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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog - Hiking & Land Activities

Total Number of Entries - 65
  • Another Friday Afternoon at Kilauea Point

    Destination: Kauai

    Kilauea Point lighthouse lens, close upIt’s just another Friday afternoon at the refuge, and I am blogging from “Birdville,” a.k.a. Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. The skies overhead are clearing, after a surprising squall provided a bit of cloud clover and respite from the hot sun. Not enough rain fell to clean the windshield, much less soak the soil outside the wedge-tailed shearwater burrows and leach its nourishing bird guano deep into the ground. Funny how Hawaii skies sneak up on you like that.

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  • The New Hawaii Island is Big

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    kilauea volcano lava flows into sea on big islandNext week, I head to Big Island. Or “Hawaii Island,” as we are now asked to refer to the newest island, the one on the southeastern end of the Hawaiian Island chain, the one the farthest away from me, the one formerly referred to as “Big Island,” because of its size.

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  • Two Roads Diverged in Sunny Waikiki

    Destination: Oahu

    waikiki beach and diamond head at sunsetThe next night, I found myself outside the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel on Kalakaua Avenue again, and, again, I paused to watch humanity stroll by—a woman, husband, grandmother, runner, dogwalker, child and surfer leaving possibly the same wet footprints as the night before. This time, I turned left, proving you can come back another day and take the “other” road.

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  • Kohala Coast Getaway, Part 4: Mauna Kea

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    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.

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  • Kohala Coast Getaway, Part 2: King's Trail

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    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.

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  • Christmas Bird Count 2010

    I wasn't looking forward to today.  We've experienced some pretty hard rains that past few days, causing flash flooding, power outages, rock slides and road closures.  I wasn't too keen on counting birds in the rain.  But it wasn't raining this morning.  It was glorious.  (A tad muddy, though.)  A couple visiting from Whidbey Island in Washington joined us, modeling a creative way to volunteer on vacation.  Here is a slide show from today's bird count at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, one of thousands taking place throughout the country during this time as part of the National Audobon Society's 111th annual Christmas Bird Count.

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  • A River of Lava on Big Island

    Destination: Hawaii 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.

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  • Hiking Diamond Head Here's How

    Destination: Oahu

    hiking diamond head, oahu, close up of legsWhen I think of hiking, I think of trees and hills and the great outdoors.  I think of national parks and wildlife and long drives. I don't think of concrete stairs, tunnels and hand rails.  And, yet, I always descend Diamond Head with a smile on my face.

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  • Zipline Thrills: Screaming Like a Rock Star in Hawaii

    Destination: Maui, Hawaii Island, Kauai, Oahu

    Zipline tour on MauiFor some people I know, hiking the Kalalau Trail on Kauai makes them break into a sweat.  Others I know won't even think about driving the famous road to Hana.  For those people, I do not recommend ziplining. But, if you have a general respect for high places, like I do, and you like speed, like I do, then, you'll love ziplining. It's still a relatively new adventure in Hawaii. In fact, you won't even find ziplining adventures on all the islands.

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  • Koloa Sugar Produces Sweet Memories

    Destination: Kauai

    Some of my favorite childhood memories include sitting at my grandpa’s feet with my brothers and cousins while the storyteller of our family shared tales of his own childhood. My grandfather’s stories of growing up in the country on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri, always fascinated me. Sitting outside the Koloa Mill last week while Earl Smith and Stella Burgess talked about life on the sugar plantation, I felt like time had reeled back forty years, and I was sitting at my grandfather’s knee.

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