Hawaii

Image

Hilo

Lili`uokalani Gardens

Lili`uokalani Gardens

6 Photos in This Gallery

Hilo is a town on the wet side of the Big Island.  It is across the bay from Mauna Kea and surrounded by rainforest.  Not that many tourists from the US mainland go there, but it is a regular stop for buses full of Asians.

A few of these photos were taken at locations North of Hilo on the final leg of the trip driving back to Kona.


Image

Akaka Falls and Hakalau

Sugar Mill Door

Sugar Mill Door

10 Photos in This Gallery

Akaka falls is about a 35 minute drive North along the coast from Hilo.  The park has a short paved loop through lush rainforest with the main attraction being a long waterfall.

Further North,  soon after the turn off for Hakaka Falls you will see a bridge across a ravine.  Turn left just before the bridge and the road will take you under it eventually.  The area used to be the site of a sugar mill.  It was destroyed by a tsunami.  The foundation and some heavy steel parts remain.  People swim in the estuary because the beach is rocky.  Tourists from the mainland do not get to see this place.  I saw no other rental cars there.

 


Image

Chain of Craters Road

Lava Field #3

Lava Field #3

8 Photos in This Gallery

Chain of Craters Road starts at 4,000 ft elevation and descends to sea level over 20 miles.  It leads through lava fields and craters all of which are relatively recent by human time, not geological time.  The road has been connected to Puna to provide access to the area for residents only.  Skies were particularly beautiful that afternoon, amazing considering the bad weather earlier.  The last two photos were made back at the hotel in Hilo that evening.  Getting on the elevator with a load of those girls was an experience.


Image

Kīlauea

Kīlauea

Kīlauea

10 Photos in This Gallery

Volcanoes National Park is a 2.5 hour 95 mile drive from Kona, or about 40 minutes from where I was staying in Hilo.  On arrival it was 59F/15C, overcast and misting.  Most visitors were not dressed for the weather.  The gift shop sold lots of sweatshirts that morning.  After about an hour, the clouds lifted and a beautiful day followed.  Kīlauea started erupting in 1983.  Before the caldera was not there.  It is one of only four volcanoes in the world were magma is visible from the surface.  The others are in Siberia, Antarctica and Iceland nowhere near warm and sunny beaches.  The Nub is a recently created formation as well.  Note how small the people on the trail are for scale.

The main stop between the entrance to Volcanoes National Park and Chain of Craters Road is the Thurston Lava Tube.  It just happens to be located under a rainforest.  You can see only a few miles from this location in most directions the area has sparse vegetation.  In the final photo children were singing a song in Hawaiian asking the gods for permission to enter the area.

The Park is not as exciting as it was 2 years ago.  Lava has stopped flowing into the sea.  All areas where lava is flowing on land have been closed to public access.  Previously available hiking tours are out of business.  Most of Crater Rim Road and the area around the caldera remain closed due to the risk of poison gas.


Image

Saddle Road and Mauna Kea

Wilting Tree

Wilting Tree

6 Photos in This Gallery

This is one of the few ways to get away from the ocean.  Saddle road runs across Hawaii between the volcanic mountains of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.  It is a rugged volcanic landscape.  At the peak of Mauna Kea there are several large research telescopes.  The visitor’s center that is partway up the mountain (9200 ft/2800 M) has a collection of smaller telescopes for public stargazing sessions.  Across from the visitor’s center is a short steep trail leading to a view of the valley below.


Image

There Must Be Something in the Water

Launch Ramp #2

Launch Ramp #2

Hawaii is the land of endless beaches.  There isn’t a lot to do, but going to the beach is enough for most Hawaiians.  A lot of these were captured in Kona, but a few were from further North.


Image

South Point

Tree and Grass

Tree and Grass

10 Photos in This Gallery

South Point is about 60 miles South of Kona.  It is the Southernmost point in the USA.  Some believe the Polynesians landed here 3,000 years ago.  The wind blows a lot and in the same direction as you can see from the shape of the tree.

 

 

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,913 other followers