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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog

Total Number of Entries - 571
  • Cheating Death inside Halemaumau Crater

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    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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  • A Beautiful Hawaiian Monk Seal at Keauhou

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    hawaiian monk seal in tide pools at keauhouThere’s a big, fat Hawaiian monk seal asleep in the tide pools outside Keauhou Beach Resort right now. I spotted her when I checked into my room and—like I always do first-thing—yanked open the curtains to check out the view. The female seal sleeps on a rock a few hundred feet away from a huge heiau, making me think how Hawaiian monk seals bridge time.

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  • Big Island Here I Come

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    volcanoes national park steaming halemaumau craterI'm headed to Hawaii, Big Island to attend the Breadfruit Festival this Saturday, where I hope to buy a breadfruit tree. That much I know. I also know that I will be staying at Keauhou Beach Resort before it closes forever, and I will meet up with my cousin Stef for fish tacos at Huggo's on the Beach.

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  • Discovering Hawaii in "Islands Linked by Ocean"

    Destination: Oahu

    Islands Linked by Ocean is a collection of short stories all set in Hawaii, except for one. That story's set in Las Vegas, which everyone calls the eighth Hawaiian Island, anyway, so, really, we can say all the stories are set in Hawaii.

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  • Hiking inside Haleakala Crater. Part Three.

    Destination: Maui

    kim at end of haleakala trekBy now, you know I made it down Haleakala on Maui. The question that remains is how. My comedian readers would say that I made it down the slopes of Haleakala one step at a time, and that I did. The descent out of Haleakala Crater from our cabin in Paliku to Kaupo descended a healthy 6,130 feet over 8.6 miles, and it appears that even trimming my toenails and buying hiking shoes one size too big wasn’t enough to prevent what athletes call turf toe.

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  • Hiking inside Haleakala Crater. Part two.

    Destination: Maui

    haleakala sunset at palikuSo, there I was, four o’clock in the afternoon on a rainy September Sunday, 10 miles by foot from the nearest paved road. Sitting in a wilderness cabin the size of my living room at 6,380-foot elevation inside the dormant volcano known as Haleakala on Maui. No cell service to call my mother and say we’d hadn’t died on the trek the day before. No wi-fi to check my email. No electricity to charge any electronics whatsoever.

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  • The Coco Palms: 20 Years after Hurricane Iniki

    Destination: Kauai

    shatter glass sign at coco palms hotelSeptember 11, 2012 marks the 20th anniversary that Hurricane Iniki made landfall on Kauai, clocking 145 mph winds and gusts topping 230 mph. According to yesterday's article in The Garden Island, six fatalies were blamed on Iniki. Damages totaled more than $1.8 billion, including the loss of 1,400 homes and severe damage to 5,000 more.

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  • Hiking inside Haleakala Crater. Part One.

    Destination: Maui

    closeup of ahinahina leaves in haleakalaHaleakala is famous for its sunrises. Visitors head up the mountain in the black of night in order to witness the sun crawl up and over the tallest mountain on Maui, a dormant volcano, a sight considered by some to be an otherworldly experience. At 10,023-foot elevation, the black of night also delivers a spectacular star show, an added bonus, not quite as famous as its Mauna Kea neighbor, also peaking above the clouds, on Hawaii (Big) Island. But spectacular all the same.

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  • August in Photos

    lilikoi passionfruit flower on sleeping giant mountain, kauaiWhen I think of August 2012, I think of wedge-tailed shearwater chicks. I think of fledgling red-footed boobies circling Kilauea Point lighthouse. I think of bronzed versions of native forest birds at Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens. When my brain shifts away from birds, I recall the happy trails of the Alakai Swamp. The sweeping views atop Kuliouou Ridge Trail. The white sands of a Kailua beach walk.

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  • Sinatra at the Tip Top Cafe

    Destination: Kauai

    I just learned that Ava Gardner broke up with Frank Sinatra at the Tip Top Café in Lihue, Kauai. With its vinyl booths, Formica tables and cavernous-tall ceilings, you can just imagine Hollywood’s royalty noshing on pancakes—or oxtail soup, another of the restaurant’s famous dishes—and picture Ava, her head tilted, her eyes slit, delivering the news to Frank as a cloud of cigarette smoke hovered in the air above the soon-to-be ex-lovers.

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