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The Needle (Not the Haystack)

Before I start this post I want to thank you all for coming to visit my site, reading all my posts, making wonderfully encouraging and engaging comments, and in general, addicting me to y’all.  This is my 200th post.  Today, I may go over 9,000 views.  Who knew when I started this adventure that even ONE person would want to read my thoughts.  I am so grateful.

Secondly, I don’t want to get so caught up in my blogging that I forget to vote, and I don’t want you to either.  So if you are reading this and need to go vote, just go.  I’ll still be here when you get back.

I met a wonderful woman while battling the Hawaiian surf old-lady style.  On our last day there she told me about Iao Valley State Park where we had not visited.  So before we went to the airport we spent an hour or more hiking around this park wondering how in the world the ancient warriors ever hid behind this needle.

Watch your step; 133 steps to the lookout point!

So up we go to see this big needle that was a famous hiding ground for ancient warriors.  What did THEY do before these steps were here?

The climb was easy because we both stopped so much to take pictures.  We didn’t even try to stay together.  I got sidetracked by a spider web sparkling in the sun that wouldn’t cooperate.  Needle-like FOCUS Marsha.  (Self-talk is good.)

OK there it is.  Splendid view, and we are not even close to the viewing area!

This place is a little TOO inspiring!  What does that sign say?  Please pick up?  Is that what you want?  There are easier ways, Buff Man.

Oh NO.  Don’t Do It, Mr. Buff Man.

Viewpoint Headquarters

V and the French people made it to the top.  Of COURSE I did, too.  I’m taking the picture.  Still, we’re not very close to the Needle.  So how DID those warriors get there?  It’s still quite a climb.

What goes up, must come down.

And what a journey down was.  It wasn’t raining while we were there, but with this lush vegetation, you could well imagine that it should have been.

They don’t bother to post “Watch your step” signs here! (where it’s much more needed than on the safe stairs!)

Instead people were frolicking in the water.  With my inability to keep my feet under me on flat land, I didn’t try walking on boulders with cool river waters gurgling over them.

There was something for everybody at this park.

Is he looking for the Needle? He’s not even close to the Haystack!!

What is HE doing?

??? So what happened to Buff Man???

Where did HE go?

Did he turn into Spiderman?

Realistic costume Spiderman!  Nice crib, too!

Anybody seen Mr. Buff Man?

They were all waiting and looking.  Nobody could find him.  It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

If she saw him, she wasn’t talking!

I met this lovely woman from Bakersfield, CA lounging on the rocks just enjoying the shade.  The day was hot, about 86 degrees and muggy.

Watching the Vog Roll In

Finally, V and I met up at the entrance and sat in the shade and watched the vog roll in.  Vog was a result of the smoldering volcano ash from a nearby island.  It’s no healthier for you than smog, but we sat and breathed it in for a while just to get a feel for the place.

The Needle

With a needle this big, who needs a haystack?  I have to say, this needle is a little disturbing.  Cross my heart and hope not to die, I wouldn’t want IT in MY eye.

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25 replies »

  1. Buff man. Haha. Great pictures. The view looks beautiful – so serene and calming. Good idea not to walk on the boulders. I bet they’re VERY slippery.


    • Thanks for reading! It was an amazing place, and I think it is often overlooked by people on their way to the west side of the island. It was well worth the time we spent there.


  2. I absolutely needed this tonight, lass! TOO funny! The grins kept rolling in with all that vog. I know I would have immediately gone for those boulders. I wonder if I would have taken a tumble? The buff man scene was certainly a peculiar accent to a hike, and definitely not something I expected in a post about a hike. Of all my hikes, I’ve never come across one. Plenty of French people and lasses perched on boulders smiling away, though. The spider man thing got me, and all the needle haystack jokes, every single one I thought absolutely hillarious. Your post was my much needed humour therapy for the night. P.S. Aye I darted out to vote with the dawn today, was glad to have it out of zee way. Oh it was a strange day at that. I was nearly arrested. I guess I looked A LOT like James Dean tonight, rebel without a cause on the loose indeed. I do frequently get mistaken for him, no joke. No actually James Dean, but the type. Anyhow, this really elevated my spirits, I MUST go on this hike one day!! And you have no idea how HAPPY I was when you mentioned vog. I am slightly obsessed with volcanoes and anything related. I once saw a bloke featured in a documentary that lives just outside an active volcanoe there in Hawaii, and says, “Well, if the lava wants to take my home one day, I’ll peacefully let her have it and just walk away.” He motorbikes as far as he can on the one rugged dirt road there is there, then hikes over rocky vocanic terrain with a backpack to fill with provisions for two miles. I must say, I really like this bloke. Did you know you can listen to volcano music?? There is a scientist there that makes it and it sounds exquisite, real recordings of the music made from the depths of a volcano, so sweet! I would listen to it for hours. This is why it is cool to be a scientist. Just wonderful. Cheers, lassie,

    Autumn Jade


    • I can’t believe that anyone would think that you need arresting! Just do what my puppy did to get me to take her home with me. She just dropped to the street, rolled on her back and said, “Take me home with you.” I’m sure if the police saw you slip, they’ed be wanting to HELP, not arrest!!! Did you see the picture of me as a man? I’m one-eyed Charley. (who in all fairness was a female trying to pass as a man.)

