Friday, March 27, 2009

Dump Coke North

Terri took a few days off, so we had a chance to visit some areas of the island that we had never been before. One of those areas was Dump Coke North, a point on the west side of the island. It is my understanding that it was called 'dump' because this is where the US military dumped a lot of equipment and other stuff during WWII, before they left the island.

There was a great view of Saipan from the top of the hill by the Tinian airport

While driving north on 8th Ave (there are two main roads running north/south on Tinian, one is called Broadway, the other--located on the west side of the airport--is called 8th Ave on maps), we drove by the communications center where Radio Free America is broadcast to Asia. There were men working on the towers, hundreds of feet in the air! In fact, there was one brave soul suspended on a cable between the two towers! I would like to know who was brave enough to walk that tightrope!

This is the entrance to the road that heads south-west toward the Dump Coke point.

The road was not traveled much, and there were areas that, at times, we thought we would not be able to get through, it was so dense.

And there were areas that opened up and were easy to travel

It was quite a long way from the main road to the end, at least 1.5 miles

As you got closed to the ocean, the grass got thick and high--some places almost impassable

Then, suddenly, the road dropped sharply. On the way back we had to walk our bikes up the hill as it was difficult to ride.

Finally the road opened up to a clearing

Terri is standing at the edge of a high cliff--perhaps 40'-50' high-- that looks south

This is looking at the other end of a large cove, called Dump Coke South (we are at Dump Coke North)

This is looking east towards the center of the cove. You can see the communication towers in the background

This is the end of the end of the small peninsula

As usual, flowers can be found everywhere, even on the edge of a cliff!

Terri and I take a break before attempting the steep climb back up to the main road. On the steepest section, Terri took a spill and crashed the bike (this is crash #3 for Terri... the last one she broke a toe! I have had a couple of near-misses... but we always where our helmets).
The scooters we have are Chinese made, and seem to be able to take a beating, as we are not gentle on them, running around the island and some of the roughest roads, and crashing them now and then...

We next went to Ushi Cross Point, the most northern point on the island. There is a road (that we have seen from the air, but doesn't show up on a map) that runs from that point, along the eastern shoreline, to the Blow Hole.

At the end of the road, there are some monuments and a prayer chapel

Just to the east of this site is the road that we wanted to explore

There were great views of Saipan all along this road

In some places the road turned inland for a ways, and then returned to the shoreline

We discovered yet another monument that had been built to honor people who had been lost at sea off Tinian

There was a little grove of trees to give shade, and then a short trail out to the monument

As we stood admiring the view, Terri noticed that a large cargo ship was heading toward Saipan. It made me wonder what the Japanese must have felt as they watched all the US ships arrive at these islands, and then started to pound the islands with shells before launching the invasion... It would have been easy to see what the Americans were going to do, and yet no way to stop them! Just glad it wasn't me...

This is a view of the small grove of trees that was planted to shade any groups coming to visit the small memorial

The road once again heading inland for a while, before following the shoreline almost directly south

We finally arrived at the Blow Hole. This is a view looking south from the Blow Hole, towards Long Beach

And this is the view looking north towards Saipan

The Blow Hole was rather quiet today, as the waves were very calm. And the water that usually pooled and filled all the depressions was either low or completely absent.

This was about the best it could do today. Most days the funnel of water would fill the screen!

So we headed back home, taking Broadway south to the Village

Once home, and hot, we decided to go swimming at Taga beach. On our way we noticed a large family of cats...with thier own watch-dog!?

I finally discovered what they were building near the top of our street, next to the four-plex that is also being built: they tell me it is going to be a Pizza Parlor! Woo Hoo!

The workers tell me that they hope to open sometime next month. So, Monster Pizza at the Dynasty Casino is going to have some competition? As good as the pizza is at Dynasty, this new place better bring their A-game!

Taga beach was nice and calm, and beautiful as ever. It is funny that more people don't swim here--there is really nothing to it, in fact, Terri and I don't really swim, we just float! You can stand straight-up in the water, without moving your arms and legs to swim, and your head will still be well above water (of course, some might say I carry more bouyancy than most...).

As on most days here on Tinian, Terri and I had the beach all to ourselves...

On our way home, we saw two men working on the roof of the new barbeque shack (you know me and anyone on a roof... I have to know what they are doing!).

See if you can see the cameleon on this stump...

This one is a little easier to see! Terri seems to like the cameleons around our apartment, for some reason. She likes them better than the geckos... perhaps because they stay outside?

They do get mad if you bother them, though...

It was a great day of fun and adventure!

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