Hawaii (Part V)

Big Island Circumnavigation

As the days dwindle down to a precious few . . . I think, isn’t ‘dwindle’ kind of a funny sounding word?

November 28:  Hey, how ’bout a 13-hour, 280-mile day trip around the Big Island? Beginning with daybreak on Roy’s backyard patio in Kona, a rainbow (seen many, now know why it’s the University of Hawaii nickname) at the Parker Ranch (the biggest ranch in the country) at the north end of the island, the Super driving us in Hilo, fine Thai dining (just for “Weakie”) in Hilo, and Go Hilo High Vikings!!

[We began as always with coffee in Roy’s backyard.]

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[Then in the 3rd photo down, I got ‘im/’er:  Of Roy’s menagerie of wild “pets,” including a family of geckos, a giant moth, and an almost equally giant spider that guarded his garage door, my favorite was a dragonfly. You can see him/her slightly NE of the center (where the sky is background) of the backyard photo. Early in the morning I’d be out on the swing. The dragonfly would fly back and forth from Roy’s pond to about 10 feet in front of me, hovering and looking directly at me. My thinking was he/she wanted me to turn on the waterfall, which would come on automatically at 9:00 (as I recall). Cool . . . maybe I’m to dragonflies what Harry Potter is to snakes? ]

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[This was the day the Super (yes, the Super) would drive us all the way around the island.  We drove north, where for miles to our right and in front of us was Mauna Kea.  Mauna Kea is distinguished from the other big mountain, Mauna Loa, by the observatories on its peak.]

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[I guess this means we were leaving Kona.]

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[Then we drove over there . . . drat, someone must have beaten us to the pot o’ gold!]

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[Where we were in relation to stuff.  No pot o’ gold here either?  I’m beginning to think that’s just an old fairy tale?]

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[How else do you take a picture of the country’s largest ranch?  Didn’t buy anything there – not a fan of ranch dressing.]

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[Ruthie parking on the waterfront in Hilo – almost directly on the other side of the island from our start in Kailua.  Roy enjoys a little fine Thai dining on the strip.]

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[The Hilo waterfront.  Hilo is on the east, or wet, side of island – Roy lives in the desert West.]

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[Then we drove inland a bit, past the home of the Vikings, to . . .]

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[Here!]

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[And three from the Super.]

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[And now good-bye to our Vikings!]

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[Then on the way out of town . . . ]

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[To here . . . ]

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[We would be back to this overlook after sunset . . . ]

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[But before we leave, a few more glimpses around the lunar landscape.]

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[Stopping for a few “smokers” on the way back to . . .  ]

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[The lodge and . . . ]

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[The observatories on Mauna Kea (nope, didn’t go up there), and then on the way the mountain to . . .]

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[The ocean, through the lava fields . . . ]

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[Yes, it is a tourist bus . . . ]

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[Time for another overlook, and our first glimpse of the ocean . . . ]

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[See the storyline below.]

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[FB:  OK, back to the circumnavigation of the Big Island. Beginning with a view of Mauna Loa, the largest mountain in the world; then yet another rainbow, in the Kilauea Caldera in Volcanoes National Park; the Super and Roy at the overlook in hurricane force winds; the last to the ocean lava flow in 2013 (Roy watched it live from the boat); and the Super trying to remain upright in the strongest winds I can ever recall!]

[The views on the way down were spectacular . . . ]

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[Danger is everywhere!! . . .]

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[The Super is hanging over the edge.  When you look down, you can see the sea is cutting into the lava cliff below . . . . IIIEEEE, someday this ledge is going to fall into the ocean!]

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[Let’s head back up before it does collapse!]

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[And on the way up, in basically a tropical forest . . . ]

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[We survived the walk through the lava tube and eventually made it to here . . . ]

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[FB:  Volcano House @ Volcanoes National Park, we stayed until dark to catch the glow of the caldera. We left Volcano House to go back to the Jaggar Museum overlook for these shots. People from every country on the planet were there. When we found a spot, we took many photos – since we were hand holding a somewhat long shutter shot, they were all to some degree blurry. These were the best of the lot – and the first time Roy had seen this.]

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[Then we went back to the parking lot for dinner – we packed a lunch and ate out of the back end of the Subaru.  Then back to the lodge for nighttime viewing . . . ]

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[Roy and Ruthie at the window. . . ]

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[It was ultimately determined we were not going to see the magma glow from this far away, so we went back to where we were earlier in the day and took several hand-held telephotos shots.  These were the best of a sad lot – I needed a tripod.]

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To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.  ~ Aldous Huxley

Up next:  More Hawaii . . . or girls’ basketball.

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