Hawaii 2011Trip - Page 3

On July 27th we landed at Kona Airport, on the West Side of the Big island. Below is a map of the Big Island. The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawaii Islandis a volcanic island (the eastern-most and southern-most in the Hawaiian islands chain) in the North Pacific Ocean. With an area of 4,028 square miles (10,432 km²), it is larger than all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined and is the largest island in the United States. The Island of Hawaii is administered as the County of Hawaii within the state of Hawaii. The county seat is Hilo. In modern times, Hawaii is known as the "Big Island" to reduce confusion between Hawaii Island and the state.

Hawaii is said to have been named for Hawaiiloa, the legendary Polynesian navigator who first discovered it. Other accounts attribute the name to the legendary realm of Hawaiki, a place from which the Polynesians originated, the place where they go in the afterlife, the realm of the gods and goddesses. Captain James Cook, who called them the "Sandwich Islands", was killed on the Big Island at Kealakekua Bay. Hawaii was the home island of Paiea Kamehameha, called Kamehameha the Great, who by 1795 united most of the Hawaiian Islands under his rule after several years of war. He gave his Kingdom of Hawaii the name of his native island, and the islands in chain are known collectively as "Hawaiian Islands".

We flew the 30 minutes from Honolulu to Kona on Go! Mokulele airways. Small 30 passenger jets made in Canada gave us a smooth and comfortable ride.

We picked up our rental car and drove the 20 miles north of the airport to our resort in the Waikoloa resort district. We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Resort. It's huge, and uses trains and boats to shuttle guests around the propery to different hotels and buildings.


"A destination in itself, this impressive property is nestled within 62 oceanfront acres, offering breathtaking tropical gardens and abundant wildlife. Explore our waterfront resort by air-conditioned trams. Or take a leisurely stroll along flagstone walkways flanked by Polynesian and Asian artwork. Located on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, Hilton Waikoloa Village features 1,240 guest rooms and suites - perfectly suited to any taste. Experience award-winning dining, world-class shopping, and an array of activities ranging from golf, tennis and the only interactive dolphin program on the island. Delight in all this exceptional Kohala Coast hotel has to offer for even the most discriminating traveler."

Usually it was faster walking tho, so we would walk the 5 to 10 minutes from the lobby to our hotel room. Here we take a self portrait in one the large hall way mirrors. There were hundreds of statues and museum pieces, as well as small smooth black rocks used as walkway edgings. Lots of them wound up under the "butt" area of the statues....wonder how that happened!


The next day after snorkeling in the resort lagoon we drove 3+ hours to the Hawiian Volcanos National Park visitor center. We got up very early, but it's a very long drive. Hawaii is big!


Of course the weather was unusually cold and windy when we got there in our T-shirts and shorts, so we had to buy parkas. Then an hour later it warmed up, and we just carried them around the rest of the day....LOL. Here Teresa models one of the parkas, with her new favorite Crazy Shirt hat....

A shot from the Volcano House overlook down at the Holemaumau Crater.

Five volcanoes make up the island of Hawai`i: Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea.

Volcanoes that will never erupt again are considered extinct. Dormant volcanoes have not erupted in historic time (the last 200 years in Hawai`i) but probably will erupt again. Active volcanoes have erupted in historical time (the last 200 years in Hawai`i).

Kohala, the oldest volcano on this island, last erupted about 60,000 years ago and is considered extinct.
Mauna Kea last erupted 3,600 years ago and is dormant.
Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea are active.

Hualalai erupted seven times in the last 2,100 years. The only historic eruptions were in 1800 and 1801. Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984 and sent flows towards Hilo. Kilauea has been erupting since 1983.

Loihi, a submarine volcano, is 15 miles (24 km) southeast of the island and 3,178 feet (969 m) below sea level. Loihi will probably not reach sea level before 250,000 years or more. Seismicity, geothermal vents, and fresh lava indicate Loihi is active.

Located within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and nestled on the rim of Kilauea caldera, the Volcano House with its unique charm, has captured the hearts of local islanders and travelers from all over the world. As Hawai'i's oldest continually operated hotel, with a history dating back to 1846, the Volcano House has offered spectacular views and warm hospitality for decades.

The Volcano House is just a short walk across Crater Rim Drive from park headquarters and the Kilauea Visitor Center. From Hilo: 30 miles southwest on Highway 11 (45 minute drive); from Kailua-Kona: 96 miles southeast on Highway 11, or 125 miles through Waimea and Hilo via highways 19 and 11 (2 1/2 to 3 hour drive).

