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bgl

A NEW Big Island Thread

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bgl

And another view of the crater floor, with the "path" and some other people (and some in the distance).

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bgl

The parking lot/outlook (in the previous photo) is on top the crater wall on the right, about one third (of the photo's width) from the right side of the photo. Anyway, here we are back at the outlook and I'm taking one more photo of Kilauea Iki. This time, there are people visible (just barely!). There are a few just to the right of the little piece of grass on the left side of the photo.

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Kim

Fantastic volcano photos, Bo!  Gives me chills.  One of my daughter's friends is working at Volcano Nat'l Park, so if you meet a tall Ginger, say hello from Kim and Adrienne.

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bgl

Kim,

Thanks! And I'll keep that in mind. We actually know a number of people who work up there.

Bo-Göran

Another of my favorite places to visit is Kalapana and a walk out on the lavaflow that filled Kaimu Bay in 1990. This is less than a 15 minute drive from where we live. After my sister, her husband and I hiked out to the ocean we turned right and walked along the ocean and we found a beautiful blacksand beach. What's amazing is that prior to 1990 this location was out in the Pacific Ocean, at least a quarter mile off shore! And this was ALL WATER - who knows how deep!

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bgl

How many people can have the beach all to themselves!? :cool:

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bgl

On our way back we passed thru the area where the local Hawaiians are planting hundreds (thousands?) of coconut palms. These palms are surviving in a brutal environment, with no soil, very little rain and strong winds most of the time. All the areas in the foreground that are grey lava are the areas that were covered by the lava in late 1990. Again, this was ALL WATER prior to 1990. The beach up to that time was where the tree line is (in the distance).

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bgl

And after we left Kalapana, we drove along the coast on Red Road (officially State Road 137), which is very scenic. It used to be all made of red cinder, thus the popular name. Here my sister and her husband are enjoying a stroll under the amazing canopy.

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putu enjula

Great pictures Bo!!

I wanted to add a few of my Halema'uma'u pics...

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putu enjula

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I wish I had a recent pic....   lots of action in the crater lately!

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www.dadluvsu.com

BuuuuUUMP! I just wanted to bump this awesome photo laden thread... Any more contributions from The Big Island to get us Hawaiian wannabes in the travelin mood? B)

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bgl

William,

Thanks for the bump! :) I know I have more photos, taken over the last year. Decided to look at all the posts on all 7 pages, just to make sure I don't post anything that's too repetitive. Will be back...

Bo-Göran

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bgl

OK, William, I found a few photos that may wet your appetite. The photos in this post, and the next, are all from Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. HTBG is located at the Old Mamalahoa Highway (itself almost a botanical garden), at Onomea Bay, a handful of miles north of Hilo. It was founded by Dan and Pauline Lutkenhouse in the late 1970s, and is now a non-profit organization. Dan unfortunately died a few years ago, but Pauline is still active with the garden.

And you may wonder why these girls are in all the photos... Well, in this post, it's Nina and Stina, visiting from Sweden, and they stayed with us for a few days in late August (after Dean, our moderator, had entertained them on the Kona side!). Nina in black, in case you wonder who is who! I had volunteered to be their guide and wanted to document their very first visit to Hawaii with as many photos as possible. So here goes:

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bgl

And four weeks later, it just so happened that we had two other girls from Sweden visit us for a few days, and again I found myself in the role of guide and photographer. Here's Sandra and Susanna, also visiting HTBG. Sandra is the blonde. Sean Callahan, Palm Society member, and Director of HTBG, graciously accepted the role as our personal guide, again. He had made the mistake (or maybe it was no mistake...!?) to tell me on my visit with Nina and Stina that "whenever you have Swedish girls visiting, just bring them by". So, a few more HTBG photos.

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bigal954

So glad I read this. We will be on the Big Island four weeks from today. The pictures are great and cant wait to see it all again. This will be my 4th visit to Hawaii and my second trip to the Big Island.

Thanks for sharing the travel information from one side of the island to the other.

Allen

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OK, William, I found a few photos that may wet your appetite.

Some appetites are just insatiable... :drool: WOW - Those are some tall ladies! I'll be bringing my own sand to the beach this time! TYVM! :)

I'm afraid the only cure for my mainland ails may be to just fly 4800 miles west and hang out for a week or two in the jungle! Those gardens are surreal!

