Grant's and Bill's
2012 Hawaii Scrapbook

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This picture at right is of Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park.

Laupahoehoe Overlook

Grant videoing as the helicopter takes off from Hilov Pages 1 & 2 - Hawai'i Island
    April 3-6, 2012

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Kona Hotel Grounds 1

Bill filming
Page 3 & 4 - Kauai
April 6-9, 2012

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"The Big Island"
  of Hawai'i

Hawaiian Islands Map-Big Island

The Big Island is larger than all the other Hawaiian Islands combined.

  Big Island Photo Map

I created this map from a lansat photo to show the important locations we visited, but also to show the amazing terrain of the island with the two 13,000+ volcanoes and the lava flows in the southeast. (See bluish-purple areas on the map below.)

We stayed in the Kona area on the west side of Hawai'i, but the volcanic activity and the waterfalls are on the east side. We put almost 800 miles on our car in the 3 days we were there. But our two long drives around the island (one clockwise and one counter-clockwise) were worth it. We saw beautiful waterfalls, a black sand beach, the volcano, and spectacular coastlines.
We also took a helicopter tour over the erupting lava! Our flight took us from Hilo south along the coast to the flank eruption, the most active area for lava flowing over the surface.

Grant and I flew into Kailua-Kona on the west side of Hawai'i. Our hotel was about 25 minutes south of the airport, away from the crowded town of Kailua-Kona.
The Sheraton Keauhou is a 1960s style resort with beautifully manicured grounds and two beautiful pools, one with a waterfall and one with a waterslide which Grant and I put to good use.

 The weather on this side of the island, the westem dry side, was very good all 3 days.

At right is the courtyard pool with waterfall

Kona Hotel Courtyard wPool

The outer, larger pool.
Love that spiraling

I wonder if they get
many 63-year-olds who
slide multiple times.

Hotel- Lava Cliff Outside Pool

The hotel's
oceanfront side
is totally lava, like much
of the west side of the island.
Manta rays can usually
be seen at night in
the water here, but they
managed to be elsewhere
when we wanted to see them.

One night the waves were
as high as a during a major
winter storm and crashing
higher than the deck.

Kona Hotel Grounds - North Side Lava

The pool looks out onto the lava coast and sunsets.

Hotel- Lava Cliff Outside Pool

Grant finally had a
warm day in Hawaii.|
The first time we came
to Hawaii, also in April,
it was cool every day.

Kona Hotel Grounds 2 with Grant

The hotel's property
continues to the south
along the lava coast.
Beautiful property!

Kona Hotel Grounds 3

This panorama shot was taken
from our lanai at dusk.
The torches are all around
the property. Very Hawaiian!

Hotel Grounds panorama night view


Something I have always wanted to do was fly over lava. (I have no fear of death.) I was so happy that Grant, despite his fear of heights, wanted to do this with me, and he even went along with my choice of tour, the "Doors Off - Feel the Heat" option. With no doors, that means unobstructed views, and we could look straight down whenever the helicopter banked. Very cool, very exciting.

At right is the type of helicopter we took, but they took our doors off. As you can see it was very rainy at the Hilo Airport, but that is not unusual or too much worry because the area where the lava is gets much less rain.

Helicopters - Hilo Airport

This shows the lush, green area
the south of Hilo. We flew right along the coastline after this.

Helicopter View of lush green area near Hilo

We reached the area where the lava overran a neighborhood. Interesting, after it cooled, the people came back to their land and rebuilt their homes... ON THE LAVA!
There's no guarantee the volcano won't send more this way.

Town on Lava

This was a huge thrill, the first view of active lava from the air. And we knew we were about to see this lava up close and personal. The flow is overtaking the last remaining wooded area and last stretch of road.

Kilauea Caldera is much higher up the volcano. This part of the volcano is called a rift or flank eruption, which has been actively spilling out lava since 1983!

Our pilot is about to take us down closer. Remember those two smoking vents nearest to the bottom left of the photo where there is a steep ridge.

Flank Eruption 1 long view

Here is a closer view of the lava flow building up and spilling over the trees at the top of green patch in the previous picture. The trees here don't flame and burn, they just singe and then get covered, which causes some of the steam (not most of it).

Flank Eruption - Lava Encroaching on Trees

This was a thrill... our first sight of lava spilling out over the surface as the massive lava flow spills over this steep ridge.

The previous flight didn't see a surface flow like this. The next photo is a close-up of the lava finger at right, because we flew in quite close to the flow and circled the area for a good amount of time.

Flank Eruption - Hot Spots medium shot

This is looking straight down at the lava flow.
This photo shows the lava coming up and spilling over the surface of the older flows.

At upper right,notice the two brown trees thatjust won't give up.

Flank Eruption - Lava Finger close-up

Another exciting view of volcanic activity.
Here we can see molten lava coming up and flowing out onto the surface.
This lava is clearly more viscous than the lava in the "finger" above.

Besides the main flow point at the top, can you spot the little tongue of orange lava?
The grey color doesn't look hot, but when you see the little lava tongue (it's the little triangle at the bottom left), you realize how hot it would be here.

Active lava flow close-up

Are you ready for a little flight?

Click here for a very short video
giving you an idea of what it was like to be
flying over molten lava.


After we got back on the ground, we did a little detour south of Hilo to see an old friend who used to live in Seattle, the guy who got me into square dancing, which led to my line dancing career.

Art has a big property on which he grows every sort of tropical fruit tree and many exotic tropical plants, including some amazing specimens. The plant pictured at right sometimes grows human-looking parts!

More photos from his garden below.

Grant and Art in Arts Back Yard

Flower in Art's garden Art's place Flower in Art's garden

Flower in Art's garden

Flower in Art's garden

Flower in Art's garden

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