I’ve been having some medical issues the past few months and wasn’t certain I’d be able to go on a planned trip to Hawai’i, much less be able to standup paddle. Mahalo to my ohana who helped me find a spot on the Anahulu River and made it happen. State No. 49 on New Year’s Eve Day (is that what all the fireworks were for?)! We paddled from a mountain view to a beach view with more sea turtles than I have ever seen, popping their heads up alongside our boards, swimming under our fins, and soaking in the sun on the banks. It wasn’t the Hawaiian paddle I expected, and maybe not the iconic one you picture, but it continues to prove the point that you can see things you don’t expect when you paddle in unexpected places. And, I have a good excuse to come back and paddle again. Next up? Getting healthy enough to be able to haul gear and paddle State No. 50 this summer.