Hawai'i: The Big Island Part 1

My, how time slips away. I meant to blog these last weekend, but had to deal with several computer issues. I've been vigilant about backing up my photos so I don't lose them due to a computer crash!

We began our trip on "the big island" of Hawai'i which is the size of all the other islands combined plus more. We landed in Kona at 5:30 am, still dark, and as we ate breakfast, the pale pink glow of sunrise gave us our first view of the Hawaiian land. We were struck by how dry and rocky it is there. Black lava rocks make up much of the landscape and fill up fields that look like freshly-tilled land.

I was super tired from the red-eye flights and 3 layovers (courtesy of living on an island in Alaska) so I took a nap as soon as we got to our hotel.
Nate went to scope out the little beach by the hotel. Later, I joined him outside and snapped a few photos of him trying out this new form of water transport.
Later, we picked up Tricia and Jeremy from the airport and walked around Kona.

Jer and the viney tree.

Below, I manually exposed for the flowers and let the skies be over-exposed.

Beautiful sun.

Excuse the quality of this photo, I snapped it with my point and shoot. After eating Sushi, miso soup, teriyaki chicken and whatever else at a Japanese restaurant, we got ice cream at "Lava Java" and sat and listened to the live Hawaiian music.
It was really nice.

The next day, we started on on drive around the island. We stopped at Target to get some snacks and beach stuff and drove north along the Kohala Coast.
We stopped at one of the parks on the way.

I always admire the strength of the ocean; almost all the beaches we stopped at had very large waves that would undoubtedly be somewhat dangerous to swim in.

See, I'm not the only shutterbug on this trip!

Jer was driving, with Nate in the front passenger's seat ("Chief Nav" duties) and they found this little gravel road. Caught their curiosity and they took it. It must be a "shortcut", they concluded. It was a very rocky road, but another great ocean view.

Another stop, there are some ruins, possibly an old boat harbor? Where Nate snapped this fish photo with the waterproof point and shoot.

Further along, Nate had his eye out for any trees that had fruit on them. When this tree looked accessible, they had to stop and get some. Turns out it was a guava tree.

Tricia and I thought this was a pineapple, but then figured out that it wasn't because the little knobs were like mini paintbrushes.

The Kohala area is very "country-ish" with many ranches and fields.

We stopped by the Pololu Valley lookout and all I can say is lucky horses!

A funny and friendly tourist offered to take our photo at the Waipio Valley overlook.
(Nate actually smiled!)

Don't tell our rental car company that we took another "shortcut". Reminded me a bit of "4-bying" in the rural Northern MN hills except with different foliage.

There were several abandoned buildings that were begging me to take their photo.

Further down the Hamakua Coast, we arrived at Akaka Falls State Park, on the rainy side of the island.
I just love the bright greens and colors of the tropical rainforest. Much different from the colder, temperate rainforest of Southeast Alaska.

All 442 ft of Akaka Falls. It was majestic. Since there's been a "drought" here, the waterfalls here, too, are not as full as usual.

We rented a house in the Hawaiian countryside, near Akaka Falls. (thanks to Tricia)
It was rustic, but comfortable.
The house was "off the grid" per se, being it used solar panels and collected the water supply in a metal reservoir in the backyard.

It was very peaceful there.
Crickets and roosters filled the air with their "music".

Next up:
Hilo and Volcanoes National Park and more of the Big Island.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! It looks like you got a great taste of Hawaii- not just tourist-y beaches...Looks like so much fun!

Julie said...

Oh.my.gosh. These were so worth the wait! Absolutely beautiful. I love that you rented a place and did some unbeknownst-to-the-rental-company offroading. :D

That picture of you and Nate is incredible. Hang it up in your home somewhere!

Pietila Family said...

Fun to see your pictures! Just awesome. Cute one of you and Nate!

Jan said...

Makes me want to fly off to Hawaii!
me is envious :) gorgeous photos!

Elizabeth said...

Love the photos! Can't wait to see more.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures and I also agree that that's a great photo of you and Nate!

Amanda Kay said...

Beautiful! Lucky for you to be able to take a vacation somewhere sooooooooooo gorgeous and warm!!!

Katelyn said...

The pic's look great! Can't wait to see what else you have :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! These pictures are awesome, worth the wait! Mom Skoog

~ Junkyard Jennifer said...

Amazing pictures! I love the one of you and Nate! I can't wait to see more.

That's pretty cool that you rented a house out in the country.

~ Jennifer

Pietila Family said...

I keep coming back to see if you've posted more Hawaii pictures. Don't worry, I'm patiently waiting. : )