The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Hawaii 2010 Vacation’

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Ninth Stop of Two Day Circle Tour

This post continues details of our two-day circular driving tour of the island of Hawaii, which we began on our ninth day in Hawaii (May 25th). Here are the stops that we made thus far:

1. Our first stop was at South Point.
2. Our next three stops were in the towns of Waiohinu and Naalehu.
3. Our fifth stop was at Punalu’u Beach Park, near the town of Pahala.
All five of these stops were in the South Island region.

4. Our sixth stop was at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

5. Our seventh stop was at Lava Tree State Park.
6. Our eighth stop was at Isaac Hale (Pohoiki) Beach Park.
Both Lava Tree State Park and Isaac Hale Beach Park are located in the Puna region near the town of Pahoa.

From Isaac Hale Beach Park we drove to Hilo, where we spent the night at Uncle Billy’s Hotel.

 

Uncle Billy’s Courtyard

View from Uncle Billy’s Courtyard
Hilo Bay; Coconut Island in the middle

The next day (May 26th) Bob and I were up by 6:30 AM. We ate a breakfast of papaya, danish, toast, juice and coffee/tea. After breakfast we strolled through the picturesque Liliuokalani Gardens, which is located about a half block from our hotel.

Liliuokalani Gardens

Liliuokalani Gardens

Liliuokalani Gardens

Liliuokalani Gardens

View of Mauna Kea from Liliuokalani Gardens

We visited Coconut Island too. The island was across the street from Liliuokalani Gardens.

Coconut Island is reached by crossing a footbridge.

The footbridge has had to be replaced after nearly every tsunami.

Markers on this coconut tree show height of tsunami waves.

In 1957 the waves reached a height of 8 feet. In 1952 the waves hit a height of 12 feet. In 1960 the waves reached a height of 15 feet. In 1946 the waves reached a height of 26 feet.

We met up with John and Dorothy at 8:00 AM. After checking out of Uncle Billy’s Hotel, we drove to the Hilo Farmers Market. John purchased fresh vegetables; Dorothy purchased fresh flowers.

Hilo Farmer’s Market

From the Hilo Farmers Market we began our trip back to Kona. Before leaving Hilo we visited Wailuku River State Park, where we saw Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots/Pe’epe’e Falls.

Rainbow Falls

See the cave behind the waterfall? It is believed that Kamehameha buried the bones of his father in this cave. By the way the waterfall did create a faint rainbow while we were there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that I captured that rainbow in this photograph (or others that I took).

We saw the strangest sight while walking to Boiling Pots/Pe’epe’e Falls. We saw two young men wearing tails. The day before they wore entire animal suits to Mauna Kea. One of the young men makes the animal suits, and they wear the tails (or the entire suit) often.

I don’t think they read the sign.

Walking to Boiling Pots / Pe’epe’e Falls

Boiling Pots / Pe’epe’e Falls

Pe’epe’e Falls

Boiling Pots
There wasn’t much water falling from Pe’epe’e Falls; therefore the boiling pots were not boiling.

I still have lots more to share with you about our Hawaiian vacation, so please stay tuned!

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Eighth Stop of Two Day Circle Tour

This post continues details of our two-day circular driving tour of the island of Hawaii, which we began on our ninth day in Hawaii (May 25th). Our first stop was at South Point.  Our next three stops were in the towns of Waiohinu and Naalehu. Our fifth stop was at Punalu’u Beach Park, near the town of Pahala. All five of these stops were in the South Island region. Our sixth stop was at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Our seventh stop was at Lava Tree State Park. Our eighth stop of the day was at Isaac Hale (Pohoiki) Beach Park. Both Lava Tree State Park and Isaac Hale Beach Park are located in the Puna region near the town of Pahoa.
According to a Wikipedia article, Isaac Hale Beach Park “is an oceanfront park, boat launch and surf location along Pohoiki Bay…It is only one of a few places in the Southeast shore of Hawaii that allows for such facilities. Pohoiki Bay is known for its strong currents and although the park is known for good snorkeling, conditions are usually not ideal…The park is named in honor of Private Isaac K. Hale. During the Korean War, Hale served in the United States Army’s 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was killed in action north of the 38th parallel on July 12, 1951.”

Here are a few photographs of things that we enjoyed while at Isaac Hale Beach Park.

We enjoyed watching wave after wave roll into shore.

We enjoyed watching a water skier fly across the water.

