Sunday, October 29, 2006

God is absolutely amazing. I wish I could claim credit for this day, because it was a day perfectly designed for God to use Tara and me to teach our children about perseverance. It's like I designed this and wrote an excellent book around raising my boys, like the one above: But, no, God gets all the glory for creating the perfect day for a lesson in perseverance.

One of the first main sights greeting us as we neared our destination was this. If you look behind the three large ones up close, you will see that the ones further back have lost some of their arms, are rusty, and, what you cannot see, is that none of them are working. The purpose for which these huge windmills were designed, on one of the windiest places in America, is left unfulfilled because none of the machines are still in working order.

This location is almost to South Point on the Big Island. It is the southernmost tip of the United States. It is REMOTE. We saw few cars, a few fisherman, a few houses with some resident goats (click on the funky tree to see them), and no signs of merchandising or anything open to the public for purchase.
We drove past this eerie sight, eerie because it seemed like a place for a horror flick, a display of death. Whomever was in charge of maintaining this excellent producer of electricity for the Big Island failed to persevere in their task.

We were following a wonderful guidebook to our destination. If you ever make it here to see the active volcanoes or to enjoy a step back to a more laid back America, please purchase or borrow this book. It will take you step by step through everything, especially if you are really good at following directions.

That is where I got off track. :) The book described a parking lot, and, we drove down a one lane bumpy road that used to be two lanes but, again, a lack of perseverance and care has resulted in the road becoming difficult for cars that don't have 4WD. And, we found a parking lot. There were many fisherman and other cars there, so I assumed it was the place where we would have to park and begin hiking. You see, we have a little PT Cruiser to use while we are here. It is not made for 4WD roads. And, past the "parking lot" I thought I was at were roads only for 4WD vehicles. We knew we'd need to hike, and the book told us it was about a 2.25 mile hike.

I loaded Regan, my two-year old into a backpack (she's close to 40 pounds) and then Tara, Tanner (7) and Keaton (5) all had to fend for themselves.
What fun!!! We are off on what will be a lengthy hike for my two boys, but what a great time we will all have as a family! Meanwhile, interestingly enough, the video we watched the night previous on our laptop and then again in the car was a Veggie Tales video about... guess....


Isn't it amazing how God knows just what to be preparing you for????!!!!

So, off we go. 2.25 miles one way shouldn't be too bad. We'll rest at our destination and then return the 2.25 miles after a refreshing dip in the ocean.

We hiked for 40 minutes along the ocean front on this southernmost tip of the United States. It looked like this.
And we were having a grand time. The noise of huge crashing waves (there are no breakers on this coastline), the clear blue skies, the occasional sea birds crying, and the steadiness of feet padding along. Unfortunately, after 40 minutes of hiking along so happily, as we topped one hill we were greeted with this sight.

If you click on the picture and look between two of the vehicles you will see a gate. Well, the book tells you about this gate as the marker where the 2.25 miles begins. So, we had been hiking along for 40 minutes, over a mile, to be greeted by the fact that we had at least another 2.25 miles to go. We don't want to go back; we can't. You see, we are headed to a beach that is the only one like it in the world. It has GREEN sand, made from the mineral olivine. The sand is a mixture of lava and olivine, so it has green and black sand particles all throughout it. My wife is such a trooper and has so much determination and perseverance. So, we march on. Regan's forty pound pack is heavy, and I've been suffering from a neck/shoulder injury, but I definitely do not want to stop now. And, amazingly, I watch my five-year old suck it up and take off!

Enough of the build... We finished and were greeted by these incredible views. Please enjoy them because we finished strong to obtain these photos and a little bit of the mystical green sand, even a little in Tara's ears, in the girls' bathing suits, on our feet, etc. :)

The below, if you look closely, shows Tara about to be buried under a huge wave.Still smiling, even though we are getting ready to make the extended journey back...
Looking back after we leave...

AND GOING.... (click to see them off in distance)
Regan had it pretty good. Dad decided to take a break. We were almost there...

After all of this, which we estimated ended up being about 7 miles of hiking in 3.5 hours (we did stop at the beach for a couple of hours for a total of almost 6 hours), we drove the 60 miles back to Kona, treating ourselves along the way with an excellent find of a restaurant. (Oh, i forgot to mention, we didn't plan ahead well and ended up not having lunch at poor kiddoes). The restaurant is the first Mexican restaurant we've found here that actually tasted Mexican (not that we've tried many, but there aren't many around either). It was Senor Billy's located in Captain Cook, Hawaii. Ha. What a name and a place for good Mexican.

