Our second excursion to Hawaii was just as thrilling as our first. Our time on the Big Island was marked by the joy of experiencing the sheer power of a volcano. The ground noticeably warmer beneath our feet, the night sky aglow with red from the crater, steam vents spilling for sulfurous steam, and miles and miles of lava rock, devastating and dominating the landscape. Climbing up Mauna Loa proved to be quite challenging, but had a tremendously strong experience of the mountain — including Lauds at dawn above the clouds and Mass, facing Mauna Kea, above the clouds in the early morning. We were particularly delighted with a chance to go swimming at the lava’s edge in Volcanoes National Park the next day.
In Molokai, we celebrated Mass (thrice!) in churches built by St. Damien. We also spent one night on an organic farm sleeping in the shade of the banana trees. The Valley was an amazing cultural experience — hiking through ruins of temples, 1,000 year old cemeteries, hearing stories from our guide, and then swimming in a huge lake formed by a 150-foot waterfall. We watched dawn back on top of the sea cliffs (mesmerizing) and the sunset on the West side of the Island where we bivouacked for our last night. A true Eagle Eye experience!
In August of 2014, Eagle Eye Excursions traveled to Iceland to explore one of the premier hiking spots in the world - the Kerlingarfjoll mountains. Known as the country of fire and ice, the breathtaking landscape featured mountains that would lead into volcanic hot springs and glaciers. Twenty intrepid young adults were joined by a Brother, Apostolic Sister, Priest, and three certified guides from Wyoming Catholic College as they journeyed together to meet God in this untouched wilderness. Additionally, the group visited well-known historical sites, such as Thingvillir (the oldest parliament in the world) and natural phenomena, such as the waterfall Gullfoss and the original geyser, Geysir. It was a transformational experience for many. One non-Catholic participant decided to start RCIA at the conclusion of the excursion because they had developed such an appreciation for the Catholic faith!
In the summer of 2013, we took our second Eagle Eye Excursion, hiking portions of the Cape Wrath Trail in the Highlands of Scotland. With two Brothers and one Apostolic Sister from the Community of St. John as well as two certified guides from Wyoming Catholic College, a group of 16 young adults went out to meet the rugged beauty of the Highlands. Exploring the place of faith in our lives, we also visited Loch Ness, the Culloden Battlefield, and the city of Inverness. A smaller group went on for an amazing pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona, burial place of 46 Scottish Kings. The trip was challenging in many respects, not least of which were the rain, wind, and Scottish midges! A tremendous experience was had by all!
2012 Hawaii and the Napali Coast and St. Damien of Molokai
In 2012 we took our first Excursion to the islands of Kauai and Molokai, Hawaii. Thirteen young adults met for this August hike for 10 days without permanent shelter or a bed. We hiked the Kalalau Trail on Kauai's wild NaPail cost, kayaked for 17 miles on along the shoreline before camping on the famous Poli-holi beach, hiked in the amazaing Waimea canyon through portions of Kokee State Park, and even had a special excursion to the "wettest spot on earth" by wading upstream to the foot of the mountain considered by native Hawaiians to be the "center of the universe." We ended our trip with Mass in a Church built by the hands of St. Damien of Molokai: St. Philomena Church in the village of Kaulupapa, Molokai. What a way to finish our time -- on August 15, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This trip was life-changing and holy. St. Damien of Molokai, pray for us!