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Balabanova All Over

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[May 25, 2018] The Kilauea eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii is in its third week. The majority of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is closed, and many people are worried about safety if they go. In this blog post, I will share why I think it’s still safe to go, provide resources for those who need to research on their own, and share my favorite activities on the island. Should You… Read More

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[Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI, Oct 17, 2016] This was our last day on the Big Island – well, for the majority of us! Most of us were leaving with a red-eye in the evening, while a few lucky ones were staying one more night here before continuing on to the island of Kauai. We got an early start to the day so that we can drive a couple of hours to… Read More

[Kona, HI, Oct 16, 2016] Sunday was our day to celebrate! Our organizer extraordinaire Arev had arranged for a lunch for all 36 of us at the Kona Brewery – same one we visited on our first day here. It was great to see everyone and hear the other teams’ stories! Everyone had some good ones to share! We took lots of photos, of course! One set of photos was the corresponding… Read More

[Kona, HI, Oct 15, 2016] And here we are, day 2 of this adventure! We spent the night in our van in the parking lot of major exchange #2. Van #2 has been running their 6 legs since midnight or so last night, so we were expecting Creighton to be coming in fairly early this morning. Yes, we slept in the van! And this is not a big 12- or 15-passenger van…. Read More

[Hilo, HI, Oct 14, 2016] Yep, that 3:30 wake up call was not fun. Our van was loaded from the night before, so we just had to add the coolers with the perishables. Mike, Laura, May, Camilla, myself and Lena jumped in, all of us jealous that the six peeps in van #2 got to sleep in. The two-hour drive to Hilo was uneventful. We crossed the Big Island in the middle,… Read More

[Kona, HI, Oct 13, 2016] It was so nice waking up today! We had nothing to do until bib pick up later in the day, and we really looked forward to dilly dallying and enjoying all the creature comforts we could before having to spend 36 hours running or being in a van! We started the day off with a nice walk from our AirBnB down to the ocean. Our house is… Read More

[Kona, HI, Oct 12, 2016] Our Ragnar relay race was to take place on Friday, October 14th and Saturday, October 15th. We wanted to have extra time to get ready for the race and to explore a bit, so most of us decided to travel to Hawaii on Wednesday, October 12th. A lot of us were on a United flight directly to Kona, so the excitement grew as more and more people… Read More

[Los Angeles, CA, August 2017] In August 2015, we were on our way back from our Ragnar trail relay race in Lake Tahoe, California, when our friend Wendy discovered Ragnar had just announced they are planning an inaugural road relay race on the Big Island of Hawaii for October 2016. When registration opened later in 2015, a full year before the race was supposed to take place, we signed up not one,… Read More

[Kailua-Kona, HI] Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is the name of the Hawaii State Fish. To say this, break it up into syllables and note the repetitions – Humu – Humu – Nuku – Nuku – Apua’a. And, if you’ve seen the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, you may recall a scene where a desk clerk at a resort on Oahu proudly boasts being able to name over 200 Hawaiian fish, including Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. You can see the… Read More

Kailua-Kona, HI We started our Friday with a visit to the town of Pahoa. Lava from the Pu’u O’o vent of the Kilauea volcano had reached the town in October and had destroyed a house and almost reached the transfer station (a solid waste facility) in town. The lava is no longer active but visitors still flock to this area to see it firsthand. The road is blocked so you can’t touch… Read More

[Keaau, HI] For the second day in a row we got up and anxiously looked out the window, trying to see if the clouds finally went away. And today, they did!!! The blue Hawaiian sky greeted us for the first time as the sun was rising from behind the trees! We squealed with excitement! We started off our Christmas day with a wonderful breakfast cooked by our AirBnB hosts, which we enjoyed… Read More

[Keaau, HI] The highlight of our day today was supposed to be a sunset tour of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain on earth when using the height of the mountain from the seafloor up (rather than from sea level). However, the rain that we encountered yesterday had apparently continued on today on the mountain, and the road between the Visitor station (at ~9000 ft) and the summit (~14000 ft) was closed. Our… Read More