Hawaii, West Coast and Alaska 2017

In May and June 2017 I took a long vacation and was traveling in the USA for four weeks. Destinations were Hawaii, the west coast and Alaska. The main purpose of the trip was hiking in Hawaii and flying myself with borrowed or rented Cessnas – I managed around 40 flying hours in total: 12h in Hawaii, 13h in Alaska and 15h on the west coast.

Since my friend was born in Waikiki, spent most of her childhood there, attended the same school as B.Obama (Punahou), and now temporarily looks after her family’s houses and apartments. rented these to so-called Snowbirds (long-term tenants from the cold or colder north who spend the winter in Hawaii), and also lives there for around 3-4 months a year, I have traveled to this place 2-3 times a year in recent years Hawaii, mostly after a business trip to California or New York.

From Los Angeles I flew with United to Lihue, Kauai, where I met my friend, who had come via Honolulu. On Kauai we rented the typical tourist Jeep Wrangler and stayed for five nights at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kapa’a. Instead of a standard room we were given a cottage – for the third time in a row. We got the resort fee paid in advance in cash because of the DIA status, at least USD 125. We spent the next few days hiking, visiting the beach and two island flights with a rented Cessna 172.

From Lihue we flew with Hawaiian to Oahu, where we spent six nights in an apartment belonging to my friend’s family at Ilikai in Waikiki. Here, too, we went on numerous hikes and once flew (ourselves) with a Cessna 172 around the island and to Maui and Lanai.

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Then we visited the Big Island, mainly to see active lava. We flew to Hilo with Hawaiian, rented a Jeep Wrangler and stayed for two nights in the Doubletree in Hilo, followed by three nights in an apartment of my friend’s family in Waikoloa. Here, too, we flew around the island in a rented Cessna and went on a few hikes.

At the end of our stay in Hawaii we flew to Maui for two more nights, took over a Jeep Wrangler, stayed again in a family house and flew around Maui, Lanai and Molokai in a rented Cessna.

The weather in Hawaii was at its best during the entire 18 days – sunshine and a maximum of medium cloud cover. It rained only during the night resp. in Hilo for a few hours in the afternoon.

After my stay in Hawaii I actually planned to fly (alone) with Alaskan to Alaska and start a two-week flight tour through the wilderness with a rented Cessna. Unfortunately, the weather forecasts and weather models in Central Alaska and the region of Palmer, my starting point, looked bad (large low pressure area with strong winds, rain and deep clouds), so I spontaneously decided in Maui, instead of Alaskan to Anchorage, initially with United to fly to San Francisco and there with a Cessna 182 from “my” flight club to fly a short tour from Palo Alto along the west coast until the weather in Alaska improved.

From Palo Alto I flew with a Cessna 182 via Oakland into the Napa Valley and via the Golden Gate Bridge and COB San Francisco back to Palo Alto. In the afternoon we went along the Pacific coast up to Point Arena and then east to Ukiah. The next day I flew east to Willows and Rogers to Lassen National Park and from there north to Crater Lake National Park and the final destination of the day Bend, Oregon. On the third day we went east to Burns and south along the Steen Mountains and the Black Rock Desert to Lake Tahoe to Minden. On the fourth and last day I flew via Bridgeport and Yosemite National Park to Merced, on to Hollister and then back via Santa Cruz to Palo Alto.

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Before flying to Anchorage with United, I spent a day in San Francisco, hiking from Land’s End via Baker Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge to Battery Spencer in the Marin Headlands. In the evening United took me to Anchorage. From there I took the rental car to Palmer and took a Cessna 172 back for a four-day tour from Palmer via Talkeetna, Denali “South”, Lake Louise, Gulkana, Chitina, Copper River, Cordova, Valdez, Whittier, Seward, Soldotna, Anchorage according to Palmer.

United took me from Anchorage to Newark and (after a short work stay) TAP Portugal with a freshly converted A330 back to Zurich via Lisbon.

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