Final Days of our Hawaiian Adventure

Thursday–National Volcano Park

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park protects some of the most unique geological, biological, and cultural landscapes in the world. Extending from sea level to 13,677 feet, the park encompasses the summits of two of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.

Mauna Loa

The Volcano National Park explains:

“The Hawaiian name “Mauna Loa” means “Long Mountain.” This name is apt, for the subaerial part of Mauna Loa extends for about 120 km (74 mi) from the southern tip of the island to the summit caldera and then east-northeast to the coastline near Hilo.

“Mauna Loa is among Earth’s most active volcanoes, having erupted 33 times since its first well-documented historical eruption in 1843. It has produced large, voluminous flows of basalt that have reached the ocean eight times since 1868. It last erupted in 1984, when a lava flow came within 7.2 km (4.5 mi) of Hilo, the largest population center on the island. Mauna Loa is certain to erupt again, and with such a propensity to produce large flows, we carefully monitor the volcano for signs of unrest.”

Kilauea

The Bowlers walking on lava rock

Volcano National Park says:

 “In 2018, a new eruption of Kīlauea volcano changed the island of Hawai‘i forever. From May through August, large lava flows covered land southeast of the park destroying over 700 homes and devastating residential areas in the Puna District. At the same time, the summit area of the park was dramatically changed by tens of thousands of earthquakes, towering ash plumes, and a massive collapse of Kīlauea caldera.”

Following a very explosive and destruction, Kilauea finally stopped action later in 2018.

We explored the dormant volcano caldera at the National Park Center and Aiden completed the volcano ranger badge. We explored around the park and even walked upon some dried lava.

Aiden talking to park ranger at the Volcano National Park

It was interesting to see that soon after the lava flows, life returns with tiny plants that grow quickly in the grow in the volcanic fertile soil.

Friday

Ala Kahai Trail by the Sea

Ala kaha kai means “shoreline trail” in the Hawaiian language. The trail follows the coastline over ancient fishermen’s trails through over 200 ahupaa the traditional sea to mountain land divisions. In ancient times travel would often cover both land, and sea in canoes for potions of the journey. It passes through both public and private lands, providing access to numerous beaches and resorts.

Much of the trail receives only limited maintenance and sections have been eroded or developed into roads. Only the one section of the trail has signage. We only went a little way but there was a park ranger station, so Aiden could earn another badge.

Beach 69—Waialea Bay

This pretty little white sand beach has nice trees for shade all along the shore and it has a very secluded, rugged feel to it that we really enjoyed. The slope of the beach is very gradual, the bay is more protected and calmer, and the snorkeling is a shorter swim from shore than at Hapuna Beach just down the road. But when the tide is up there is not much beach for hanging out on.

This beach was our favorite snorkeling beach when we lived in Hawaii 40 years ago.

Jason and I both snorkeled, but Jason went out further and got moving pictures of turtles swimming.

We knew it in 1970s as Beach 69 because that was the number of the telephone pole at the turn, but that pole is now gone. It is also known as the Waialea Bay section of the Hapuna Beach State Recreational Area, and it is north of Kona and Waikoloa on the Kohala Coast

It is ironic that when we visited Beach 69 with Diana and Jason, I kept saying that I didn’t think this was the right beach. Jason and Diana kept insisting it was. Finally, I couldn’t deny that they were correct—this was Beach 69, even if the tide was out and it was far rockier than I remembered. But I still enjoyed the snorkeling.

The guy below reminded me of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”—he was so high and so corny. This beach with its lack of amenities and its laid-back people was like being in a time bubble of the 70s and 80s.

Pu’ukohola-Heiau National Historic Site

Pu’ukohola Heiau, one of the last major temples built in the Hawaiian Islands, was constructed by King Kamehameha the Great from 1790 to 1791. Arguably one of the greatest leaders in Hawaiian History, Kamehameha became the first person to unite the Warring islands into the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Pu’ukohola Heiau played a crucial role in the unification of the Hawaiian Islands, for Kamehameha built the temple as a result of a prophecy that came through a priest named Kapoukahi. The kahuna or priest told Kamehameha that if he would build a heiau on the hill known as Pu’ukohola and dedicate it to his family’s war god Kuka’ilimoku, he would be able to conquer all the islands.

Heiau as it is today
Heiau as it was in King Kamehameha’s day

We were able to watch the whales (though not as closely as we’d watched them from our whale-watching boat).

The guide was telling us there were sharks in the water, so Aid walked in to say that he’d been in shark-infested waters. Then they actually saw a shark.

Size of a real whale’s tail

Hawaiian Food

I love Hawaiian fruit, and we had a lot of them, from lilikoi (passion fruit), small sweet bananas, starfruit, cumquat, abiu, tree tomato, etc.

