Jan. 26, 1973
Three days ago, I departed Tri-City Airport enroot to our 50th state. After much delay, I arrived at the Oahu International Airport ten hours late. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a United Airlines
representative who told me, “Sorry, we seem to have lost your luggage. Not to worry though,” he said, “eventually, we get our man, errr, luggage that is.” After paying $200 for a one-way ticket, plus an additional $9 dollars for my bicycle, putting in another eight or nine hours at the airport was not a happy thought. However, it wasn’t all that bad because I only had $50 in my pocket (and the promise of an eventual unemployment check if and when I could establish an address). Back when Mike, Denny, and I had biked out west, Mike kept his unemployment checks coming. Every two
weeks he would stop at an unemployment office and check in. When he stayed in one spot long enough, his unemployment monies would reach him. I planned on pretty much following the same procedure. I had an address of an old High School acquaintance stationed at a military base in Honolulu. I would check the possibility of that favor out as soon as I found time to do it, but now I just wanted my bike and clothes back from the airlines.
I spent the night at the airport; at least the weather was nice. In
the morning, my stuff still had not arrived, so (on the advice from of
a baggage handler) I took a bus to the beach, the big Honolulu beach. When I arrived, there was a marvelous view of Diamond Head. It was early, so I had no problem finding a place on the beach to crash for a few hours. Directly across from the beach was a large Mall, the Ala Moana Shopping Center. I spent the latter part of the morning taking in the sights there. It looked like Hawaii was going to be fun. Food vendors were on every street corner providing inexpensive Asian foods. On my way back to the beach, I met three dudes from Seattle. They had been in Honolulu for two weeks and were living out of a car. On their second day in Hawaii, two of them found work. That was promising news; except for the cost of living, Hawaii might really be “paradise.”