      Buff Man just sort of fell into my story, just as I fall into the ocean. He was there, and the waves of my thoughts swept him into the current of my plotless commentary when I saw him in my pictures. When I magnified the sign to be able to read it, I knew he HAD to be in the story. It was too perfect. Then when I came across the people looking up picture, he popped right back into my mind. The pile of clothes, the spider web. And so on. I can’t help it that my mind doesn’t follow straight paths!! I look forward to your marvelous comments! Glad you weren’t arrested. I can see how you might look little like a YOUNG teenaged boy from a distance. Your hair in the windmill video is exactly how my husband would like mine to look! Mine is just not thick enough.


      • Oh yes, I eventually was able to put on the ol’ autty-jade bumbling charm once he let me. The charm almost always gets me out of trouble. One time I was chased by a pick-up truck. The bloke should have pummeled me. I’d woken him up by strolling by his house. The dogs began to bark up a tempest, and I darted away. But the bloke drove back home laughing and smiling. Bumbling charm is the key. But this time, it really did look grave. The police officer lunged out of his cruiser in a rage. He opened the back seat door. I thought he was going to hurl me in. He demanded to know if I had been arrested before. It was clear he assumed I must have, such a “rebel” as I must constantly be getting into scrapes with the law. I really quite felt like James Dean indeed in that moment, from Rebel. Or Marlon Brando, from Waterfront, completely misunderstood, and instantly pegged as a hoodlum. It is true, I made a huge mistake when the cruiser pulled up. I have a philosophy to engage all circumstances with calmness, kindness and compassion, in life. But I’m not perfect, and I slipped (not physically this time). I was not even aware of it, but I spouted, “Cannot even go for a walk!” to the heavens. It was dramatic, and very brief. It was like a Shakespearian character, breaking onto the stage with a great opening outcry to start off some fabulous siloloquy. I had no soliloquy, however. I just wanted to smile, apologise, and cooperate. The damage had been done. Officer was enraged. He came right up into my face. I think he wanted me to balk and crumble backwards. I might have done this had it occurred to me…but I am a bit Irish, and we Irish to balk and crumble away, by nature. He kept tapping his gold shield and informing me how that meant he was a “real police officer” and this was not a “game”. I think he assumed I played a lot of police car video games and could not tell the difference between that and reality. I was trying to apologise, with my best doleful-eyed expression (which it was convenient he was so close, as he could see the sad and apologetic expression in HD…maybe he could detect those fine lines on me visage too that might indicate beyond teen years) but he’d have none of it. I wanted to tell him how fond I was of police, really. I used to want to be one in high school, for a time, well, I wanted to go into criminal profiling, studying crimes and that sort of thing. I have always loved criminal psychology since I was wee. Maybe if I mention how fond I am of Inspector Morse novels….no, that would deepen his conviction I was a foreigner pretending to be an American (he had begun demanding what country I came from.) Well, how about Sherlock Holmes then….oh no…he’d really get mad at that. Sherlock’s always insulting the police…and I certainly should not bring up a thing about P.G. Wodehouse…police are always suffering a bad time of it in those books- their helmets and uniforms are constantly being nicked. Right, best to avoid literature, especially when the fellow you are talking to is so easily ruffled, who knows what might offend him. Next, after I convinced him I was not from another country, planet, etc., he demanded to know what crime I was up to. I told him walking.
        “AH HA! Aimless walking! You’re not allowed to walk aimlessly!!” he exclaimed.

        “Oh dear, I am very sorry…” I said. Was there much more I could say?

        “Do you live here?!”

        “No, I live down the way, but what a nice peaceful-”

        “Then you cannot walk here. You don’t belong here!”

        Well, I nodded with apologetic eyes and waited for him to start asking for information. He was still fomenting.


        “I’m devilishly sorry, I forgot it at home. Greatly apologetic….I am such a dolt…”


        “I don’t have any, I am sorry…at home.” (it was nestled at home on the desk with my voter’s card, oh dear…)


        I did not mention how I liked to walk everywhere…no need for licenses and so forth for that.

        He glanced at my shoulder bag. No there was nothing to identify me in there.

        So this was going to have to work orally and through computer. This did not make him any happier I fear.

        “Date of Birth!” he seethed.

        “Uh…” I looked up and to the left to read floating numbers in my head. I gave him the numerical date.

        “YOU HAD TO THINK ABOUT IT! YOU’RE LYING! See, your eyes moved up, you had to think about it, that’s not NORMAL. See, that’s a thing called body language,” he said with smoldering eyes.

        Oh dear…

        “Oh well, yes, I looked up as I was remembering, yes. I do have to think about it. I’m not often asked my birthday.”

        I am glad I refrained from saying, “It’s not very polite to ask ladies their age, after-all.”