I had a chance to eat my favorite dishes, lomi-lomi salmon, searched ahi, and malasadas.

Hawaiian Flowers

Flowers are so abundant and so different from all home flowers, especially on the Hilo side of the island which is lush and green with flowers everywhere.

Don’t ask me to tell you what kind of flowers they were—I don’t know.

We used to go to the jungle to pick flowers to make leis.

Our lodgings—Royal Sea Cliff

We stayed at two places, the Wyndom Royal Sea Cliff Hotel in Kona, a time-share that was gorgeous and right on a rocky beach. We even had a washer/dryer in our room.

We also stayed near the volcano in a lodge in the jungle. Both were unique and reminded me of the difference between the Kona and Hilo sides of the island.

Volcano Lodge

This lodge was like going back in time to the 30s when it was built. And it was in the middle of a tropical rainforest (and yes, it rained)!

Going Home

Finally, on Friday night it was time to go home. I flew out at 10:30 p.m. after enjoying a trip to paradise.

I left dreaming of all the things I saw and places I went.

ALOHA.

More Hawaiian Adventures

Whale Watching

We were at the whale-watching site long before sunrise, and watched the sun rise on the boat.

We heard a very interesting and comprehensive explanation of whales as we waited to see the whales.

Just as the sun rose, we saw several whales, including several who jumped at the same time. The last photo showing this was not mine, but off the internet, but it shows how fun it was.

Diana and Aiden on Whaling Ship
I didn’t take this photo but we saw this happen.

Kona Temple


          I went to the Kona Temple and it was wonderful. It is reassuring and peaceful the temple—anywhere in the world—is. Afterwards, I went to the Urgent Care Clinic to get a tetanus shot.

Kona Temple

Kailua Kona

We wandered around the Kailua Kona area, exploring museums, and other places (including markets where we bought some stuff at the ABC store. We finally found a place to eat at the Splasher’s Restaurant, where I ate Ahi (a type of tuna).

We tried to get some shaved ice, but we couldn’t find any.

Aiden and Nona at Splashers
Kona Pier

Wednesday

Kula Kai Caves

The lava tube caves were very different than I’d expected since my experience with lava tubes near Hilo was Kaumana Caves, It had very smooth walls and no lighting (just your flashlights. It is still open, but hard to get to. Kula Kai lava tubes were lighted and quite accessible.

Nona and Aiden in the caves
Bowler family
Cave Entry

South Point—Black Sand Beach

Windswept Ka Lae’s claim to fame is that it is the southernmost point of land in the United States. Also known as “South Point,” it’s believed that Ka Lae is the first place Polynesians came ashore when they reached the Hawaiian Islands as early as 750 A.D. There are still old canoe mooring holes carved throughout the rocks that local fishermen use to this day.

The entire southern tip is registered as a National Historic Landmark, as it’s scattered with the ruins of heiau (temples) fishing shrines and other cultural relics. A trip here is an opportunity to experience the elements — land, air and ocean — because that’s what South Point is all about: nature’s raw and powerful beauty.

Aiden and Diana at SouthPoint

Punalu’u Bakery

Punalu’u Black Sand

My Hawaiian Adventure –part 2

Lau pahoehoe Beach

Lauhoehoe Beach

Laupahoehoe is known for its scenic views, but it also holds a tragic past. It was here where a tsunami killed 19 schoolchildren and 5 adults on April Fool’s Day in 1946. The names and ages of the victims were engraved on a rock, which serves as a memorial in the park. The village was later relocated further inland to avoid another tragedy.

Laupahoehoe is known for its scenic views, but it also holds a tragic past. It was here where a tsunami killed 19 schoolchildren and 5 adults on April Fool’s Day in 1946. The names and ages of the victims were engraved on a rock, which serves as a memorial in the park. The village was later relocated further inland to avoid another tragedy.

Aiden looking out at Lauhoehoe
Marlowe at Lauhoehoe in 1978

Waipio Bay

Waipio valley was home to old Hawaiian kings and once upon a time was densely populated. Now however, Waipio valley is mostly wilderness interspersed with taro fields and a couple of dozens of inhabitants.

Diana and Beth at Waipio Overlook

Waipio (or Waipi’o) is named after the river that runs through the valley (wai-pi’o means curved water in the Hawaiian language) and is about one mile wide and six miles deep. Towards the back the valley splits into many ‘fingers’, each with its own waterfall. The valley meets the ocean with a beautiful black sand beach that is cut in two by the river.

Aiden walking on the beach at Waipio Bay

One of the reasons Jason had wanted to rent a jeep was to take the steepest road in North America down to the beach. It was bumpy and scary at times but Aiden and I sat in the back seat just laughing as we bounced around.
The trip to the beach was worth the effort, however, as we saw tiny jellyfish washed up on the shore and saw one of the waterfalls.

