.  Last Sunday I introduced her to an afternoon of Maui Polo with some good friends, and most importantly, we were able to enjoy two Sundays at Mulligans on the Blue and the delightful music of the Celtic Tigers.

Oh yeah…and my Mom rolled down the hill at Mulligans!

What a way to end a visit.