We enjoyed watching a body surfer glide across the waves.

From Isaac Hale Beach Park we drove to Hilo. We spent the night in Hilo at Uncle Billy’s Hotel, where we were lulled to sleep by the melodious sound of hundreds of coqui frogs.

Stay tuned! In my next Hawaiian blog post, I’ll provide details and photographs of Hilo.

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Seventh Stop of Two Day Circle Tour

This post continues details of our two-day circular driving tour of the island of Hawaii, which we began on our ninth day in Hawaii (May 25th). Our first stop was at South Point. Our next three stops were in the towns of Waiohinu and Naalehu. Our fifth stop was at Punalu’u Beach Park, near the town of Pahala. All five of these stops were in the South Island region. Our sixth stop was at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Our seventh stop of the day was at Lava Tree State Park, located in the Puna region near the town of Pahoa.

 

It was very important to stay on the park’s trail because dangerous cracks in the earth such as this are also covered by vegetation!

According to the Instant Hawaii website, the lava trees shown below, of which there are many more in the park, “were created in a 1790 lava flow. The flow entered the area and buried the ‘Ōhi’a Trees up to 11 ft deep in molten lava. Trees that were surrounded by the molten lava cooled the lava that coated them, while the heat of the lava caused the tree to burn to ash. When nearby fissures opened and allowed the molten lava to drain away the slightly cooler lava that surrounded the trees were already starting to harden and remained above ground.”

Lava Tree

The lava trees were an interesting sight; however, I was equally enthralled by the inhabitants of one of the lava trees.

A pair of chickens nesting in the cavity of one of the lava trees

Next stop – Isaac Hale Park

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Sixth Stop of Two Day Circle Tour

This post continues details of our two-day circular driving tour of the island of Hawaii, which we began on our ninth day in Hawaii (May 25th). Our first stop was at South Point.  Our next three stops were in the towns of Waiohinu and Naalehu. Our fifth stop of the day was at Punalu’u Beach Park, near the town of Pahala. All five of these stops were in the South Island region. Our sixth stop was at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

 

From Panalu’u Beach Park we continued eastward on Highway 11 to the entrance to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park is home to two volcanoes — Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Kilauea is the world’s most active volcano. Kilauea began erupting in 1983 and hasn’t stopped since. Mauna Loa is the world’s most massive volcano. Mauna Loa is an active volcano as well; however, it is more quiet than Kilauea. Mauna Loa’s last eruption was in 1984.

havosummitarea

Map obtained from National Park Service website

While at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we visited only the Kilauea Summit area, which is displayed in the map shown above. We made a few stops along Crater Rim Drive and one stop along Chain of Craters Road.

We stopped briefly at the Kilauea Visitor Center. We looked inside and opted not to stay, as it was very busy.

Kilauea Visitor Center

Continuing past the Kilauea Visitor Center we drove on Crater Rim Drive to the Jaggar Museum. Inside the museum are interesting exhibits, such as seismographs that measure earthquake activity. The seismographs showed some activity while we were there.

Seismograph

Most of our time at Jaggar Museum, though, was spent outside looking at the view from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Halemaumau Crater inside Kilauea Caldera

This view is from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory at the Jaggar Museum. The white smoke that you see coming from the crater is sulfur dioxide.

The Jaggar Museum was the end of the road for us on Crater Rim Drive. When departing the museum we followed Crater Rim Drive back towards the Visitor Center. We stopped at the Steam Vents. Rain that has seeped into the ground is heated by Kilauea and emerges as steam. The amount of steam varies daily depending on how much it has rained in the past few days.

Bob is peering into one of two steam vents located in parking lot.

We followed a short trail toward the crater rim, where we saw more steam vents.

More steam vents at crater rim

From Steam Vents we passed by the Visitor Center and continued on Crater Rim Drive to the Kilauea Iki Overlook.

Kilauea Iki Overlook

Just past the Kilauea Iki Overlook is Thurston Lava Tube. The lava tube was created from a river of hot lava running through cooler lava.

Entrance to Thurston Lava Tube

I read that undisturbed lava tubes have floors that are littered with rocks. Thurston Lava Tube has been cleaned up and lighted to make it easy to visit.

When you exit Thurston Lava Tube, you enter a tropical forest.

From Thurston Lava Tube we drove to Chain of Craters Road. We made one stop, at Puhimau Crater Overlook, while on Chain of Craters Road.

