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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

PEARL'S ASHES: Billions and Trillions

CHAPTER 4:  Pearl's Ashes #1 to #6 Reprised

I was today planning on providing the bureaucratic details about the spreading of Pearl's Ashes.  However, yesterday I essentially, in an eight-hour period, reprised the stories of Pearl's Ashes #1 to #6.  

I spent the day going halfway around the Big Island with my friends from the West Coast.  Tomorrow, I will present those details.  Today, I will chronologically re-live these linkages with my first six ash tossing.

I was picked up at the Sheraton Kona Bay and we drove to Naalehu, where we stopped to rest.  Here, my freshman roomie, Jim, and I at the Southern Most City in the USA:

I might add that President John F. Kennedy had created the Peace Corps in 1961.  Jim and a bunch of other classmates at Stanford were in the first real full year of volunteers.  They were paid all of $99/month.  The thought of being sent to trouble spots around the world for $99/month did not appeal to me.  However, I had to do some sacrificial duty, so I instead came home to save the sugar industry for $500/month.  Glad I came, for here is where I met Pearl, who was a nurse in the next town, Pahala.

Walking back to our van, I noticed a house that caught that looked familiar.  This was the cottage in Naalehu where Pearl and I first lived when we got married in 1962:

I've been through Naalehu dozens of times since I first left, but never noticed this beginning point of our marriage until today.  Of course, the new paint job was probably why.  Just outside of Naalehu was where PA#5 can be found.

Next was the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  One senior's national park card for $10 covered the entire car with five people. We learned that if you wanted to see the lava flowing into the ocean, you needed to drive another 1.5 hours, then plan for a 6-hour walk, where it will be dark on the way back.  As such, we just had lunch at the Volano House and saw Halemaumau with lava inside the pit:

This was the location of PA#6.

It began to rain from Naalehu, and kept pouring for the next few hours into Hilo where we went to PA#1, Rainbow Falls:

I've never seen the water so brown and angry.

Then on the Saddle Road, we passed by Mauna Kea, the site of PA#2.  It was cloudy so we couldn't see much of either volcano.  Here is a photo of that day.

We then headed for the West Coast of the Big Island and got close to Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, PA#3.  Numbers 1-3 occurred on 10 August 2009.

I was then dropped off at the Four Seasons Hotel, where I had a memorable dinner accompanied by a fabulous sunset:

The torch light is consuming the sun!!!.  I later lay on a recliner at Kaupulehu Beach with a Hibiki on rocks.  Here was the site of PA#4.  In the dark sky amidst coconut palms was Venus:

But more than just a planet.  I was stunned to see so many stars.  Maybe it was my cataract surgery in August, but I've never seen so many in the sky ... hundreds .... no, thousands ... maybe billions .... or a trillion, for I swear I could see the Andromeda Galaxy right above me ... it has a trillion stars.  Kept fading out and re-appearing, and kind of looked like this photo at a distance of 2.5 million light years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average cracked the 20K barrier for the first time, rising 156 to 20,069:


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