Treking through ponds
This road to the beach is the steepest road in North America
Waipio Valley

My Hawaiian Adventure

Hilo


Hilo, itself, hadn’t changed much since we lived there 40 years ago. Walking along downtown I was reminded that we were all in tsunami territory. There was a terrible tsunami in 1946 that totally wiped out Hilo and Lau pahoehoe (which we’ll go to next). One of the reasons for being hit so hard was the bay in Hilo. It channeled the wave to become narrower and higher.
I recalled years ago when we lived in Hawaii, we were in the downtown bay area (which does not have a lot of buildings) and the tsunami-warning horns blared. I didn’t know what to do and the kids kept running around. A uniformed man came and told us that in was just a warning, but if it had been real, we’d all have died because we didn’t head for high land.
We ate at a place called “Lucy’s Taqueria” and had Mexican food. I had the hugest burrito I’ve ever seen. We went to a market and bought a coconut which we split open and had some coconut water.

Liliokaloni Park

Aiden, Diana & Jason under the Banyan Tree

On our way to Liliuokalani Park, we drove on Banyan Drive and saw lots of huge banyan trees. I recalled how in the summer when we lived in Hawaii, The Hilo Community Players (performing since 1938) always had a play in the park. I especially remember the year they did “Midsummer’s Dream” under the Banyan Trees and it really was a treat. We took the kids, too—no wonder our kids are theater crazy!

This is a Japanese-style park and quite different from most American parks. Wikipedia says of this park: “Much of the park now consists of Edo-style Japanese gardens, built 1917-1919, and said to be the largest Japanese park outside Japan.” It is in downtown Hilo, and truly fun to explore.

Liliokaloni Park

Blink and you may think you’re in Japan as you stroll through peaceful Liliuokalani Gardens, named after Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. Located on Hilo’s Banyan Drive, this authentic, 24.67-acre park is very beautiful.

The park is an Oriental treasure so different from most of today’s parks This garden was dedicated in 1917 as a tribute to Hawaii’s first Japanese immigrants who worked in the island of Hawaii’s sugar cane fields.

Jason, Aiden & Diana at Liliokaloni Park
Marlowe and Sarah 2005

This beautifully landscaped park features arching bridges over fishponds, rock gardens, pagodas, Japanese stone lanterns and a teahouse. Views of Hilo Bay and Mokuola (Coconut Island) enhance this peaceful setting.
Here are pictures of Liliokaloni Park in 1978, Marlowe with his daughter visiting Liliokaloni Park in 2005.
The park is an Oriental treasure so different from most of today’s parks.

Above are pictures of Jason, Aiden & Diana in Liliokaloni Park in 2020, and Marlowe with his daughter visiting Liliokaloni Park in 2005. Below is a photo of Athena in the park in 1978.

Rainbow Falls

The Rainbow Falls in Hilo is a broad waterfall in the Wailuku river and it is conveniently located within Hilo town. It cascades over a lava cave that according to legends is home to the ancient Hawaiian goddess Hina, the goddess of the moon.

Depending on the amount of rainfall upstream in the preceding days the falls can be either roaring or they can be reduced to a trickle.

Aiden at Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls at flood stage during a cyclone 1979

In the Hawaiian language, the rainbow falls are called “rainbow [seen in] water”, or Waiānuenue.
While we lived in Hilo, a cyclone hit and Rainbow Falls flooded, and we lost part of our roof.

Going Back in Time–My Trip to Hawaii 2020 Part 4

Forty years ago, we lived on the Big Island of Hawaii. Now–40 years later, I went back there to see how it has changed. These are my recollections of that trip back in time.

Liliokaloni Park

This is a Japanese-style park and quite different from most American parks. Wikipedia says of this park: “Much of the park now consists of Edo-style Japanese gardens, built 1917-1919, and said to be the largest Japanese park outside Japan.”

We have many memories of visiting Liliokaloni Park, both in 1978-1980, when my son and his family visited there in 2005, and present day.

Liliokaloni Park, Hilo, Hawaii


This beautifully landscaped park features arching bridges over fishponds, rock gardens, pagodas, Japanese stone lanterns and a teahouse. Views of Hilo Bay and Mokuola (Coconut Island) enhance this peaceful setting. 

The park is an Oriental treasure so different from most of today’s parks.   

Rainbow Falls

           The Rainbow Falls in Hilo is a broad waterfall in the Wailuku river and it  is conveniently located within Hilo town. It cascades over a lava cave that according to legends is home to the ancient Hawaiian goddess Hina, the goddess of the moon.

