Monday, January 11
We started out early this morning, headed to Hilo. After about 30 minutes, we turned back when we realized we probably didn’t have enough fuel to make it all the way. When driving across the island, there are no gas stations for 50 miles or more.
OK, fueled up and ready to go. The goal today was to have breakfast (ultimately it was lunch) at Ken’s House of Pancakes. Ken’s has been serving pancakes, waffles, burgers and more since 1971. I was salivating for an order of coconut pancakes, topped with one of their homemade syrups (passionfruit is my favorite.)
We also planned to stop at Hilo Hatties for a submersion experience in Hawaiian trinkets and souvenirs. Sad to say, the local shop has closed. So, three of us went to Lyman Museum while Mark went to the Verizon Store. Oh yeah, he forgot to put his phone away when he went down the waterslide yesterday.
The Lyman Mission House was established in 1839 by David and Sarah Lyman, and is the oldest standing wood structure on the island. The museum was established in 1931. In addition to seeing the exhibits and artifacts on display, we watched a moving video about the destruction of a town and neighborhood by Kilauea’s eruptions that began in the mid-1980’s.
We then visited ‘Akaka Falls State Park. It’s a small park that boasts a 422 foot high waterfall. The walk through the park is only .4 mile, but it is full of flowers, moss-covered bamboo, vine shrouded trees, and ferns of all sizes.
We drove around the northern part of the island to return to our condo. This route took us through the lush rain forest, where we saw very, very tall trees and flowering plants that towered over us. These are plants that we can only grow indoors, and that rarely exceed 6 feet in height. The rain forest of the east side makes it look like a completely different island from the west side with its lava desert terrain. Both sides are beautiful!
We have now circumnavigated the island. It’s not a great distance as the circumference is only a little more than 200 miles. However, the roads wind around quite a bit and the average speed limit is about 45 mph. It’s really not possible to drive the entire coastline due to lava flows from Kilauea.
Dinner in tonight as we try to use up our groceries before heading to Maui in a couple of days.