This offseason, Andrew and I went to the Big Island of Hawaii for a week of full immersion into nature. It was the perfect way to recharge after a long season. Billy, my dirt bike buddy from childhood, and his Ger-waiian (German/Hawaiian) wife Jess were our gracious hosts. Not only was it gorgeous and relaxing, but it was super healthy, too. We ate all the local, grass-fed Big Island beef and fresh sesame poke we could get our hands on. We picked and sautéed fresh dinosaur-sized carrots, kale, chard and thyme from Jess’s garden. Billy took us off-roading over the lava rock to reach a secluded black sand cove (Keawaiki) where we camped and spear fished for our dinner. They brought their two rad, adventure loving mutts, Franklin and Patches. The dogs would chase anything we threw into the ocean, from sticks to coconuts to a GoPro camera. Franklin always dominated Patches in swimming to the object first (and everything else in life.) But Patches would finally catch up and latch onto the object with Franklin, swimming side by side with his brother. After watching film from the day, we realized Patches swims without using his hind legs. That night, we all laid down on the black sand beach and stared in awe as meteor after meteor showered the night sky. In the morning, Jess led us on a hike to a freshwater pond where Franklin tried to rescue/drown each of us while swimming. The island has 8 of the 13 climate zones, so the landscape here runs the gamut. One minute we were in a misty Jurassic Park jungle, the next it felt like we were on the moon. On our last night, we feasted on Big Island rib eye steaks and a rack of ribs smoked over keawa wood (mesquite) at the Red Water Cafe. We brought home leftovers for the dogs and Franklin headed straight for the meat. Patches went for a potato first and, sadly, by the time he finished, Franklin had scarfed all the meat. Poor Patches…maybe he’s vegan. Thankfully, I had access to an awesome lifting facility (Five Mountain Fitness) in Waimea where I could keep building on my strength gains while still getting to explore. I had never been to this island before and, after spending a week there, I know it’s the sort of place I want to live and raise a family—surrounded by nature with tons of options for outdoor activity and good livin’.
Here are a couple of fun videos from our trip complete with underwater & doggie cams.