Hawaii Wilderness Adventure School http://hawaiiwilderness.org "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein Mon, 04 Apr 2011 15:20:18 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1.2 The Weather Channel came to Hawaii… and all I got was this lousy T-shirt! http://hawaiiwilderness.org/march-2011/the-weather-channel-came-to-hawaii-and-all-i-got-was-this-lousy-t-shirt/#comments Fri, 01 Apr 2011 02:37:47 +0000 Greg http://hawaiiwilderness.org/?p=546 It’s happened a couple times. I answer the phone to “Hello, this is _______ from _______ TV show. Ever seen our show?” “No, I don’t watch much TV.” “Well, that’s ok. We’ll be in Hawaii filming a TV show and we’re looking for an outdoor expert. Would you like to be on TV?” At this point, I usually think “ha ha, one of my friends is pulling my leg.” But it’s no joke. They really are from Los Angeles. I tell them I’m no outdoor expert, but sure, I’ll help out where I can.

In this case, they were from “Weather Proof” on The Weather Channel. They’re doing a wilderness survival episode. The show has two hosts, and they’re hiking in the rain forest. They get lost. One host, Newton, decides to hunker down and wait for a rescue. He has to build shelter, find food, and stay safe. The other host, Stephanie, decides she’s going to keep hiking back to civilization. She has to navigate up and down gulches, through rivers, around cliffs, and hope for the best. My job is to give them wilderness survival pointers and critique them… ON CAMERA!

So here’s the catch. It’s a 12 hour day of filming. Do they pay? Nope. It’s a trade of my time and “expertise” for national TV exposure for Hawaii Wilderness. They’ll even show a link to our website on screen. Sounds great.

Next thing I know, I’m taking three producers right off the plane from LA hiking in Waipi’o Valley on a location scout. They’re blown away! It’s breathtaking, majestic, and perfect. They try to get a filming permit. It’s a no-go. Waipi’o Valley is a very protected place, and rightfully so. It’s sacred to a lot of people. Only Hawaiian cultural films are permitted to be made there. So the backup plan is Umauma Falls on the Hamakua Coast, which they had me scout after they left.

Filming day arrives, and WOW, what a production! They roll up with 10 Suburbans full of gear and a filming crew of 30 people. They’re all very much “Hollywood types,” but all super cool. It’s a wilderness survival episode, so I had scouted the most remote places I could. Where do they film? A stones throw from a paved sidewalk and gazebo with a beautifully catered lunch. Don’t believe everything you see on TV! So they filmed and interviewed me several times. We got good clips, and a few good bloopers. It happened to be the last show of the season, so they invited Harmony and me to a huge party at a secluded waterfall on the Hamakua Coast. Gourmet food, hula show, fire knife dancers… the works! I pass out a few Hawaii Wilderness T-shirts, say our aloha’s, and off they flew. They would email me in a few months when the show was aired.

Several months go by… and no email. I don’t even own a TV, so I call my mom to see if it was on. “Oh I just saw a show like that- two hosts were lost in the rain forest, one stays put, the other hikes out.” “Yeah, that was my show! You didn’t see me? No Hawaii Wilderness website link?” “No.” AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Gerrrrrr… That’s show business for ya.

Well, it was really interesting seeing how TV shows are made.   The food was good, the party was fun, the people were cool.   Just don’t believe ANYTHING you see on TV!

We clean up nice!


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Our Photographer Friend http://hawaiiwilderness.org/uncategorized/our-photographer-friend/#comments Tue, 15 Mar 2011 05:19:19 +0000 Greg http://hawaiiwilderness.org/?p=538 We’ve had a professional photographer friend visiting us this week.  Based in Utah, Kevin Winzeler specializes in outdoor sports photography.  Hawaii is one of his favorite photo destinations, and he has an open bedroom at our basecamp!  His pictures have made the cover of Trail Runner Magazine (from a photo shoot on Kauai) and been chosen “Shot of the Year” for Skiing Magazine.  He also gets flown to beautiful places by outdoor companies taking pictures of their gear you see in magazine ads.   It’s a really cool job!

On this trip he came to get astronomy pictures on Mauna Kea and got stuck with rare cloudy nights.  Instead, he got a new lava eruption and a tsunami warning.  What luck!   Check out  his website at www.kevinwinzeler.com.  We’ll also be posting some of his work from this trip on our blog soon.  Stay tuned!

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Tsunami Story http://hawaiiwilderness.org/march-2011/tsunami-story/#comments Sat, 12 Mar 2011 07:48:03 +0000 Greg http://hawaiiwilderness.org/?p=509 March 11, 2011

What an intense 24 hours it’s been for Japan, Hawaii, and everyone else bordering the Pacific Ocean!  Our hearts and prayers go out to Japan.  These are our thoughts on the tsunami.

