Sightseeing & Shopping

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Total Number of Articles - 20
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  • Rubbernecking at Kilauea Volcano

    sunset behind jagger museum at volcanoes national parkOn my last visit a few weeks ago, Halemaumau Trail was closed at the seam where the trail’s descent through a shady rainforest met up with the desolate crater floor, a demarcation line as distinct as blue and red in this upcoming election. A few years ago, a lava lake at the southeastern end of Halemaumau Crater started to generate excitement. It split open the crater floor and has grown to nearly 500 feet in diameter and more than 600 feet deep. This “pit within a pit” is the reason for the glow that is visible after sunset from the Jagger Museum. This week, I read that the level of this lava lake was rising quickly and threatened to flood the floor of Halemaumau Crater. Read More
  • Cheating Death inside Halemaumau Crater

    halemaumau all aglowHalemaumau Trail at Volcanoes National Park starts at the historic Volcano House hotel and drops 425 feet to the crater floor in less than one mile. It’s known as the oldest of the park’s many hiking trails and likely the very same one that Mark Twain and Isabella Bird descended in 1866 and 1873, respectively. That’s all I needed to hear.

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  • Birth, Life, Death, & Rebirth in Hawaii Island's National Parks

    tiki statues at puuhonua o honaunau national historic park on hawaii islandSitting on Hawaiian Airlines bound for Kailua-Kona, I got stuck in a middle seat between a man wearing a suit and reading legal briefs and another man, sleeping, who looked like he just left the beach, wearing Locals slippahs on feet pasted with sand. Sometimes, I feel self-conscious traveling alone throughout Hawaii. Not this day. Not with these guys. They didn’t bat at an eye at me, traveling alone. The theme of this trip for me was national parks. There are five national parks on Hawaii Island. Five. One island the size of Delaware. Five national parks. I had no idea. Did you? Read More
  • TSA Took My Salty Donkey Balls

    package of donkey balls from hawaii islandAnother TSA agent inspecting some other bag leaned over, looked at the plastic bag in Clark’s hand and nodded. “Donkey balls,” she said with a knowing tone. I smiled, embarrassed—but only slightly. “Those are for my husband,” I said. Read More
  • Historic Hawaii Island

    yellow tang at kahaluu on hawaii islandI am finishing up breakfast in the Kamaaina Terrace at Keauhou Beach Resort, sitting across from a chair recently vacated by a young man from Washington. He just headed out to Volcanoes National Park for the day. We talked about the lava show going on up there, the hiking trials, the visitor center’s many displays and educational opportunities. Well, I did. He was quiet. Read More
  • Kohala Coast Getaway, Part 4: Mauna Kea

    view of moon through mauna kea teleascope on big islandWe met Hawaii Forest and Trail at the King’s Shops in Waikoloa for a journey to the top of Mauna Kea and some stargazing. According to Jon, our guide, the night’s plan would have us traverse Waikoloa Road—with a stop at Waikoloa Village to pick up dinner and, “most importantly, cookies”—and continue to Highway 190. We’d take a left, passing through a one-time native forest and now pasturelands, and then a right on Hawaii (Big) Island’s infamous Saddle Road. We’d climb half way up the mountain, stop, eat, acclimatize, don jackets—really warm jackets—and head for the summit, where the temperature was predicted to be “about freezing,” a full 50 degrees colder than when we’d started out at sea level. Read More
  • Kohala Coast Getaway, Part 2: King's Trail

    The King’s Trail, also called the Mamalahoa Trail, once ran for 32 coastal miles from the village of Kailua-Kona in the south to the village of Puako in the north. The sign along Waikoloa Beach Road says it was originally built in the mid 1800s by prisoners and Hawaiians who paid their taxes in labor. It was used as a highway, of sorts, for pack animals. As such, it was stretched taut, in a straight line, with curbs of stone built up along the sides in order to keep the horses, donkeys and mules on the right path, just in case their riders nodded off to sleep during their long ride. I would imagine many of these riders set out at night to avoid the heat of the day, because there is absolutely no shade on the trail. Read More
  • 2010 Year in Pictures

    In 2010, I traveled around the main Hawaiian Islands, exploring Oahu, Maui, Big Island and, of course, the island on which I live--Kauai.  I always pack one of my various cameras when I travel, either my handy iPhone, portable Canon G9 or my SLR, a Canon 20D with a variety of lenses, including a fun and funky Lensbaby, walk-around 17-85mm, and a super-telephoto Tokina 75-400mm.  I take way more pictures than I ever post on this blog.  Here, in a review of 2010 in pictures, are many of those images that, for one reason or another, were never published.  Enjoy.
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  • A River of Lava on Big Island

    kilauea volcano lava flows into sea on big islandIn doing some research on ghost stories and Pele in Hawaii (they go hand in hand, many say), I ran across this October 28, 2010 video of a river of lava flowing to the sea on Big Island. It could be said the video is better than seeing it live, because you won't get this close to the lava yourself--trained scientists took this video--and not that you'd want to, quite frankly. Read More
  • The Hawaii Farmers Market Cookbook

    Ono Organic Farms dragon fruit on MauiFrom Watermark Publishing, The Farmers Market Cookbook is chock full of recipes and ideas of what to do with those interesting fruits and vegetables you find at farmers markets across Hawaii.  The beauty of this book is that it isn’t meant to sit in the kitchen. It makes a handy companion to tuck into your reusable bag that you carry for stashing all your Hawaii farmers market finds. Read More
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