Monday, February 7, 2011

A Hawaiian Odyssey

In the last two months I found myself skiing deep Cascade powder pillows and traveling to 2 different Hawaiian Islands.  I saw some incredible sights such as the Na Pali coast from the land, air, and sea.  I got the longest ride of my life on a long board, and felt the tremendous power of the ocean.  Although I took many pictures, it was more then a photography trip as I discovered my love and respect for the Hawaiian Islands.

Born and raised in Alaska, I have always had an unspoken connection with Hawaii.  My dad was actually born in Honolulu during World War Two.  After visiting Oahu and Maui in December 2009, I knew that I would be coming back to Hawaii.  So after a month of backcountry skiing in Central Oregon, I flew over to the Oahu to stay with my old Ashland roommates and great friends Alex &  Julia.  Every day we would head down to the beach for some bodyboarding or surfing followed by great food and one of the best deserts in the world, mochi ice cream.

One of our favorite beaches was Makapu'u, one of the best bodyboarding places in Oahu.  After getting slammed countless times I started progressing and found myself in the green room a couple amazing rides. Another highlight was taking the long boards out for some great rides on the South Shore of Oahu.

Floating on top of a wave is one of the most surreal experiences, one that I will never forget.  Surfing has become injected into my blood and I know that it is a sport that I will continue to love as I grow older.  The Ocean is alive and is in many ways connected to the mountains.

Probable the highlight of the trip consisted of traveling to Kauai for the first time.  I can't even to begin to describe how much fun this trip was because I was joined by some amazing friends.  One of my old mountain biking buddies, Brian and his girlfriend Laura flew over to visit us and we all wanted to go over and backpack the Na Pali coast.

Backpacking the Na Pali Coast was definitly a highlight in my life and I don't think that we could have a better trip.  We got three days of amazing weather and we stayed in one of the most amazing spots on this Earth, The Kalaulau Valley!!!!

Seeing the green spiny sea cliffs rise thousands of feet from Kalaulau beach is something that I will never forget.  The last day we decided to march all the way out, 11 miles of continuous ups and downs.  Although the backpack was a little heavy with photo gear the exercise felt awesome.

After the backpacking trip I decided to spend some more time on Kauai with my buddie Jake Barefoot.  I went on some amazing tours including an Open Door Helio and Sunset Cruise of the Na Pali coast.

The rest of the trip was filled with surfing, eating, and a bit of partying to top it all off.  It was great trip and I will be putting together a photo essay and story of the Na Pali coast in the next couple of months.

Till next time, Keep Exploring!