Jeri deserves much and asks for little.
She looks after us royally; kisses boo boos, loves us unconditionally, keeps us on track and is the rudder and compass for the ship that is our family. So when it came to celebrating her 50th birthday a mere party seemed underwhelming.
I think Kauai is the most beautiful spot on the planet. It is the supreme work of the “Exterior Decorator”.
Just us, in Eden for a week.
Friends and family covered our bases and made sure the kids were well cared for and with a bit of internet work I came up with a “can do” plan. Flights at off-peak are cheap ($500) and we are camping Ninjas and I knew of a stunning spot on the beach at the very north of the island for which Kauai parks and recreation dept charge $3 permit charge!
Nighttime was also insane. Kauai is on the Tropic of Cancer and Polaris is much lower on the horizon revealing constellations hidden at our latitude. We are also 2,800 nautical miles from the next serious light pollution and the sky was a jewel box of scattered diamond dust on velvet black.
We also made a list of all the farmers markets so most days we were eating fresh sashimi Ahi and fruit that defies any description and once you have tasted a fresh white sugarloaf pineapple the things we get on the mainland seem bitter and mealy.
One morning, we decided to take a walk on the beach. The weather was fine and warm and sun bright. As we waked in the surf, the sky blackened out to sea and as we watched the most amazing double rainbow emerged. There was only one other person on the beach and I quickly managed to get a series of shots off. Once back at camp we we amazed to find no one else had seen it. Rainbows are an optical effect and depend on a precise arrangement of sun angle and viewer position…. this may have been OUR rainbow! “Mahalo”
Jeri hails from Indiana and describes herself as a “landlocked Hoosier”. She won’t mind me saying that she swims poorly and has never been in the ocean past her ankles. On the other hand, I love the water and at one time was a diver for Greenpeace.
The reefs of Kauai are a wonderland and I had the feeling that if she placed her trust in me once her face was under the water her fear would be displaced by raw wonder of the keen mind of a biologist.
After our first expedition on to the reef she emerged crying with joy. “I feel like I just walked on the Moon!”.
From that time on, every chance we had she wanted to go snorkeling …. I think we have released her “inner Cousteau”
Waimea Canyon is the largest canyon in the Pacific and truly a dramatic sight to behold. The canyon measures 10 miles long, 1 mile wide, and more than 3,500-feet deep. It was carved thousands of years ago by rivers and floods that flowed from Mount Waialeale’s summit.
My pal Rich Gibson from NASA Ames was kind enough to kick down a Gigapan unit and we spent a day taking a few ultra hi res panoramas.
Others can be found by clicking on these links.
Haiau at Ke’e Beach
Double Rainbow at Tunnels Beach
If you have Google Earth installed, this will open a Kml of a small tour showing other gigapans and giving things a geographical context.
Click this to view tour in google earth
Only a week. Seven days. A precious time that we will share forever.
Thanks for being my camp mate, the best traveling partner, a loving mother to the girls, my reality check and my co-dreamer… but above all, thanks for choosing me.
I love you so much. Happy birthday baby.