A Wedding in Hawaii - Big Island Fun - Hilo

we actually spent very little time in Hilo except for sleeping but its the Hilo side of the island so i'm calling this post that.

The Royal Lineages of Hawai'i

Pu'u Pua'i gushed out lava in 1959 it flew far enough to cover the trail i'm standing on with big globs of lava.  crazy!  This is in Kilauea Iki crater

a rainforest surrounds the crater

fiddle head fern thing or Republican Presidential canidate?

stuff growin' out of everything.

a tiny eco system inside this walkway post

plants that penetrate the hardened lava

steam vent

Thurston Lava Tube

we are inside a tube left behind by fast flowing lava!

life springing out of everything.  Tree falls over branches just grow straight up out of it to keep going.

Kilauea caldera in the background.  Kilauea Iki is pit crater

Hawaiian plate at Kuhio Grille in a shopping plaza.  Lau Lau (pork and fish wrapped in taro leaves and steamed, maybe my favorite food in Hawaii), Lomi Lomi Salmon, Kalua Pork, Poi, SPAM fried rice.  The food was bangin'.  Have to say as jen said I'm not the biggest fan of poi (the purple paste made of taro root)

Akaka Falls state park.  I kept asking jen if this or that was or real all around hawaii and she would say yea dummy.  She said the same thing here but I looked it up and its not for real.  A lot of these crazy trees were planted to attracted people to the park years ago.  A lot of it is for realz though.

A smaller waterfall viewing area.  lining up for it feels gross.  Line up, snap a photo, move on.

Akaka falls, 442 feet high. Pretty impressive.  Also crazy factoid I found on wikipedia:  The ʻoʻopu ʻalamoʻo is an endemic Hawaiian species of goby fish that spawns in stream above the waterfall, but matures in the sea. These fish have a suction disk on their bellies that allows them to cling to the wet rocks behind and adjacent to the waterfall. Using this disk, they climb back up to the stream when it is time to spawn.  INsane that climb all the way back up there!

Akaka Falls Big Island Hawaii from Jason Raish on Vimeo.

Saw this two huge Banyan trees on the drive and had to check them out.  HUUUGE

Banyan Tree Big Island Hawaii from Jason Raish on Vimeo.

Waipio Valley, it was the capital of many Hawaiian kings.  To get to that Waterfall you have to trespass onto private land.  The black sand beach down there is accessible by public land.  This is sacred land and non Hawaiians being here is contentious.

The valley floor at sea level is almost 2,000 ft (610 m) below the surrounding terrain. A steep road leads down into the valley from a lookout point located on the top of the southern wall of the valley. The road gains 800 vertical feet (243.84 m) in 0.6 miles (0.9 km) at a 25% average grade, with steeper grades in sections. This is a paved public road but it is open only to 4 wheel drive vehicles. It is the steepest road of its length in the United States [2] and possibly the world.

Decent into Waipio Valley from Jason Raish on Vimeo.


black sand beach all to yourself if you can get down there

Beware of Moose.  So the Waipio valley is controversial because of all the normal issues about Hawaiian rights to the land and earth and sovereignty but also because people come down and trespass onto their private property.  It's infamous for unwelcoming land owners mad at tourists ruining the place.

we made it out before the rain storm.  climbing back up was a sweaty sweaty time.  This hike is rated very difficult but I wouldn't say its "difficult" as in needing expert hiking skills and being able to scramble and boulder, its difficult in the way that you just need to be determined and have grit and guile to walk up and down a 45 degree incline for a while.  So we told the guy at our Hilo accommodation our plan before we went down into the valley and what time we would try to be back at.  We were an hour late and he was EXTREMELY rude and it ruined things for a while.  We ate dinner and L & L (fast Hawaiian food, not very good) quickly after we determined from looking at web cams on the top of Mauna Kea that would should drive up there to see the stars. 
totally exhausted we made the hr+ drive to the Mauna Kea visitor information center where they have nightly astronomy volunteers and telescopes set up.  The visitor's center is as high as you can get in a car unless it's 4 Wheel drive, and there is only one company that rents 4 wheel drive cars that they allow you to drive up Mauna Kea.  Even on tours though they take you to the summit and then come back down to the visitor's center for star gazing.  So unless you have special privileges to use one of the telescopes in 13 observatories (funded by 11 countries) at the summit that are like $70 million, then you will be star gazing here.  We decided we didn't want to pay for a tour or rent a 4x4 vehicle so this worked out.  A big problem was it was almost a full moon so having a lightbulb in the sky didn't help visibility.

look at the size of this telescope, I feel like you still can't see that well even with this.  What do I know though.

Hiro's Place, in a shopping plaza, awesome breakfast bentos, look at that!

Don't mistake aloha for weakness.  So it feels weird being in Hawaii because of how with every island it was taken over by foreign powers.  US and European capitalists overthrew the monarchy and US annexed it and made it the 50th state.  Hawaiians rightfully don't like what happened to their ancestors through the ages and into modern times.  It feels like a weird relationship where you're not welcome but so many generations have come to be on the island in US power that its a part of people's lives with a weird black cloud of western imperialism hanging over the islands.  Reggae is super popular here and the lyrical content is usually good times reggae vibes but occasionally a local reggae act will come on the radio and the songs will be about rising up, taking back hawaii, protecting sacred lands like Mauna Kea, etc...  This song below by Ryan Hiraoka about stopping the proposed huge new telescope construction on Mauna Kea is a good example.  It played at least 3 times while we were listening to the radio in the car on the Big Island.  "Rise up rise up Hawaiian people, we must unite and fight against evil".  We asked a Lyft driver that happened to be from jen's hood about this and he said there are like 5 different Hawaiian factions that can't agree on what they want.  My guess would be that if the US were to relinquish Hawaii at this point it would be ruinous for the islands economically.  Lest you find yourself listening to this song, raising your fist in solidarity and feeling the energy behind the fight of the underdog remember that they want YOU, yes YOU out of Hawaii (or at least off of their mountain in this song).  See doesn't it feel weird?  You're in Hawaii and you're well meaning and but then its just like your government and forefathers screwed Hawaii and so you're kinda not welcome and the loop goes on in my head.

It also seems messed up that the Hawaiian state flag has the British union jack on it, Captain Cook and co being British and the first westerners that went to Hawaiian and started messing with it.
the GPS map of photos taken with my 6D