           Depending on the amount of rainfall upstream in the preceding days the falls can be either roaring or they can be reduced to a trickle.

In the Hawaiian language, the rainbow falls are called “rainbow [seen in] water”, or Waiānuenue.

Nona and Aiden at Rainbow Falls

When we lived in Hawaii, a cyclone hit the island and Rainbow Falls had a tremendous flow!

COVID-19 AND ME

Winter/Spring 2020 has been like “the world turned upside down.” Wikipedia explains that “The song ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ is an English ballad. It was first published on a broadside in the middle of the 1640s as a protest against the policies of Parliament relating to the celebration of Christmas.” Tradition has it that when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown (1781) the British played this tune, although there is some debate as to whether that is myth of fact. One of the song’s ballads explains how a world would be upside down:

If buttercups buzz’d after the bee,

If boats were on land, churches on sea,

If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows,

And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse,

If the mamas sold their babies

To the gypsies for half a crown;

If summer were spring and the other way round,

Then all the world would be upside down.

(From Burl Ives Songbook)

Today, the musical “Hamilton” has a popular song by Lin-Manuel Miranda titled “Yorktown; the World Turned Upside Down.” Both the original ballad and Miranda’s song refer to a world where nothing makes sense: “If summer were spring and the other way round,” is a world unlike what we’re used to and understand.

Spring 2020 is such a world: where businesses are closed by edict of the city or state; where everyone is order to “stay safe; stay home.” People work from home offices and schools are taught online to children attending at home. Universities are empty, all public sports are cancelled, and roads are deserted. People are only allowed out for necessities, such as getting food, or going to essential jobs—medical personnel, grocery store workers and suppliers, pharmacies and such.

All because of a dangerous pandemic, COVID-19, which probably began in China last winter and was inseminated world-wide by our global travelers.

The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has spread from China. Coronavirus cell. Vector illustration

Young people usually have mild cases, or no symptoms, and often do not even know they are contagious. People “shed” the virus long before they know they are sick, so infect all they come in contact with before they even show a symptom. The old, the infirm, people with pre-existing conditions that compromise their health, are the ones hit hardest by the virus. Its main complication is a problem breathing, and many are put on ventilators for weeks and often die.

It has been two weeks since our governor requested everyone stay at home, and today our county made that an order punishable by fines or jail if not adhered to. My daughter, Diana, her husband, Jason, and son, Aiden and I were on the Big Island of Hawaii when the first mention of a pandemic was spoken of. While we were there, the first person identified in Hawaii with the virus was publicized.

Wuhan coronavirus outbreak influenza as dangerous flu strain cases as a pandemic concept banner flat style illustration stock illustration

My son, Marc, and his fiancé, Jacci, were not as lucky. They were in Venice enjoying the early days of Carnivale, when suddenly Carnivale, all public events and tourist attractions were suddenly shut own because of the virus and the sudden explosion of cases and deaths in Northern Italy. A week later, Marc and Jacci arrived in the United
States and immediately went into 14 days quarantine because of their possible exposure to the virus.

 I am both elderly and have compromised health, and my son, Bryan, who lives with me has ankylosing spondylitis that includes auto-immune problems, so Marc and Jacci rented an Airbnb (a rented vacation home), and stayed there during their quarantine to isolate themselves from us in case they had caught the virus in Italy. Two weeks and a negative Covid-19 test and they were able to move back into my house on March 14.

Marc has been very protective of me and wanted me to stay home all the time; he and Jacci order the groceries and pick them up in the drive-through window (the way they had ordered their food during their quarantine). So, I can’t do routine servicing of my car; I cannot get my hair or have my cleaning lady come. I can’t even open the door to get a package because it might be contaminated.

In Utah, the virus hasn’t been too bad, but elsewhere in the country—New York, California, New Orleans, the deaths have been astonishing! Over 200,000 Americans have tested positive for Covid-19, and as of today, over 4,500 have died. The president announced today that the projected death rate, if people self-isolate, is from 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. Without self-isolation, it could reach between two million and 2.4 million deaths.

Then on top of everything, two weeks ago tomorrow, we had a 5.7 earthquake in Magna that we all felt here. We’ve had numerous aftershocks that have shook us up, but they are finally subsiding. Yesterday, Idaho had a 6.4 earthquake about 75 miles away from Ed’s sisters’ homes.

How is this affecting me? I’m home and can’t go anywhere, except for a walk in the early evening when not many people are out, and I stay six feet away from anyone. My stress level is high; I have had two migraines and an attack of stress-induced pericarditis this week.

Some things my children have done is for me to skype with Marlowe’s kids in Seattle and read stories to them; talk to my isolated children and grandchildren as much as possible, and to pray. It truly is a world turned upside down.