A Long Trip
I needed to have an eye exam for glasses and there is a long wait on this island for that. My HMO (Kaiser), Costco and even Walmart have appointments starting months in the future.
To get a quicker appointment I scheduled one at Kaiser on the other side of the island in Hilo. Normally a 2 hour drive from my house. I have two choices of routes, the southern route which is a long and windy road past the southernmost point in the U.S. and the volcano park. The other route goes north and then cuts across the middle of the island between the two massive volcanoes Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
I woke up at 5am to read some email, feed the dogs, take a shower and left the house at 7am for my 10am check in. I chose the northern route because if there is an accident along that trip, there are few to no other alternatives and you wait for them to clear the road It can be an accident, landslide of rocks and mud from heavy rain or downed trees or poles.
About 3 miles from the house I got a text message though the Nixl service that the upper road was blocked with an accident. That means taking the highway to Waikoloa and then up through the Village and backtracking a bit to take the improved road across the island. When I got into Kailua-Kona I got a text that the entrance to that road was blocked too with an accident. It turns out that was a 3 vehicle accident where an off-duty firefighter dies because a young driver recklessly passed multiple vehicles in a no passing area.
So I ended up taking the alternate entrance to Saddle Road and got to Kaiser there with 7 minutes to spare. Total drive time 2 hours and 53 minutes. I had been planning upon having breakfast before the appointment, but now it would be an early lunch.
The eye check went well and I got my prescription and PD (the pupil distance) which is needed to buy glasses. It used to be that the PD measurement was more difficult to get as opticians use that number to fit glasses and lose business nowadays when people get them online.
I headed to ‘Ken’s House of Pancakes’ which sells many more things than pancakes and I got chicken teri stir-fry. If I could have waited 3 1/2 hours I could have ordered the prime rib.
After lunch I headed back home along the southern route. I opted to skip the zoo (where we have Bengal Tigers) but did stop at the volcano park for an hour to see the new crater.
When I got to Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, I stopped to see a friend and chat for a while. I finally made it home at about 6pm. There was a full rainbow but I was too tired to go up the property to photograph it. Besides, my cellphone camera has too narrow a view to get it all in one shot.
I watched some TV and then fell asleep about 8pm. The dogs, who had been outside all day, decided that midnight was a great time to wake me up so they could go out. Thus the reason I write this at 1am.
By the way, I got a pretty good bill of health on my eyes and I was able to get my flu shot as a walk-in right after my eye exam.