Wednesday, May 4, 2011

the valley

One thing we enjoy doing on vacation is horseback riding.  It's a chance to see the land up close and personal.  It's a chance to become one with nature and beast:)  For us it was a chance to see this beautiful drive. 

The giant rolling hills...almost alive with the silky waving grasses.  I couldn't help but quote Psalm 23 in my mind.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

The drive was very peaceful and was a reminder to me of God's amazing goodness. 

We drove through country that looked like it was smack in the middle of Texas or something.  The Parker Ranch, which is a big deal there is apparently one of the largest cattle ranches in the US.  It used to be a million acres or so, but has been sold off and now makes up 175,000 acres.  Apparently just 12 cowboys herd thousands of head of cattle. 

Who knew there were cactus in Hawaii?

Our road trip took us to the cute little town of Waimea and then on to Waipao Valley.

It's very obvious as you drive around that there is a great divide between the rich and poor.  There doesn't seem to be a lot of in-between.  Near the resorts are large mansions and gated communities.  Not many mind you, because hardly anyone lives here...or at least that's how it felt.  And then there are the tin metal roofed homes that look about the size of one our garages here on the mainland.

We saw so many hitchhikers.  It's just a different vibe than here.  Not sure if it's legal or what, but people everywhere seemed to be just fine with it.

As we got closer I started getting more and more excited!  How beautiful is this?  Can I just live in this picture??

Forgot to mention that on the beach the day before we all got a little sunburned.  Some of us more than others...meaning I came out pretty much unscathed.  Funny how when you are applying sunscreen to yourself it's easier to not miss bad!  So everyone was a little uncomfortable. 

It was REALLY hot that day and we had to wear jeans to ride the horses.  It was a recipe for some major whining and complaining.  Mainly from me...since I can't seem to breathe when it's stuffy and hot.

Poor little thing...she's not used to heat of any kind.  It was miserable.  We were SO sticky and add Solar Caine and Sunblock to the mix and it's just ick!

Just look at that pissy face...she's like get that #@#@ camera out of my way!  Or I'm going to destroy you with my mean nasty look;)

This was our reward for the trouble.   Our first glimpse of the valley...all lined with black sandy beaches.  Ahhhh just amazing!

To get down to where we started on horseback you had to take a VERY STEEP windy road.  It was unbelievable how steep it was. 

This was our guide.  I forgot to get her name.  I think Willow or Eve seems to fit:)  She was so beautiful.  Said she had made that trip up and down the valley every day for 15 years.  She used to live down there!  If you only knew what the conditions were in the valley.  Most little huts didn't have running water or electricity.  I can't imagine growing up that way. 

Anyway something about her just overflowed with peace and happiness.  The thought of driving that mountain every day would do me in.  It was treacherous, but she just seemed so relaxed and happy.  I remember thinking Lord I want to be like that.  I want to radiate like she does.  She looked really fit too.  Apparently her only form of exercise...beside horseback walking that incline twice a week.  YEP that would do it!!

If I lived down there this is where I'd want to spend my days.  Can you imagine any more tranquil a spot?  When it rains the valley spills over with hundreds of waterfalls.  I would sit right there with coffee mug in hand and just listen to the falls and the birds singing in the trees.  Okay well no wonder she was happy.  That answers it all!

We went through a lot of streams.  Didn't realize that was part of the package.  During this particular one the guide warned us to keep our horses moving or they could lay down.  YIKES!!!  I was so scared.  We had to pull up our feet to keep from getting drenched and remember I had my big honkin' camera around my neck...which at this point I'm panicking about.  Oh and I made the mistake of bringing the wrong lens.  Ugh!! 

Apparently you can rent this little place for $15.00 a night.  Mind you it doesn't have electricity or water.  But if you don't mind that sort of thing it might be peaceful.

Sorry about the blur...but have you ever tried to take crisp pictures from a horse's back??  SO NOT EASY!  Anyway this young girl was what I would call a vegabond or hippy or something.  We saw a few of them backpacking in the wilderness.  You should have seen how long the hair on her legs was.  It was crazy.  Oh and she was barefoot.  That grossed me out almost as much as the hairy legs.  I've seen what comes out of those horses and trust me that path was full of it!  Not to be mean, but you just don't see that every day.  Some people are just really adventurous...WOW!

This was our treat going home.  A glorious sunset setting fire to the hills.

Thank you Jesus we just happened to time it just right.  It was a long day.  We were all tired and so done...but you gave us this!

And we WILL get a good picture! 

We just have to:)

Have a blessed day.

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