Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 13, 2011
Our last day in Hawaii. We drove Saddle Road which cuts between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea Volcanoes. Went to the Ellison S. Onizuka Visitors' Center at Mauna Kea, which was at 9200'. He was an astronaut from Hawaii who last his life in the Challenger Explosion. Stopped in the old part of Hilo and had lunch. Saw Rainbow Falls, Kuhuna Falls, and Akaka Falls(by far the most spectacular). Drove back to Kona and the airport. Board the plane for home by way of LA and Atlanta. Saw the sunrise leaving LA.
In Atlanta while have lunch in the food court, John spotted our nephew, Mark, and a friend. They were on their way to produce game day in Tallahassee for ESPN.
Arrived back at the Akron/Canton Airport at 4:55 p.m. after another wonderful trip.
Pictures: Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Rainbow Falls, Kuhuna Falls, Akaka Falls, both of the previously mentioned in a rainforest. on the north side of the island near the Parker Ranch.
Sunrise flying east from LA.

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011
This morning those who were snorkeling today left at 8:00 a.m. Gary, Dawn and I left just after that. We drove south to the southern most tip of the U.S. (guess Key West can't claim that honor anymore). First we went to the Green Sands Beach. We didn't get right down to the beach as the road was really rough and only for 4-wheel drive vehicles. Then we went to the Southern Pt. There were wooden structures that use to be used for fishing, but now the kids use them for diving. The cliff walls are straight down, and the ocean has cut sea caves into the volcanic rock. There was a wind farm out there also. All the tree were wind swept and bending almost to the ground.
On the way back we drove to The Painted Church, a Catholic place of worship. There was cat asleep on the altar. We disturbed it, and a plant was knocked over in the process. The cemetery was old, and the gate was locked. Some of the statues had many ropes of shell beads draped around their necks.
The Monument to Captain Cook was in th
e same area. It was in front of the ruins of an ancient Hawaiian temple.
Pictures: Sign, Rd. to Green Sands Beach, sand, sea cave, fishing, diving,wind farm, Painted Church, cemetery, Statue with shell beads, Inlet, Cook Monument.

September 11, 2011
Today we drove south and east 97 miles to Volcanoes National Park. Stopped at the visitors' center, watched a movie, and heard a ranger give a good presentation of how the Hawaiian Islands were formed.
Drove on to Crater Rim Trail, a 4 1/2 mile trail into the 400'+ crater and Lava Tuba. When they returned, they hiked a 2.5 mile round trip trail to a cinder cone.
I was birding and only saw one new bird, an O'ma'o.
We drove into Volcano Village for dinner, then headed back to the Jaggar Museum and a view of the Halema'uma'u Crater, which is active.
The drive back to Kona was endless with lots of dark roads and hairpin curves. It was a lot like 250 as you head into West Virginia from Ohio.
Pictures: Sunrise and surfers, South shore, Hikers at the trailhead, Orchid, Mauna Kea, Hikers,
Halema'uma'u Crater on fire.

September 10, 2011 continued

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 10, 2011
We left at 7:00 a.m. The people hiking walked south from the park along sand and lava flow for about a mile. Then walked north along the same shoreline. They were about to see a couple of the Green Turtles, one in the water and one on land probably laying eggs. There was a nesting site at the park beach that was fenced for protection.
I drove north and stopped at several parks and historic sites. Drove all the way to Pololu Valley. The north end of the island is rugged and beautiful with Lava flows running out into the ocean.
In the evening we went to a Luau.
Pictures: Luau, sunset, Hikers doing the Hula, Plumeria, Yellow Hibiscus-the state flower, white
stones making graffiti on the lava along the highway, Lapakahi Historic Park, Tsunami sign, far north, Pololu Valley, Hawaiian checkers, Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Turtle eggs,
Ocean and hikers. Last few pictures later. Leaving for the day.