Oh, and, besides the fact that the entire day was filled with lessons on perseverance, including ol' Larry and Bob chortling in our backseat all the way, these are some of the verses that God keeps hitting me over the head with of late:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3.

I suppose I better take note. I know I want to finish strong, just as my family did today.

Buenos noches!


Dorcas Hawker said...

Cool pictures! Looks to me like y'all are training for a future Ironman Triathlon!

molly said...

GREAT pictures! It's nice to *meet* you guys. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you found Senior Billy's! When we lived in Hononau, I would often stop in there and pick up some salsa or guacamole.
Sorry you had such a trek to the green sand beach.
Look forward to seeing you soon!
Chris and Erika

Marcia said...

Oh, neat. I doubt if I'll ever get to Hawaii; thanks for sharing.

Bryan Riley said...

Marcia, our sermon just this Sunday was on speaking words of faith and not speaking words of doubt! You just never know where God may lead you!

Bryan Riley said...

Molly, sorry I didn't reply... It's been great "meeting" you, too.

Anonymous said...

Que Bueno! Tu sabes que comida es mi vida y me gusta comida de Mexico mucho! Estoy muy feliz que tu puedes ecrontar esta comida alli. Me gusta los fotos mucho mi hermano. Tu necesitas tomar mas! Buen trabajo!

Te cuidado hermano!
Tu hermano mayor

Bryan Riley said...

ok, Bobby! I love your comment, but here's how bad my spanish has gotten... at first i couldn't remember comida, but the context helped me. from there i figured out most of the rest.

here's my translation:

how cool. you know that food is my life and i like Mexican food a lot! I am very happy that you can find that food there. I loved the photos my brother. You need to send more. Great work. ???? brother. Your big brother.

My only correction would be to say that you should say that El Senor es tu vida!!!! :) nunca comida! But i have seen your belly. :)

Perhaps some of my missionary friends from Spanish speaking countries can help me with my translation?

Anonymous said...


El Senor??? The Mister? How about "Dios es mi vida"? Speaking of gods or fathers, me voy a ser un padrino, "godfather". Mi cuñado tuvo uno nuevo hijo que llama, Evan. El preguntarme si yo quiero ser el padrino de Evan. Evan estaba nacir en 16 de Noviembre. Estoy muy feliz y tengo mucho orgulloso porque yo pienso es muy fantastico a ser un padrino. Yo se que mi gramatica en español es no correcto, pero yo escribo como yo hablo. My spanish is very crude. I speak it the way I think in English so it comes out a little jumbled. But, the spanish speaking people usually understand it. SOmetimes I have to say it a couple of different ways to get my point across. Your translation was pretty good. Tomar is usally translated "to take", mandar is "to send". But, I give you an "A" for effort. Good luck on this one.

Love you!
P.S. I struggled with the ser and estar on this one. Estar sounded more correct when I sounded it out, but I think ser is more appropriate since it has more of a permanent meaning.

Bryan Riley said...

My cousin?? had a new son that she named Evan. He asked me if I wanted to be the godfather of Evan. Evan was born on the 16th of November. I am very happy and have a lot of orgulloso becuase I think it is fantastic to be a godfather. I am ??sure?? my Spanish grammar is not correct, but I write like I speak.

I'm amazed I could do that. The only word I had no clue of was orgulloso. Everything else came to me in context. Cunado, i assume, is cousin, but that could be wrong. I don't know how to type the "enya." Thanks for making me think a little in Spanish. It's possible we may go to Costa Rica.

Bryan Riley said...

sorry about the she for cunado... o. duh.

Anonymous said...


You are doing good. Costa Rica would be sweet!!!! Very beautiful and you and the family would learn a different culture and language. I think you would fall in love with the Latin American culture. It is pretty neat. Cuñado is brother-in-law. Primo is cousin. Orgulloso is proud. Maybe when you go to Ozark you can hang out with my in-laws and pick up a little spanish. There are a couple of them that are very active in the Baptist church there and some others that are involved in the Catholic church. I will be happy to see you! I hope you are felling better. It is harder when you are an adult and sick. It just seems to hurt worse or maybe we are not as tough as we were when we were kids.

I love you!