Q - Are the roads friendly to cyclists? For instance can one safely ride a bicycle from Leilani to Hilo?

How about all the other big islanders? Are ya'll gonna let Bo do all the work in this thread?!

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bgl

Allen and William,

Thanks for your comments! Riding a bike from Leilani Estates to Hilo is certainly feasible. It's about 25 miles. The first couple of miles (to Pahoa) is not really that great because there's no shoulder, and the cars are going to be zooming by at 55MPH (or more) REAL close. BUT, I've never seen anyone killed...! :) Once the highway (Hwy 130) gets to Pahoa, and beyond, there's a wide shoulder making it much safer.

Bo-Göran

A few more photos, and there will be some repetition. Same place as the top photos on this page. Kilauea Iki ("Little Kilauea") up in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is my favorite place to hike when we have visitors. The hike is relatively short (4 miles/6.4 km) and not strenuous and you get to see many different faces of the volcano: walking on the trail thru the Hawaiian rainforest, descend into the caldera and then walk across the floor of the caldera. On HVNO's website it says "2-3 hours", but you can actually do it at a fairly relaxed pace in 90-100 minutes. Not that you need to rush thru this unique experience...

Here again are Nina and Stina enjoying the sights.

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bgl

And a few weeks later, Sandra and Susanna having the same experience. Tried to find a few photos with different perspectives. This is one place where you can get into all sorts of interesting photography.

There are two different types of lava and both have Hawaiian names: a'a and pahoehoe. Both names have been adopted by volcano scientists the world over, and are now officially used to describe the two types of lava. A'a is VERY rough and uneven, and almost impossible to walk across without cutting up your shoes. You can see an a'a flow in the second photo (behind the girls). All the other photos show typical pahoehoe flows, which are VERY smooth. The last photo shows a crack in the caldera floor, where rainwater collects, and then sends up sulphur smelling steam. Thus, the discoloration.

Incidentally, the first photo shows the well trodden path across the caldera floor, even though you are certainly free to wander all over the place down there. The walls of the caldera are about 400 ft tall.

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bgl

And a few weeks later, I'm back doing the Kilauea Iki hike. AGAIN! :lol: Louise had been an au-pair girl with a family here on the Big Island, but decided quickly it was not what she had expected, so she left the family and stayed with us for a week before leaving Hawaii.

Louise achieves liftoff from the floor of the caldera in the fourth picture. I think you have to be 21 to be able to do this! :lol: And the last photo shows the entrance to the Thurston Lava Tube, located right next to Kilauea Iki.

More photos to come. Just not right now! :)

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bgl

Another place not to be missed is Kalapana, which is the small village that got almost completely wiped out by the lava flow in late 1990. About 185 homes were destroyed, and not only that, but the lava filled up Kaimu Bay, right next to Kalapana Village. We happened to be vacationing here in July 1990 so we were fortunate to see what it looked like before the destruction. The black sand beach at Kaimu Bay was a very popular spot. Now, it's no more. There's a 15 ft thick lava flow covering not only the black sand beach, but the entire bay. The few oceanfront homes that survived are still there, but the ocean is now more than a quarter mile away, instead of just across the little road outside their homes. What used to be Verna's Drive Inn is now the Kalapana Village Cafe, and they serve all sorts of food and drinks (non alcoholic). You can then hike out over the lava flow to the ocean, and there's a brand new black sand beach out there. Not safe for swimming (current is too strong), but definitely a fascinating and unique place to visit. Here are a few photos. Kalapana, BTW, is about 6 miles south of Leilani Estates (just heading further south on Highway 130).

So - just to be clear when you look at these photos: prior to 1990, none of this existed. This beach and these rocks and cliffs were all produced by the lava flow in 1990. This particular spot was simply put out in the middle of the water, at least a quarter mile away from land!

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bgl

A few more photos....Highway 137, a/k/a "Red Road", runs along the Pacific Ocean from Kalapana, via Kehena, Opihikao, Pohoiki to Kapoho. It's a very rural and untouched part of the Big Island with incredible scenery. Except for Kehena Blacksand Beach there are no beaches and typically the cliffs go straight down into the ocean, generally anywhere from a 15 to a 50 ft drop. This is a wild and untamed look, very reminiscent of islands in the South Pacific (Samoa for instance).

