Winding down

Trip Start Feb 04, 2011
1
5
Trip End Mar 07, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just over 24 hours before we catch the plane home and it's hard to decide how we feel. A steady rain in Kohala is making it easier to leave Hawaii and we’re ready to get home after a month. On the other hand, it’s always hard to leave this beautiful place. If any of our blog fans have a large sum of money lying around and want to make someone very happy with it, consider buying us a home in Hawaii. We’ll report regularly on how much we enjoy it and take
good care of it.

It turned out the weather gods had a plan in mind when they forced the cancellation of Ray’s around-the-island flight last week. Ray, Kris and Tamara climbed on a Big Island Air Cessna Caravan on Thursday with six other venturesome tourists for a two-hour tour around the Big
Island. The attached photos will tell most of the story, but flying and visibility conditions were superb – equaled on only about a dozen days a year, according to Buster, our Captain. We
flew clockwise from Kona Airport up the Kohala Coast, over the top of Kohala volcano and down the east side to Hilo and back around. The pilot accommodated us by flying over our temporary home on the Kohala hillside, then ducked in and out of valleys down the east side.

Buster was able to fly across the center of Hilo, something he rarely can do because of the frequent rains on that side of the island (200+ inches a year). Then he flew us up to one of the most active volcanic sites in the world – Pu’u Oo (Poo-oo oh-oh) – and circled over it while we
gawked at and photographed live lava flows. Inside the crater is a huge pool of molten lava covered by a thin dry gray skin which constantly moves and cracks, offering glimpses of the hellish heart of the volcano. Pu’u Oo has been erupting continuously since January, 1983, making it the longest-lived rift-zone eruption of the last two centuries. So far, the eruption has claimed 189 buildings and almost nine miles of highway, as well as many ancient Hawaiian
sites. The coastal highway has been closed since 1987, buried under lava up to 115 ft. thick. As it approaches its 30th birthday, Pu’u Oo shows no sign of slowing down.

The rest of the flight was kind of an anticlimax, although the excellent conditions allowed us to view layer upon layer of lava flows dating back centuries, each a different shade of gray or
black. We flew over the Great Crack, widening constantly as the edge of the volcano slowly separates from the island. As we approached Kona, Buster pointed out the huge macadamia nut farm partially owned by Julie Andrews, right next door to Jimmy Stewart’s former Hoomau Ranch. Buster said Jimmy would fly his Piper Cub to Kailua-Kona for supplies. Great flight, great memories.

Friday we spent time with the kids in Kona, acting like tourists and lunching at Bongo Ben’s, across from the ocean. Then happy hour at Don the Beachcomber and a trip to the airport to put Ben and Ashley on their late flights back to Phoenix.

Kris and Tamara left Saturday. We’ve had a great time with the kids and we hate to see them leave. But our lives all are in different orbits, so we count ourselves lucky to be able to spend time with them, however briefly. We have missed Josh and Lindsey, but we look forward to Luke’s arrival salving their regret at missing this great vacation.

We fly home tomorrow night so, barring some remarkable occurrence, this will be our last report from Hawaii. Wish you had been here, but hope you enjoyed sharing our visit to the Aloha State. Mahalo.

Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

Alan Freitag on

Reads like a Robert Louis Stevenson novel. It's been a delight to follow your adventures. Have a safe return trip. Talk to you soon.

kATHY & LOU on

HI GUYS, WE LOVED ALL YOUR PICTURES AND WONDERFUL NARATION OF YOUR EXPLOITS IN HAWAII. HAVING BEEN IN HAWAII AND REMEMBERING OUR WONDERFUL TIME SPENT WITH YOU BECAUSE OF YOU WE ARE GRATEFUL. ESPECIALLY LOVED YOUR LAST PICTURE! ALL THE BEST, LOVINGLY, KATHY & LOU TOO

Dick Crockett on

Thanks for including us in your trip. I was going to go ahead and buy you that house but then the boys said they wanted to finish college. Kids today are so selfish.

Have a safe journey home.

3rd Son on

I nearly cried when I read it. Instead, I decided to skip parts. What's next?!

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