Here on the Big Island, we’ve had our share of natural disaster.  Hilo, Laupahoehoe, and our beloved Waipi’o Valley have been devastated by tsunami.  We seem to have taken those experiences to heart.  Most of the island is within earshot of warning sirens that usually give several hours notice to get to high ground.  A huge breakwall was built on Hilo Bay to dissipate the full force of a tsunami before it reaches shore.  The areas previously devastated were not rebuilt, but were turned into parks and open space where minimal damage could be done.  As a result, Hilo is renowned as a beautiful city of parks and the sheltered bay is excellent for sailing and outrigger canoeing.

I first heard about the earthquake and tsunami warning an hour after it happened, on Facebook.  It’s amazing how Facebook has changed the world and is becoming the first source of breaking news.  I didn’t think much of the warning at the time.  Tsunami alerts are fairly routine here.  Our Hawaii Wilderness base camp is at 1,000 ft. elevation and far from danger.  All we can do is get ready to help our friends on the coast, if needed.  The first waves were expected at 3 am, so off to bed we went.  About 11 pm, things got more ominous.  We awoke to a small but eerie earthquake shaking the house.  Thirty seconds later, the tsunami sirens started blaring.  The timing and coincidence was incredible.  This was for real.  I wondered if a new lava eruption from Kilauea just five days ago had anything to do with the Japan quake.  The Earth has been doing strange things lately.

After an uneasy night, we were greeted with a beautiful day and mostly minor damage.  This one could have been much worse for Hawaii and the entire Pacific.  We only wish Japan had gotten off as easily as we did.  On Hilo Bay a parade of sailboats returned throughout the day from the safety of deep water.  I couldn’t imagine spontaneously sailing for the open ocean at 11 pm in the face of a tsunami.  That’s what most of the Hilo sailing community did.

So how can we be prepared for next time?  Everyone should have a 72 hour emergency supplies kit, ready to go.  On Hawaii Wilderness trips, when out of cell phone range, we stay notified by using an antenna that gets us a signal. In Waimanu Valley (a backpacking trip away) the county flies a helicopter in to alert campers.  We envision a Hawaii Wilderness campus that is completely self reliant, with solar and wind for electricity, rainwater harvesting, and fruits and vegetables growing on the farm.  The Big Island is a perfect place for students to learn about a sustainable future while staying safe from natural disasters.

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Farmer’s Market Day! http://hawaiiwilderness.org/february-2011/farmers-market-day/#comments Sun, 27 Feb 2011 02:13:14 +0000 Greg http://hawaiiwilderness.org/?p=493 Today is Hilo Farmer’s Market Day!  In ancient days, during times of famine, the island population would head to Waipi’o Valley as a sure bet for good food.  Today the island population heads to Hilo Bay for the best fruits and vegetables on the island.  The farmers here grow food you didn’t know existed!  This is where we buy most of our food for students.  It’s the freshest, healthiest, best tasting, and least expensive… so why not!  We also like to support our local farmers, which preserves the green rolling hills, open spaces, and farmland of the Hamakua Coast; the breadbasket of Hawaii.

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We made the paper! http://hawaiiwilderness.org/february-2011/we-made-the-paper/ http://hawaiiwilderness.org/february-2011/we-made-the-paper/#comments Wed, 02 Feb 2011 21:51:55 +0000 Greg http://hawaiiwilderness.org/?p=383 West Hawaii Today article

Here’s an article from a trip we did to Waipi’o Valley.  We worked with a 7th grade class from Hualalai Academy, a great school and great students.  We look forward to their trip every year.

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The site gets a C!!! http://hawaiiwilderness.org/january-2011/the-site-gets-a-c/#comments Sat, 22 Jan 2011 06:38:46 +0000 Greg http://hawaiiwilderness.org/?p=348 After three months of being offline and major headaches with a web developer… welcome to the new hawaiiwilderness.org!  I gave myself a crash course in website design by sitting in front of the computer 12 hours a day for the last week.  I’ve never been that sedentary in my life!  Time to go surfing.  There were a few crashes along the way, but eventually,  I got it right.  Thank you, WordPress for Dummies.  The site is far from finished, but a C will pass.  Over the coming weeks we’ll add many more pictures and videos, a link to our Facebook and YouTube pages, a Flickr photo gallery for each course, and a live chat bar (say hello!).  I’m excited for the site to become an A+.  Stay tuned!

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Technology is cool. http://hawaiiwilderness.org/january-2011/technology-is-cool/ http://hawaiiwilderness.org/january-2011/technology-is-cool/#comments Fri, 21 Jan 2011 17:38:52 +0000 Greg http://hawaiiwilderness.org/uncategorized/technology-is-cool/ We can now blog from an IPhone and have it directly uploaded immediately with pictures and video to our website, from wherever we are. I can definitely appreciate going several days without any electronics at all, but technology is cool.

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