That's my sister, Gunilla, in photo #3 (visiting from Sweden). View of Pohoiki in photo #5 - popular local surfing spot.

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Kim

Ah, the Big Island! (sigh...) :wub: Someday soon...

I can't get enough, Bo, please continue. Anyone else with new photos to share?

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Urban Rainforest

I'm loving these pics of the big island! Alot of my pics are of the same things. One thing nobody mentioned yet is the fishing is'nt too bad either. Next to palms one of my other passions in life is deep sea fishing. I love to catch em and I love to eat em :drool: . Our first time we went to the big island a couple of years ago we rented a charter boat out of Kona harbor to give it a try. Me day dreaming about the big one :rolleyes: .

Stevo

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Urban Rainforest

Our captain seemed a little young :huh: .

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Urban Rainforest

I think they had it on auto pilot :hmm: .

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Urban Rainforest

Tuna Dolphins... a good sign :drool: .

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Urban Rainforest

HOOK UP!!! Me getting my but kicked by Big Island Ahi.

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Urban Rainforest

15 minutes later INCOMING!!!

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Urban Rainforest

Big Island sushi :drool: .

Stevo

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bgl

Steve, that's an impressive fish! But where's the Big Island? :lol:

And Kim, there are only but so many places here - even though this IS the BIG Island...! As I was going thru some of my file photos I came across photos from another Kilauea Iki hike, and because this particular day was such a unique experience I'll post a few of the photos. Despite the obvious repetition! This was in May 2006, and this is Johan and Magnus, visiting from Sweden. Johan is the son of an old classmate of mine, and they were on an 8 month around-the-world trip, and on their way back to Sweden. They spent about 10 days with us. It had rained quite a bit over the last several days, so lots of rain water had seeped into the cracks and crevices on the caldera floor, and that's why there was such an inordinate amount of steam. Have never seen this before, or after.

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Urban Rainforest

Thanks Bo, Where is the Big Island? It is a secret fishing spot in the middle of the pacific ocean :) . I think they grow a few palms there too :hmm: .

Stevo

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www.dadluvsu.com

Bo, the island seems so idyllic! As a realist, have you experienced any downfalls to living on the island? Hard to imagine many... mold, earthquakes, lava flow, pests?

Nice Ahi Steve! That's what I'm talking about! I'm hoping there's some good fishing on the rainy side...

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Urban Rainforest
Bo, the island seems so idyllic! As a realist, have you experienced any downfalls to living on the island? Hard to imagine many... mold, earthquakes, lava flow, pests?

Nice Ahi Steve! That's what I'm talking about! I'm hoping there's some good fishing on the rainy side...

Thanks Bill. There is fishing on the windward side but I'm not sure if it is as good as the Kona side. We let my brother and his family stay at our place last year and they went fishing on a boat out of Hilo harbor and caught a nice Wahoo. Kona is the Blue Marlin capital of the world with "granders" caught almost every year :drool: . I hooked about a 400 pounder on that same fishing trip. It hit my jig 4 times but never stuck :angry: .

I'm sure Bo could elaborate more since he lives there but for us it's paradise with mosquitoes :lol: .

Stevo

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BS Man about Palms

I've been avoiding looking at this thread for a long time for obvious resons. NOW what do I do? :blink: (sigh)

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bgl

Bill, you do the obvious - start planning a trip! :) And if you happen to have a bit of cash stashed away, now is probably a great time to buy property here. I have heard about one acre (vacant) lots here in Leilani Estates going for around $25,000. And who knows, a seller who is more "motivated" might even sell for less than that.

William, there are obviously drawbacks to every place, and exactly how those pluses and minuses stack up is really a very individual thing. Something that's extremely important to one person may be less important, or even irrelevant, to someone else. And yes, we do have mosquitoes, but this is a 'minus' that's actually individual on more than one level. If you live in an area without mosquitoes, it could be an issue (moving here). But more importantly, if you personally happen to be very sensitive, then what's a non-issue to some, may be a major issue. If you are accustomed to mosquitoes in FL, then you're not going to find a very different scenario here. (And, after living in FL for 7 years I feel competent to make the comparison). And, to take it one step further, anyone who has experienced mosquitoes in Alaska or in northern Scandinavia during the summer months, will think of this as a complete non-issue here. And even though we obviously have humidity here, with the prevailing tradewinds and less oppressive heat than in FL, it's definitely not nearly as bad (as in FL). Mold can be controlled to a great extent with extensive use of insulation. And can't do much about the earthquakes or the lavaflows. And given a choice, I think I'd rather take those than a more or less permanent hurricane risk...!

