It seems like half of Bend is "on island," as they say in Hawaii. I think many of us get a little stir crazy and head to the South Pacific this time of year. You can spot the Bendites by their pasty skin and ski poles. Seriously, I saw a guy pole hiking down the beach yesterday. I don't actually know if he was from Bend. Perhaps he was Canadian.
Wendy Oliphant was last seen riding a bike up Haleakala. The 38-mile road from sea level to the 10,023-foot summit holds the world record for climbing to the highest elevation in the shortest distance. If you want to do it as an organized event, check out Cycle to the Sun on August 21, 2010 at www.cycletothesun.net. If that's not challenging enough, you could run up Haleakala in the Run to the Sun ultramarathon, held each March. Roger Daniels holds an age group record in that event. Sally Russell is in Hana with her daughters and Amy Petersen just celebrated her birthday hiking through Maui's waterfalls... and the list from Bend goes on.
I was riding my bike around West Maui (which is a spectacular metric century, by the way) last Friday and I stopped at Julia's banana bread stand for a little nourishment in the middle of nowhere. A couple cruised up in a rental car and I could tell they were debating. "Julia's banana bread is the best on the island!" I called out, crumbs falling from my mouth. That convinced them. They parked the car, walked over and purchased a loaf from Julia's niece. We munched and chatted, overlooking a green taro patch and the blue ocean. "Where are you from?" they asked, naturally. "Bend, Oregon," I replied. "Oh, we live in Seattle, but we went to Amy's housewarming party there last month," they said. "Ah, I thought you looked familiar - I met you at that party!" I said. That's just how it goes over here.
I guess it's the Pacific Ring of Fire that connects us, not only seismically but spiritually as well. I feel at home here among the volcanoes and red lava rock. More than plate tectonics, though, the values of the people connect Hawaii and Bend. Last week, I told a story about Aloha. This week, I'd like to share some thoughts about Mālama and Laulima and next week I'll wrap up with up Po'okela.
MALAMA [mah-lah-mah] - verb. To take care of, to serve and to honor, to protect and watch over.
In Hawaii, they say Mālama 'āina, which means to take care of the land. This Thursday, April 22, 2010, is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Celebrate our planet! Work in your garden. Go to the Procession of the Species Parade and the Earth Day Fair in downtown Bend on Saturday. Here, on Maui I'm participating in a beach cleanup and attending a Surfrider fundraiser (www.surfrider.org). Think about how you can malama Bend.
Here's one idea. Central Oregon Trail Alliance is announcing the first trail work party of the 2010 season. The second annual Get Off Your Rumps & Build Some Jumps event will be held Saturday, April 24, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at The Lair. This will be a community effort to continue renovations of the existing terrain at this progressive skills park. Join COTA to clean up, repair and improve the flow of the Lair, as well as help with some preventive knapweed removal. COTA will provide instruction, tools, refreshments, barbeque and jump jam afterwards. Bring your friends and family to help contribute. Visit www.cotamtb.com for more information.
LAULIMA [low-lee-mah] - noun. Teamwork, cooperation, literally "many hands."
Outrigger canoeing is the sport of Hawaii. Kids start young and race in high school leagues. Masters train and race with their clubs and most beaches have a hale (house) where the canoes are stored. It takes six people to paddle a traditional outrigger canoe, and at least that many to move one of the 400-pound boats. "E lauhoe mai na wa'a; i ke ka, i ka hoe; i ka hoe, i ke ka; pae aku i ka 'aina" says the ancient Hawaiian proverb. "Everybody paddle the canoes together; bail and paddle, paddle and bail, and the shore will be reached." If you're interested in experiencing the sport of outrigger canoeing right here in the High Desert, check out Bend Oregon Outrigger at www.bendoutrigger.org.
Another sport where teamwork is essential, is adventure racing. Put a team together for the Spring Chicken Sprint Adventure Race on May 23. This Central Oregon race features five miles of orienteering, 15 miles of mountain biking, rappelling, paintball target practice, and some things that are top secret. Visit www.flamingchickenar.com.