Aloha Friday

The view is breathtaking. A place of history and plenty of story. It is the Pali Highway.

the windward coast of Oahu, with Chinaman’s Hat and a portion of the Ko’olau Mountains in the distance

the view towards Kaneohe Bay, Maui Channel and the Pacific

The Pali Highway links Honolulu with the windward side of Oahu through the Ko’olau Mountain Range, and into Kaneohe and Kailua. The first road built through the Pali was in 1845. The Pali Road was developed into a highway in 1898. It was your typical winding mountain road with hairpin turns and switchbacks. My mom, when she was growing up, said the road often became quite treacherous during rainstorms and at night. Crossing over the summit of the Pali, mom said there was an eeriness about the place – during the day. This was where, Nu’uanu Pali, the decisive battle was fought in which Kamehameha’s army defeated the army of Kalanikūpule, the King of Maui.

With Kalanikūpule’s army reeling from the advance of Kamehameha’s forces, they retreated up Nu’uanu Valley to the Pali’s cliffs. Trapped, Kalanikūpule’s warriors, numbering between 700-900 men, were either pushed, or jumped, to their deaths from the 1,000 foot high cliffs. There have been other accounts in which a pitched, back and forth battle to the death ensued on the cliff heights before Kamehameha’s forces prevailed. During the 1898 highway construction, workers discovered 800 skulls which were believed to be the remains of Kalanikūpule’s warriors.

Stories surrounding the Pali have abounded through the years. They range from ghostly tales involving apparitions of warriors on night marches to those who died tragically, or mysteriously, along the Pali Road. The most enduring tale is not to be carrying any pork product over the Pali during the midnight hour. A car will suddenly die if anywhere near the Pali summit. It will not restart until after one. For outsiders and non-believers, they dismiss it all as foolish superstition. For those who grew up there and heard the anecdotal stories, they respect the supernatural occurrences.

For one of my uncles, it became a true story. He was returning home from the windward side with his wife and a friend. They were late in starting back due to heavy rains on the Pali. When it seemed safe to drive back, it was already late. They simply did not want to be anywhere near the Pali summit around midnight. Adding to their anxiety, they were carrying leftovers from a pork roast for my grandparents. The car suddenly died near the summit shortly after midnight. It did not restart. Once it was after one, the car restarted and they were able to complete their trip.

In 1959, construction began to modernize and improve the safety of the Pali Highway. A four lane highway that could be easily widened to six lanes, along with tunnels to replace the tricky, two lane roadway. Also, lighting would improve visibility during poor weather and darkness. Sections of the old roadway can be seen above or below the improved highway. And, those strange happenings along the highway, they still occur.

the towering heights of the Pali

a view of the Ko’olua Mountains from the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout

To view the many scenic panoramas, there are a pair of scenic lookouts along the Pali Highway. The higher Nu’uanu Pali Lookout provides the better views, and is on a portion of the now-closed, older highway. There are several hikes that begin from the lookout. One hike is featured here. If a hike is done, it is advised to carry a small point and shoot, phone camera, or a disposable film camera.

About the photos

These photos were taken during the holiday season in 1978-79 using a Canon FTb 35 mm SLR with Kodak Gold film (ASA 200).



More Autumn Dreams

She is a developing hunter, riding her first year as a junior. Her dream is, one day, to ride an FEI-level, Grand Prix course, with her mom, Sarah, as a fellow competitor. Crystal knows she’ll have to work hard to achieve her dream. Training, and learning, with her mom has been a good experience for the both of them. When she was here, Crystal listened to every word my girls spoke and watched every move they made.

After a long day, on and off the saddle, Crystal showed her devotion and forever love to her handsome paint, Mackenzie (Mac).

Crystal and Mac

Crystal and Mac: eyes only for each other

Among the many warmbloods and OTTBs, Mac certainly stands out in the ranks of hunters. Just like his mistress, Crystal. Both, very beautiful.

About the photos

Both photos were taken using a Canon FTb 35 mm SLR with Kodak Gold film (ASA 200) at the JN Ranch (Sep 03 2016).


Aloha Friday

Tropical and warm.

the koi tanks


poinsettia bush, in ground


potted plants, around and behind the house


My grandparents had emigrated from Japan in the late 1890s, landing in Honolulu. My great-grandparents had decided my grandpa had to leave Japan when rumors of war with Russia were becoming louder and louder. They came to the conclusion the United States would be the best place for my grandpa and grandma to relocate. While my grandparents had considered going on to the mainland, they decided to stay instead.

