Monday, August 9, 2010

Big Island, big view..

As today is my last day before I return to work I just kind of felt like hanging out all day.  I may go for a jog later on, but we'll have to see about that.  Each day I've been back on Maui I've been saying I'm going to run...and it hasn't really happened yet.  I seem to be lacking a routine...maybe I just need a good kick in the ass.  That's neither here nor there right now because it's hot out and I'm going to wait until the sun starts to go down before I reconsider that whole "exercising" thing.  Right now I've got the Big Island back on my mind.

I had been mulling over the best way to recap this trip and I was struggling because even as I was taking pictures I knew none of them really did this location its due justice.  This place was, to sum: unreal.  I've been to a couple of picturesque oceanfront houses in Maine and neither of these really hold a candle to where I lived for three days, in my humble opinion.   I guess the only place I've been that I could try to compare and contrast would be Haggerty's grandparents' place off the coast of Harpswell.  Literally off the coast of Harpswell, on an island.  Long Island.  Long Island, Maine.  Not that other, shittier, longer Long Island.  And at the northern end of Long Island, away from the other houses and buildings and roads so the only way there is by boat.  That's how you "get away from it all."  

But this post isn't about Long Island, it's about Keaau, Hawaii.  So let me narrate a bit as to how this all transpired.  About the only person I still talk to from my coaching days at Bates is the women's track coach, Jay.  Jay's husband has pretty deep Hawaiian roots.  Haole roots, but roots all the same.  Jay's husband, Andy, had a great great great (I think that's enough greats..) grandpappy who was a missionary headed to Micronesia but stopped in Lahaina so his wife could give birth.  They ended up moving to the Big Island, Hawaii, rather than continuing on so this guy's son, William H. Shipman, grew up on Hawaii, went to the mainland to be educated, then headed back to Hawaii to begin business enterprises.  In the 1880's he and two other guys bought up 70,000 acres that were being sold by a recently deceased Hawaiian king for $20,000 and within two years this Shipman fellow bought out his two partners.  Crafty, crafty.  This land was super fertile so he leased much of it to farmers and he and his family have more or less been reaping the rewards ever since.  

This land also had a killer beach, Haena Beach,and nice beaches are few and far between on the east side of Hawaii.  It's a lot like Hana on Maui as it has a rocky, jagged coastline.  So this land is pretty posh.  This all relates to me because in the very early 1900's this Shipman guy built a couple of houses on the ocean shore deep within his land, just behind this beautiful Haena Beach.  I've been told the land looks like a pizza slice, and the houses are at the center of the crust.  Hawaii has a state law that all beaches are public so people can get to the beach, but they have to walk three or four miles in along the shore and the rest of the land is private.  In one house resides Andy's uncle who is now the president of W.H. Shipman, Ltd., and the other house is known as the Shipman Beach House and anyone who has Shipman blood running through their veins can book it out.  And since there are six bedrooms in this house and I was already in the Hawaiian Islands I got the invite over to spend some days there.  Lucky me.  

I spent some time trying to find a way to show this on a map and wikipedia hooked it up the easiest.  For whatever reason when I typed in "auburn, me" it wasn't a location, but Haena Beach (And the Shipman Puna properties..) both were.  So on a very vanilla scale this is what I was looking at:

From Hilo, the biggest city on Hawaii's east side, you headed south seven or eight miles and then banged a left onto two or three miles of gates, gravel backroads through macadamia nut trees, banana trees, papaya trees, etc, then through another gate and onto a mile or two of paved (ya...paved.  Blacktop.  Let's just say a couple miles of blacktop isn't cheap and just leave it at that..) road through a gosh darn jungle until you pop out onto the Shipman property.  From here I'll leave you with pictures and captions.  I spent a little time in Volcanoes National Park and a little time in Hilo at a farmer's market and at Akaka Falls a little north of Hilo, but other than that I hung out here.  I think I got my money's worth..
There she is: The Shipman Beach House..
From da front..
Through the palm trees, on da beach..
From da side.  That's a freshwater spring that runs into the ocean.
Complete with carp and various other freshwater fish.  Not too shabby..
While I was taking pictures sitting here two workers came up to make sure I wasn't a local trespassing.
Most everyone else I was with was pretty pale and red-headed.  I guess I stuck out..
Through the palms, to da beach..
Mi haciendo..
View, through the screen and slats, from my room.  A-OK..

Left side, circa oh seven hundred..
Strong side, still circa oh seven hundred..
Later in the day..

More should come sometime down the line.  I got bird pictures, turtle pictures, volcano pictures, interior pictures, waterfall pictures, flower pictures, jungle pictures.  I think I took too many pictures.

But I think you get the idea.  Plenty of peace and tranquility going on.  Felt pretty damn lucky to be there.  Still feel pretty damn lucky.  Thanks Jay and Andy.  Cheers.

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