Extreme West

The United States is not a compact country. We sprawl across the middle of a continent and then for good measure add a few parts not connected to the rest.

One of the disconnected portions — accessible only by sea or air — is a tropical paradise. At least, that’s the way it was presented during long, cold upper Midwest winters.

This author is old — old enough to remember when this was one of two new states added to congress and the reason for new stars in the flag. (Wonder how my father felt about it — four new states were added in his lifetime.)

Sugar cane, coffee, pineapples, and tourists populate this collection of islands. Volcanic in origin, certain places remain active to this day. My visit, while short, was relaxing and memorable. Will I return? I’m keeping an open mind. Then again — many other places with fine, warm weather remain unchecked boxes on the list of places welcoming tourists.

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