        Then, I decided to give my birthday again using the month, date, year, rather than just the numbers.

        This did not help, I looked up and to the left again. I had to read it again in my mind. If this police officer knew so much about body language, why did he not take note of the fact that I looked to the left (truth) not the right (inventing). I also did no “self-touch” mannerisms or shifting of the feet, reverting of the gaze, and so on. I was calm and solid, looking him right in the grey eye.

        His body language was all over the place, however. Rage and anger was certainly not repressed. He was almost shaking with it. I’m not used to making people this angry…He was moving about like a horse with cicadas crawling up the hind leg. At one point he pulled out some object that, it looked like, he was debating hitting me with. Some sort of mini-cudgel. He went on and on about how to properly give a birthday. It was a lecture. He had clearly been tormented and harassed by young vandals in the past, and he wanted some justice tonight.

        So now we came to my name…

        Well, my first name was clearly female. Again, he was not very excellent at suppressing body language. He was staggered, eyes popping, mouth ajar. I could hear his thoughts, “This radical is now going to try and convince me he’s a GIRL?! And what kinda malarkey is that, Autumn Jade?! No WAY that’s this jerk’s real name!”

        Then the last name.

        “Faulkner,” I spelled it, “Just like William Faulkner,” I could not stay away from literature, could I?

        At least I didn’t ask, “Have you read “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury?”

        I might have been cudgeled for that. Assuming the bloke has read it. Good I refrained.

        “I assure you, I’m in the system, my face will pop right up,” I smiled. I was trying some charm, here.

        “Well, it’s not coming up right away,” he glowered. I could tell my name must have, just not the photo yet.

        “What’s in the bag?!” he suddenly demanded, whirling at me, then, thinking, he said, “laptop I suppose…” and I could hear the rest in his head, “to play all those stupid violent video games and all those cop-hating youtube shorts and triumphant toilet-papering of houses and graffiti-spraying of churches by your fellow rebels, as well as all the other kid trinkets like ipads, ipods screaming “F-da-cops” and so on…”

        Another cop pulled up. His computer was chugging.

        I answered about the bag, “No, not a laptop. Just art and a camera.”

        A light seemed to beam in his eyes, again I heard the thoughts, “Oh gawd…one of those “artistic” types…”

        But I could see he was definitely softening. The angry dance was over. The red in his face was gone. The eyes were not so bulgy. The micro-cudgel had vanished. I believe he realised, yes, this was a lass, yes she is here in the system, just need to confirm with that photo.

        “Oh yes, and carrots,” I added in my bumbling way with the ol’ half grin.

        That did it. He laughed. I’d won him over. I knew the carrots would do it.

        I put on the scintillating smile.

        Third cop pulled up. This one I knew.

        “Oh how are you matie!” I said.

        He said fine, how was I? He vaguely remembered me. A very charming, friendly chap. I was glad to see him.

        Then my photo popped up. Yes, it was Autumn Jade. Autumn Jade was now free to go, but never to walk in side-streets. All smiles, all cheer now…carrots must have saved a grand lecture.

        So, there was my near-arrest.

        I am suddenly aware that I may have just written you a novel for a comment here in your splendid babble-box that I love so much. P.S. I am so happy about your 200th post and WOO 9,000 views, GROOVE and happy birthday dear lassie. Yes, I saw that photo and loved it, too groovy! Haha, I love zee conduits and tunnels a minds will dart into when let them rove free- weaving together such a fun and unique story that truly delights. I marvel at your stories, where your mind will go, it is fascinating, and always a dashed good time!! Cheers, sorry for the novel, but hope you enjoy haw haw,

        Autumn Jade


  3. Not actually, rather. P.S. again I LOVE your references to your briny-tumble in the sea, “old-lady style” really gave quite the imagery- imagining grannies with the bozo white hair-do and the frailty being whirled around in the surf is an intriguing bit of imagery indeed. PPS but you are no old lady, lass, far from it!!


      • Oh I am so HAPPY to learn that, a MOST contnented, gruntling, most thrilling and grand groovy bright and scintillating birthday to you! I hope you have been out adventuring and enjoying every moment!!! P.S. One of my best friends is 63 with gaety and glee. When she was your age, she help up her turbine sign, well, actually is was my turbine sign, but she’s also gaga for the things, well, she held it up for the city of Miami to gawk at and cried, “Sixty-one and HAVING FUN!” She is, in fact, awesome. Haha, I adore your spirit, and your jokes endlessly cheer me. You are brilliant!! Gorgeous b-day to you lassie!!!


        • Thanks so much. It’s been a great day! I went to lunch with a friend, then off to Thimble Towne to shop for hep for my next quilt to finish after 5 years of sitting on the back of the chair unfinished until some of the pieces faded. Major problem! Then I attended a history scholar talk on the FDR and the expansion of federal and presidential powers. Now I have a conference call I almost forgot!!!


      • Contented, rather. I wish I could edit comments, I fear I made all kinds of blazing grammar mistakes tonight! Oh blast! Anyhow, 61 is an exquisite age. You’ll love it!





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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