Facilities include 42 Rooms, (20 Crater View, 12 Non-crater View, 10 Garden View ) Ka Ohelo Dining Room, Uncle George's Lounge, 2 Gift Shops and a Snack Bar. Ten Camper Cabins are operated by the Volcano House and are located in the Namakanipaio Campground.

Sadly, it's under renovation right now, and it's fireplace is not being used. The flame in the fireplace had been burning non-stop for 132 years....

Here we are with our matching parkas....

Walking the steam vent trail, where many cracks in the earth release clouds of steam. Rainwater trickles down into the earth, collecting on hot areas, which then steam out of the fissures.

Posing for the camera..
Most of the cracks run parallel to the crater, which is hundreds of feet deep. It makes you worry about it breaking off a bit....:)

Looking down 400+ feet at the crater floor. The roughly circular crater floor is 770 metres (2,530 ft) x 900 metres (2,950 ft) and is 83 metres (270 ft) below the floor of Kilauea caldera, located at coordinates 19°24'36'N 155°17'11?W? / '19.41°N 155.28639°W? ' 19.41; -155.28639Coordinates: 19°24'36'N 155°17'11?W' / '19.41°N 155.28639°W' / 19.41; -155.28639. Halema'uma'u is home to Pele, Goddess of Hawaiian Volcanoes, according to the traditions of Hawaiian mythology.

The Halema'uma'u crater is a pit crater located within the much larger summit caldera of Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Sulfur dioxide gas emissions increased rapidly at the beginning of the episode. On March 13, HVO recorded a rate of 2,000 tons/day, the highest rate since measurements began in 1979. A concentration of over 40 ppm on Crater Rim Drive was measured, prompting alerts and other public safety measures. Halema'uma'u crater continued to intermittently emit high levels of volcanic gases, ash, spatter, Pele's Tears, and Pele's Hair until the second episode.
More steam vents along a boardwalk area...
Sulfer Hills....where the steam carries sulfur to the surface.
Sulfur coated rocks.
Devestation Trail, an area where lava in the 70's moved thru a forrest and over roads.
At the bottom of the park, 3000 feet lower in elevation the lava pours into the ocean. It wasn't going into the ocean when we were there sadly, but here are some shots of the area...

Waves crashing against the cliff. The cliffs break off reguarily, and would kill anyone standing on the edge when it went. The surf action would kill anyone who fell in too.

Thomas succumbs to the steam plume fumes....
15 feet of lava poured over the road....
This kind of lava is called pahoehoe (pa -hoi-hoi) , and looks runny. The sharp stuff is called Aa. (ah-ah)
You can see the lava path coming down 3000 feet down the mountain on the top right...
Amazingly this sign did not have it's paint burn/singe.
3 foot thick slabs crack under their own weight as the lava below it drained off...
Looking down 3000 feet from the hillside.
Tree molds, which are caused as flowing lava piles up and cools behind a tree, cooling before the tree is incinerated.
Aa lava field. In the far distance several sulfur dioxide plumes are visible.
We then went to the Thurston LavaTube, located on top of the park area. Notice the heavy ferns.
Lava tubes are formed when hot fast moving steams of lava have their sides and top cool enough to solidify, and then when the source of lava stops, the insides drain out due to gravity, leaving a cave like tube. They are located all over the Hawaiian islands.

Thomas explores the tube.


We at dinner in Hilo and then drove back to Waikoloa. Back at our resort, one of the many resturaunts is this Japanese resturaunt with coi filled ponds surrounding it.

The next day we drove to UmaUma Zip Lines, Located again in the East Coast area north of Hilo. They drive you up the hillside two miles overlooking the ocean, then you zip down the same distance on a series of 9 ziplines. You criss-cross over a river gorge on many of the zips.


Thomas gets ready to do his first zip line....

THOMAS ZIPLINE VIDEO #1 (.mov format)

Teresa is always ready for an adventure!

Teresa comes in for her first zip line landing.

Here I am ready to go for my second line...

Teresa coming in for a landing.

The longest zip, over 2000 feet long.

Teresa did a great job, and looks great doing it.


Here I am ....still alive and smiling!

SEAN ZIPLINE VIDEO (.mov format)

Thomas doing the 2000+ foot zip.

THOMAS ZIPLINE #2 VIDEO (.mov format)

Looking back up the gorge at a series of cascading waterfalls.

All done for the day, doing 2+ miles of zip lines.

Here is the tram at our hotel.

Here is some of the teak wood boats, traveling along the canal system.

Looking down into one of the many pool/falls areas of the resort.

We did a Luau at the hotel as well. Here a pig has just been pulled out of a fire pit and is taken go to the buffet table.

Hungry tourists!

LauLau, Kalua pig, Hawiian Bread and Poi! I'm a happy camper!

Then the show started.