Though my grandpa was a skilled carpenter, work for Japanese émigrés were quite limited. The most plentiful jobs were in the sugar cane fields and pineapple fields, with Dole being one of the largest employers in the territory.

Literally saving their pennies, my grandpa and grandma had saved enough to buy a pair of small homes, next door to one another, in the Kalihi District of Honolulu. With grandpa finding better paying work as a carpenter in the construction trades, they continued to save money and eventually buying a triple lot to build a larger house after the war in the 1940s. It was located on a lane near Houghtailing St.

my grandparents home, Christmas Season 1978


With my grandparents passing away in the early 1970s, two of my aunts lived in the family home until they decided to downsize in the early 1980s. Before they placed the home on the market, they asked my mom if she wanted the house. They would deed over the house, free and clear. My mom and dad thought about it, but declined their kind offer. The house needed some important repair and upgrade work, particularly with the sewer, water and electrical. Besides, Colorado was home. And, living in Hawaii had already become expensive.

When the property was listed, it sold in the $2M range. The biggest selling point was the lot size, and the lot was “fee simple” (no lease).


Brush With Fame –

With a Catholic School located a street over, behind the house, every morning, the school band would play the Hawaii Five-O theme, after the National Anthem, to begin their day. The other connection with the original series is that on Halona St, running parallel to the H-1 freeway, several scenes were shot there during the mid-1970s. When the studio shot the scenes, both of my aunts said there was a pretty good crowd watching the whole process.



The Hawaii Five-0 theme is considered to be one of the most iconic pieces of television music. Also, the program opening is considered to be an iconic piece in television history. The Season 1 program opening can be seen here.


About the photos

The photos were taken in 1978 using a Canon FT b 35 mm SLR with Kodak Max Color film (most likely ASA 400).

By Candlelight

The candlelight. The eyes.


About the photo

Taken in January 2014, my youngest daughter, Elizabeth, using the Canon FTb 35-mm SLR with Kodak Gold film (ASA 100).


Legal Notice

This photo is copyrighted material, and is used with the expressed, written permission of the individual in the photo. Any republication, reproduction or alteration of this post without permission is prohibited. Any use, commercial or personal, or downloading, of this image without permission is prohibited.

The Strip

Two weeks ago, my daughters and I were in Las Vegas for the Las Vegas National Horse Show. It was all business for the girls, competing against some very talented riders and horses. Generally, they don’t ride competitively during the academic year. Instead, they use the off-season to become closer with their horses and further develop their horsemanship skills. Having developed a minor following earlier this summer, in California, they received an invitation to compete.

Las Vegas has become more than the gambling and entertainment mecca it once was in its past. Since the 1990s, it’s become more family friendly with the wider array of attractions and new casino hotels. The centerpiece of Las Vegas, of course, is the brightly-lit Strip.  Missing, though, are the familiar – like the Sands, the Stardust, and other parts of  “Old” Vegas.





The level of competition was definitely a step-up, but they enjoyed themselves and learned much. Though they finished lower on the leader boards, they rode well.

The sights and sounds of Sin City, that will have to wait for another time.


About the photos

These photos were taken with a Canon FTb 35 mm SLR with Kodacolor film (ASA 400) in the early 1980s.

Traditional Friday Catblogging

Though no longer with us, we celebrate the 25th birthday of our Dino and Pebbles.

Dino and Pebbles


They were littermates, brother and sister. Their other littermate was Bam-Bam (presumably a boy), who was adopted by someone else. We had put dibs on Bam-Bam if his adoption by the someone else didn’t work out.

Both were quite loyal and lovable in their individual ways to us and each other. And, they both lived long lives – Pebbles 16 years, and Dino, five weeks short of 19 years. Our hope was that Bam-Bam led an equally long and love-filled life.


Happy Birthday, babies!

mom, dad, & girls

Film Flashback: A Secluded Beach


Dreams of an empty stretch of beach seems to be in order.

on the North Shore of Oahu (Dec 1978)


After a few minutes here, it’s back to work. And, wondering if the towering elm, across the street, will break in the strong, cold winds.


About the photo

This photo was taken using the Canon FTb 35mm SLR with Kodacolor film (ASA 200).