Bo-Göran

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bgl

One unforgettable experience when driving on Highway 19 north of Hilo, especially the first 25 miles or so, is the sight of thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of naturalized Archontophoenix alexandrae in the gulches, and elsewhere. You don't have to be a palm fanatic to appreciate the beauty of these palms on the mountainsides, but it probably helps! In some places Highway 19 crosses bridges, and as you look down from the bridge, especially mauka (=towards the mountain) the view is pretty overwhelming. The problem is you're travelling at 55MPH and there's no safe place to stop. However, there is one bridge where you can safely park, and this is very close to Mile Marker 19. The parking is on the mauka side on the southern end of the bridge. In other words if you're coming from Waimea/Honokaa, you're going to drive across the bridge and parking is then on your right. Hard to miss. Coming from Hilo, you have to be more observant since the parking area is before you get to the bridge. Park the car, and walk halfway out on the fairly long bridge. There is a narrow area for pedestrians on both sides of the bridge, and traffic generally speaking is not that heavy. Looking mauka (the 3 photos with all the palms) is a fairly typical view of what many of these gulches look like. Looking makai (towards the ocean) gives one a different perspective.

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Kim

Hey Steve, nice sushi! Very impressive.

Bo, the things that seem mundane to you are very interesting to us mainlanders. I do appreciate all the photos you have posted, what an incredible place! The volcano is so strange, kind of spooky and attractive at the same time.

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Urban Rainforest
Hey Steve, nice sushi! Very impressive.

Bo, the things that seem mundane to you are very interesting to us mainlanders. I do appreciate all the photos you have posted, what an incredible place! The volcano is so strange, kind of spooky and attractive at the same time.

Kim, All kidding aside it was the best Sahimi I've ever eaten in my life! We called my wifes uncle Mike up in Waimea and told him we had more Ahi than we knew what to do with. He brought the Heinekens to wash it down. Ahi Sashimi, Wasabe, Soy sauce and Heineken... as good as it gets :drool: . I'm making myself hungary :mrlooney: .

Stevo

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bgl

About a quarter mile away from our property (in a southeasterly direction) is a cindercone, right around the 1050 ft elevation. It's the highest point in this part of the Puna district. I have hiked up there many times, and you can enjoy a spectacular view of the entire coastline, from Kalapana to Pohoiki, and when visibility is reasonably good it's also possible to see Pu'u O'o, the location for the Kilauea volcano eruption since January 1983. Pu'u O'o is due west, about 10 miles away. From a physical point of view, this is a pretty easy hike, despite a very steep ascent the last stretch. It's the navigation that's tricky, and despite my many hikes up there I always have to pay real attention, because there's no trail and you're making your way thru VERY thick vegetation, and you can only see a few feet in front of you. The tricky part is less than 300 ft long (in the beginning) and it's amazing how many wrong turns you can make in that distance! Or fail to do a turn when you're supposed to... When Johan and Magnus (pictured below) were here in May 2006 we ended up missing the "straight shot" down to Malama Street, and were fighting our way thru thick underbrush for a good 45 minutes. We passed by a dead 200 lb pig and finally entered Leilani Estates in someone's backyard. Fortunately a vacant house.... The first 3 photos below are actually taken on the very top of the cindercone, which itself has plenty thick vegetation!

In the first photo, the very small village of Opihikao is visible in the distance, out by the Pacific Ocean. Probably only about 3 miles away.

Oh, and Steve - from your reponse I realize you probably misunderstood my question. My "Where is the Big Island" question simply referred to the fact that the Big Island was nowhere to be seen in your photos, even though deepsea fishing obviously is an important component of Kona! Won't attempt any more comments like that! :lol:

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www.dadluvsu.com

Can the pigs be eaten?

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