Thursday, December 20, 2012


Click on the photos to enlarge!

The Waipi'o Valley
A bird's eye view of the valley and its black sand beach

Hiilawe, the tallest waterfall in Hawaii

The ocean was to my back when I took this picture. This is the spot where the river meets the sea.

Seth braves the ocean. I was bruised and battered after wading in up to my waist, but it was worth it!

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 
We hiked through a rainforest into this crater, which is almost a mile in diameter and several hundred feet deep. You can see the path in the lower left hand side of this picture. The people hiking below looked like specks of dust.

Heading down into the crater with Lincoln, Sara and Seth.

We made it!

In a thousand years or so this will be a rain forest.

See how small the people on the trail look? The crater was massive!

A lava tube

Kilauea, an active volcano

Our hotel
The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Beautiful outside...

...and in

The view from our balcony

In a single drive we encountered mountains and rain forests, ancient fishing ponds, ranches and rainbows, a desert-like landscape scattered with paddle cactuses, and rolling green hills dotted with longhorn cattle--and still got back to the beach in time for the sunset.
Lava rock along the highway

An ancient fish pond

Rainbows are common here

The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

Monkey Pod tree

Akaka Falls State Park

Hawaii Island's most famous waterfall

Just another day on the Big Island

One of the highlights of the trip was snorkeling. With their pastel pink, blue and purple scales the giant parrot fish are as pretty as fish can get, but everywhere there are pops of yellow, neon blue, orange and red. The eels had nasty grins, but luckily stayed in their coral caves. I didn't have an underwater camera, but did get this shot of a pufferfish.

Sea turtles lounging in the sun.

Fellow guests at the Mauna Kea. These turkeys were on their way to harass diners at the restaurant at the end of this path.

The reason we were in Hawaii in the first place:
Elwood and Marsha's wedding

Just married!

The Portland gang, reunited