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The Year That Was 2011… My Adventures in Paradise

2011 has been another interesting year for me.  Here is a quick year in review of some of the things that I got to blog about as I tried to do at least one interesting thing each month:

In January, I spent another weekend at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort where I finally got a chance to check out the Legends of the Pacific Luau show:

My son gets a "tattoo" from one of the dancers

In February, I got a chance to tour the Puna Geothermal Venture plant with plant manager Mike Kaleikini and State Lawmakers:

Kaleikini and Senator Hanohano talk about geothermal

In March, I got to join Hawaii Forest & Trail and be an extra on the television show Next Stop TV.

Filming the final segment of the show

In April, the University of Hawaii Football team came to the Big Island and put on a scrimmage for Big Island residents and Mayor Kenoi allowed me to follow him onto the field to take pictures of the team.

UH Quarterback Bryant Moniz stretches out

In April, I got to check out Five for Fighting at the Royal Kona Resort with John Ondrasik:

John Ondrasik rocks the crowd while I was playing with my camera

In May, I got to check out Toad the Wet Sprocket at the Royal Kona Resort where I got to interview Glenn Phillips.

Toad the Wet Sprocket

Also in May, I got to attend the Big Island Film Festival that was held at the Fairmont Orchid where my ohana was put up on the GOLD FLOOR!

Mayor Kenoi, Film Commissioner John Mason and Actress Sarah Wayne Callies

Looking back at May… I realize it was quite a busy month as I also flew over to Oahu to attend the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards where I got to get up on stage with The Green during their sound check.

The Green won Reggae Album of the Year

In June, before the Zipline accident at Honoli’i Outpost… I had the opportunity to go Zipping with KapohoKine Adventures at their new Zipline Course.  Ironically, this course is now closed because of a construction accident that claimed the life of one of the folks working on the Ziplines.

Zipline #4 at the KapohoKine Ziplines

In July, I got to attend the Grand Opening of the Eddie Aikau Restaurant and Surf Museum:

Eddie Aikau Restaurant and Surf Museum

August was going to be an awesome month until I got busted up by the cops for filming them in action outside the Pahoa Village Club.  I got falsely arrested and the charges were later dropped.  Of course this is a memory that I’d like to go away… but I’m still pursuing legal action at this time.

A much better memory in August, was attending the BBQ Cookoff, watching the $10,000 Mai Tai “Mix-Off” and going back stage with the Spin Doctors at the Royal Kona Resort.

The Spin Doctors rocked the Royal Kona Resort

In September, I got to stay at the Hilton Waikoloa Village again where I got to attend the 16th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range.

Mayor Kenoi and Senator Hanohano look on as Dan Akaka Jr. blows the conch opening the 2011 Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range

In October it looks like I laid low and didn’t do to much, however in November, The White House and the US State Department granted me a “Media Pass” to the 2011 APEC Conference that was held in Honolulu and on one of the days, I got to have lunch with the world leaders!

Wish it would have said "Blogger" and not "Journalist"!

December was a cool month as I got to set a Tandem Skydiving Altitude Record with Skydive Hawaii one day…

21,000 feet! Hawaii Tandem Altitude Record set with Skydive Hawaii in December

And the next day I got to go on a private tour of the Navy Submarine the USS Cheyenne.

Inside the US Navy Nuclear Sub the USS Cheyenne

I’d like to thank all of my sponsors… you can check out their sites by clicking on their ads on the columns.  I’d also like to thank my wife and son for allowing me to get away from them at times to do some of this crazy stuff.

I’d also like to thanks the companies that have asked me to visit their properties, restaurants, attractions, etc.

But most of all… I’d like to thank you… the readers of this site.  Without having folks reading this site… I wouldn’t be motivated to do many of the things I do.

Mahalo to all of you and have a great, safe, and prosperous 2012.

KapohoKine Adventure’s Honoli’i Mountain Outpost Zipline Rides Almost Finished

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go up to KapohoKine Adventure’s latest adventure attraction called the Honoli’i Mountain Outpost Ziplines and try out first hand the first four ziplines that have been built on old fallow sugarcane land in East Hawaii.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

The ziplines themselves are located about three miles outside of Hilo just past the surfing spot Honoli’i.Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

The owners of KapohoKine took me to the airstrip that they had been using for helicopter landings and I was amazed at how far away any houses were from this isolated little landing strip out in the middle of nowhere nearly 4 or 5 miles off the main highway.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

Unfortunately, due to a few folks in the area that have a NIMBY mentality… the County of Hawaii has reversed a January 12th letter determining that the airport was a grandfathered non-conforming use airstrip, despite the fact that the airstrip has been used fairly recently for green harvest purposes… but so be it… all helicopter tours will no longer be able to give their guests a zipline experience here on the island like this after June 18th and the county will lose tax revenue from this environmentally friendly type of tourism.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

The course begins at the first little hospitality area.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

You gear up and get instructions at this location

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

After gearing up, you are lead to the first tower where you walk up a “Suspension Bridge” type of steps to the first platform.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

On a clear day, I was told that you can see all of Hilo bay and even see the steam from the Pu’u O Vents!

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

This zipline course was called what I believe I heard a “platform-to-platform” type of course, meaning that once you get on the first zipline… you don’t touch the ground until you reach the end.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

Walking across these suspension bridges high across the ground from tower to tower sure added to the excitement!

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

They are really spending a lot of time to make this the best zipline on the Big Island and each of the the eventual eight lines will all be dual lines meaning you can race your friends around the course.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

My favorite line built so far was line number four which takes you over a couple waterfalls:


Here is the incredible view from the pavilion that I had lunch at after line four.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

When I inquired when the entire course would be ready and complete, they mentioned that it should be ready by the First week of July!

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

They are accepting bookings right now for the four line tours however the eight line tours would probably be worth waiting a couple weeks for.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

I sincerely hope the County of Hawaii will rethink it’s decision in not allowing helicopters to fly into this place.  This administration was supposed to be the administration with the “Can-Do” attitude… but with decisions like this… it seems more like a “Cannot-Do” attitude for some folks starting up businesses here in Hawaii.

Dear President Obama, While You Are in Hawaii…

Dear President Obama,

I’m glad that you are able to take some time off from work and return home to Hawaii for your Christmas vacation.

I know that you have  a full slate of things that you probably want to do with your family while you are on Oahu, however, can I suggest that why you are in Hawaii, you come visit the Big Island of Hawaii for a few days?

We have so much more to do on the Big Island then you can do over on Oahu.   After all… we are The Big Island.

You could show your Ohana Madame Pele up and close on a Lava Boat Cruise along the coast.

You could also visit many different climates all in one day.

And I bet your kids would love to go zip lining!

I know that you know this already, but we also have some of the most beautiful valleys and scenic hikes in the world as well!

Well, whatever you do decide to do while you are here on vacation, please take this time to enjoy your time off in the islands… and we are all proud that you are vacationing here in Hawaii… even if it’s not the Big Island.

Maybe I will get a chance to see you somewhere over on Oahu when I come up for a visit pretty soon… NOW THAT WOULD BE COOL!