Since 1959, the U.S. has consisted of 50 states; in that year, Alaska and Hawai’i became the most recent jurisdictions to gain statehood. Just visiting all 50 of the states in the sprawling nation that I call home is a mammoth undertaking. In the final hours of 2018, I completed my project of karaokeing in all 50 of those states (as well as the national capital city of Washington, DC, which does not itself belong to any state).
For a more detailed background on the quest that I was pursuing, see my prior posts recounting my karaoke appearances throughout the U.S. in 2016, 2017, and the earlier part of 2018. Between July 2016 and July 2018, the number of states in which I’d karaoked increased from 20 to 49. That left only one state to check off: the archipelago of Hawai’i. I felt it was fitting that the 50th state to join the U.S. would become the 50th state on my American Karaoke Tour.
Blue Hawaii: saving the best for last
Geographically, Hawai’i differs greatly from any other state in the U.S. Consisting principally of 8 main islands (7 of which are inhabited), its territory also includes numerous additional islands, islets, atolls, and reefs. Did you know that Hawai’i is actually composed of 137 total islands of various sizes? Those islands, stretching from Hawai’i (often called the “Big Island”) in the southeast to the Kure Atoll in the northwest, extend for roughly 1,500 miles. But you only ever hear about the octet of main islands — such as Oahu, home to the state’s capital city of Honolulu.
That capital city lies over 2,500 miles southwest of Los Angeles. The Hawaiian state is located in the Tropics, the zone between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. In fact, the main Hawaiian island chain forms one of the corners of the Polynesian triangle. (That triangle’s other vertices are Easter Island and New Zealand.) Such an exotic setting seemed the perfect locale for the culmination of my American Karaoke Tour.
My first stop in Hawai’i was the island of Oahu. Continue reading