Bob at Puhimau Crater Overlook

We had hoped to see lava flowing into the ocean, while at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. New lava, however, covered the parking lot run by the park service. The park will have to negotiate with other private landowners to create a new parking area or more likely will wait for a few months until the lava flow moves and cools so they can rebuild the access road and parking area on the old location. The only way to see the lava entering the ocean was by boat, which would have cost approximately $150 each. We could have parked and walked one mile to the end of the newly lava covered road. We would have seen steam plumes from the distant ocean entries. We opted not to walk to see only steam plumes.

Next stop – Lava Tree State Park

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Fifth Stop of Two Day Circle Tour

This post continues details of our two-day circular driving tour of the island of Hawaii, which we began on our ninth day in Hawaii (May 25th). Our first four stops were in the South Island region. Our first stop was at South Point. Our next three stops were in the towns of Waiohinu and Naalehu. Our fifth stop of the day (and the last one in the South Island region) was at Punalu’u Beach Park, near the town of Pahala.

Continuing east from Naalehu on Highway 11, the road to Punalu’u Beach Park was within a 12-mile drive. Punalu’u Beach Park is known for its black sand beach and the Hawaiian green turtles that frequent this beach.

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
That is a Hawaiian Green Turtle lying near me.

Hawaiian Green Turtle sunbathing on black sand beach

Bob on black sand beach

The coconut trees behind Bob provide shade, but they also provide a nice backdrop for the fishpond located behind them.

Fishpond

Water Lily on fishpond

View from fishpond of black sand beach

Next stop – Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Our Hawaiian Vacation: Second through Fourth Stops of Two Day Circle Tour

This post continues details of our two-day circular driving tour of the island of Hawaii, which we began on our ninth day in Hawaii (May 25th). Our first stop was in the South Island region at South Point.  Our next three stops were in the towns of Waiohinu and Naalehu, both of which are located in Hawaii’s South Island region.

 

After leaving South Point, we returned to Highway 11 and continued our drive east. The first towns we came to were Waiohinu and Naalehu.

Our second stop of the day was in Waoihinu. We stopped in Waiohinu to see a Monkey Pod Tree that Mark Twain supposedly planted in 1866. There was a sign by the tree that said it was the Mark Twain Monkey Pod Tree. The tree blew down in 1957; however, its shoots have grown into a decent-sized new tree.

Mark Twain’s Monkey Pod Tree

Monkey Pod Tree Blossoms

Our third stop was in Naalehu, which is the southernmost town in the 50 states. We enjoyed a mid-morning snack at the Hana Hou Restaurant, which is the southernmost restaurant in the 50 states. As we entered the Hana Hou Restaurant, we were hit with sensory overload.

Which snack should we choose?

I chose a generous slice of chocolate peanut butter pie.

Dorothy picked the carrot cake.

Our fourth stop of the day was also in Naalehu. We stopped at overlook of the Naalehu coastline.

Whittington Beach Park Overlook

Next stop – Punalu’u Beach Park

Our Hawaiian Vacation: First Stop of Two Day Circle Tour

On our ninth day in Hawaii (Tuesday, May 25th) we embarked on a two-day circular driving tour of the island of Hawaii (see map here). John and Dorothy were our tour guides. During the two-day period we toured the following five regions: South Island, Kilauea Volcano, Hilo, Puna and Hamakua.

 

As we began our journey, the sights along the Southern Kona Coast (Rt. 11) were familiar. We had traveled this way the previous day, when we visited “the Painted Church” and the Place of Refuge in the village of Honaunau. Approximately 60 miles from Kona is South Point, which is the southernmost point of all 50 states.

As we traveled along South Point Road, we saw cattle grazing and windmills from the Pakini Nui Wind Farm.

This cow decided the grass was greener outside the enclosed field. Its assumption appears to be correct.

 

When we visited South Point a man was fishing from a platform.

The fishing line is held afloat by what appears to be a plastic bottle (the red speck in the water). At the end of the line appears to be a big plastic bag (black speck in the water).

South Point Sea Cliffs
(view from near fisherman)

Wind-swept Tree
There was a strong wind blowing while we were at South Point.
I read that a strong wind blows here frequently.

Beware of wife & dog

We found this sign somewhere north of South Point, but still in the South Island region. The sign provided a good laugh.

Next stop – Other small towns located in the South Island region

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