We started the day by arriving at LAX, and after a couple hours continuing to Kona. We spent our first day on Hawaii driving the northern route to Hilo. High variation in both scenery and weather.
Approximate time on road/out caching: 9 hours, 50 minutes
Total miles driven: 100.5 mi / 161,73 km
Total cahes found: 8
Total DNF: 3
States visited: Hawaii
Famous places visited: LAX, Pu’ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site
Most memorable cache: GC4X3ZF Star Struck 2
Biggest surprise: The muggle that suddenly turned out to be of great help
Weather: Sun, overcast, rain
Highest temperature: 35°C / 95°F
Lowest temperature: 21,1°C / 70°F
Awesome virtual cache
After spending the night on board the coldest airplane ever (the wall next to my seat was freezing! And they didn’t have any blankets on board), we arrived at LAX early. Very early.
When planning the trip, we quickly realized that a direct flight to Hawaii would be very difficult to find. So since we anyway had to transfer through somewhere, we wanted it to be LAX. Why? Because the awesome new virtual cache there! We had several hours between the flights, and we even arrived a lot earlier than scheduled. So we had plenty of time to enjoy the virtual cache GC7B8X6 Los Angeles International Airport.
The length of the flight to Hawaii kinda shows how crazy far away from everything Hawaii is. It didn’t take much longer to get from Iceland to Anchorage, than it did to get from LAX to Hawaii. But once we finally arrived, the time zone difference gave us a couple of the hours back, and we still had the most of the day to get to the other side.
We’ve been to many airports before, but none quite like this one. Everything outdoors! I guess that’s what you can do when you have warm weather all year long. This would be absolutely impossible in Norway 😛
Into the ground
After picking up the rental car, we didn’t have to drive very far to get to the first stop. GC69MKA Basaltic Lava Tube took us to a seemingly random spot along the road. The crazy amount of tourists kinda gave it away that there was something more than just asphalt here. After a quick change from Alaska clothing to more appropriate Hawaii clothing, we got out to see what all the muggles were staring at.
It was a huge hole in the ground! We didn’t intend to go into the lava tube, but ended up doing so anyway.
First DNF in the last state
Since we hadn’t finished the earthcache yet, the traditional at the other side of the tube, GC2M0AG Tubular Dude!, would become our first Hawaiian find. And also the one that ensured that had completed all 50 states.
But, no. We spent way too much time, without finding anything. Nothing. We studied old logs, looked at old pictures (very hard with the extremely limited reception down there) and tried getting help from platoaddict on Slack. But still nothing. We eventually just had to give up, and realize that our first cache on Hawaii, would result in a DNF.
At least we managed to “find” the earthcache, and by doing so completing the main goal of this trip. We now have at least one find in every of the 50 states of the United States of America! And geocaching wise, we also got number 51, Washington D.C..
The number is 50
So when we arrived at the next cache, GC4AF7 Grafiti Galore, we just had to write “50”. We did have a very limited supply of white stone, but it was all we needed to write today!
You can DNF an earthcache
The next stop on the plan was GC3NNZR Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site. We were a bit afraid that we would get here too late, but we arrived well before closing time.
But no matter how hard we tried, or how many entrances we tried to locate, all trails leading to the cache was closed. So in a way, we were unable to find the cache. At least the weather was still good…
That was a nice one
We hit som rather heavy traffic on the way to the next one. The highway briefly turned into a parking lot, before traffic eventually started moving again.
We didn’t have many caches planned this day, but the few we had on the list were there for a reason. And GC4X3ZF Star Struck 2 was one that looked very interesting. It was almost crazy how we could leave the road filled with muggles, park right next to this one and almost feel like we were alone in the world.
We took the time we needed to solve it properly, and had a lot of fun doing it. Highly recommended if you’re in the area!
Rain, rain, rain
We didn’t have to drive much further, until we got to the wet side of the island. We stopped at a quick cache along the road (just because of how close it was to the road), and then sat down to eat on the restaurant near GC648NB Everyday Is Fat Tuesday. Unfortunately we forgot to taste whatever it was they are famous for. But the food was good! We spent too much time looking for this cache also, and eventually just had to accept another DNF.
The weather cleared a bit on the way to GCD2C8 April Fool, which was nice. Rain isn’t that bad when you only get it while in the car 😉
The virtual itself was easy enough, but the traditional along the way, GC6FT6W Laupahoehoe Harbor was a lot harder. We almost gave up. But then we got some unexpected help from a muggle. The same muggle that we tried to hide from 😛 He helped people all the time, he said. And with his help, we found it as well 😀
Smile for the camera
We didn’t have much more on the plan, until we got to Hilo. The next was the webcam GCMF77 THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI MUSEUM ~ HILO, Hawai`i. It was raining along the way there (on and off), it was raining when we got there and it was raining when we left. But it wasn’t too bad, and it was a whole lot better than the crazy cold rain we have in Norway!
And since we got to park not far away from the webcam, we didn’t have to walk very long in the rain either. A nice bonus was that the webcam was both working, and updating a lot faster than many other webcams. We got the photo we needed, and headed straight to the hotel.
We overheard other guests complaining about the frogs, and that it was impossible to sleep. We could barely hear the frogs 😛 The upside to a red-eye flight, is that we had absolutely no trouble sleeping that night!