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I love visiting the Big Island — it’s such an awesome destination! Where else can you walk on the tallest mountain in the world (Mauna Kea, as measured from it’s base on the ocean floor) and watch lava flow from an active volcano (Kilauea), all in one day?
This photo was taken in Volcanoes National Park on the Chain of Craters road. Over the years lava flows have completely obstructed what once was a loop drive, but it’s still very interesting to see. Park near the end of the road and walk out on to the hardened lava shield for a great view — Pacific Ocean on one side, and endless acres of recent lava on the other.
I love …
“Pic of the Week”. March 8, 2013. Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau (The Place of Refuge), Big Island of Hawaii. Differing perspectives of sunlight at dusk
The Big Island is one of my favorite destinations, a place I can go to often and always feel at home. It’s a rugged land, newly created by it’s great volcanoes (and with new land formation continuing in the southern part of the island).
A special place I came across during my last visit to the Big Island was the “Place of Refuge” or, in Hawaiian, “Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau”. It’s a smaller National Historic Park situated just south of Kona that was important to the Hawaiian people because it was a “safe zone” — a place where someone who had broken one of the many Hawaiian laws could seek refuge and escape their sentence (usually death), with no fear of …
John Steinbeck is one of my favorite writers. In his great book, Cannery Row, he devotes an entire chapter to the quality of light an hour before the sun sets — what he called, “the hour of the pearl”. This has become deeply embedded in my neural network and whenever possible I like to head out either just before sunset or just after sunrise to take photos because of the soft special quality of the light.
This remains one of my favorite sunset photos. The day was rainy and cloudy on the southeast side of the Big Island of Hawaii and I had low expectations for viewing a sunset. But with about 30 minutes left before dark, the clouds …
My final blog post on the Big Island covers the driest (less than 10 inches of rain a year) and oldest parts of the island — the northwest and central regions.
The Kohala coast is a popular destination for tourists, with a string of resorts built beside beaches a half hour and more north of Kona. Many of the island’s best resorts and golf courses are located on this dry sunny lava plain. Most of my trips to the Big Island are centered around medical meetings which tend to be situated in Waikoloa so I’m most familiar with this part of the island. Because the Big Island is a fairly new piece of land, beaches are limited and the best beaches — Hapuna and Mauna Kea — are located …
Kona is the favored travel destination on the big island because its weather is nearly perfect, the temperature averaging 80 degrees F. As it’s in the island’s rain-shadow the climate is dry and not too windy. I like Kona because it’s home to the island’s only Costco, my favorite store (a great place to buy your gifts like macadamia nuts, quality Hawaiian shirts, etc) that also has the island’s lowest priced gas.
The main airport on the Big Island is Kona International; this most probably will be your port of arrival. At the airport you can visit the Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center, an educational facility dedicated to space exploration and a good …
Hilo is tucked into the northeastern corner of the Big Island, on the slopes of Mauna Loa’s rainy side. And boy can it rain; the region gets up to 200 inches each year though (fortunately) much of the rain falls at night. It’s because of this moisture and the warm weather that this is the side of the island where you get to see great waterfalls set in thick lush tropical rain-forest.
Hilo is the largest town on the Big Island although its population is less than 50,000 — “small town” by most standards. Its history dates back to the sugar plantation days when it was a thriving center of commerce, and it has a charming historic …
There are many places in the world I wish everyone could visit. At the top of this list is Hawaii. It’s a great travel destination and for me retains its magic even after multiple visits. Hawaii — the name of the island chain and also it’s biggest island — is one of the most remote places in the world, thousands of miles from other major land masses. Still, hundreds of planes land on these islands each day and much of the island chain is “touristy”, though there’s still a “real Hawaii” to be found. For me the “real Hawaii” is not natives living in primitive conditions but rather in memorable natural beauty — mountains, rain-forest, lava flows, desert and beaches. …