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The Big Island of Hawaii is Pretty Incredible

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The Big Island of Hawaii is Pretty Incredible

Back at the end of April, we flew out to Hawaii to spend some time on the Big Island of Hawaii and Maui. Little bit of adventures mixed in with a lot of bit of infinity pools and cocktails.

Waip’o Valley

Honestly, I hate to admit it and I feel dirty about it, but the sky above is faked… it was totally gray that morning. But the way I see is is that we woke up at 3:30 a.m. to drive 2.5 hours to watch sunrise over this valley and nature didn’t cooperate. We weren’t about to do that again any other morning!

I’m bummed we didn’t hike down into the valley and check out the beach. Had the weather been nice, we probably would have, but there were too many other awesome sights to see…

Beautiful waterfalls just chillin’ on the highway.
Kumukea Beach
Big Island of Hawaii Akaka Falls
Akaka Falls
Pololu Valley Overlook
Big Island of Hawaii Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls
Just a cool tree
Kahuwai Bay
Off Kohala Mountain Road

Mauna Kea

My wife will strongly disagree, but for me, the highlight of the Big Island of Hawaii was driving to the top of Mauna Kea, the 13,803 ft monstrous volcano that dominates the island.

The whole drive didn’t look promising, but right as we started driving up from Saddle Road, it immediately began pouring and I quickly began to assume the worst (no sunset). It had been a few hours in the car so we figured we’d at least drive to the visitor center to check it out. I was so stoked when I walked into the VC to find the web cams showed the summit all clear.

It was freezing, but we got to enjoy a stunning sunset above the clouds on what seemed like an alien planet.

Mauna Kea, Observatory
Mauna Kea
Hualalai Volcano from Mauna Kea
Sunset atop Mauna Kea

A few notes on Mauna Kea:

  • You’re not “supposed” to drive rental cars up there and o. Whoops. I figured that I had done enough off roading in my life… how bad could this be? Steep for sure, but barely “offroad.” (It’s just bumpy gravel and slow-going.)
  • You have to have 4-wheel drive to go through a checkpoint at the visitor center.
  • They make you stop for a minimum of 30-minutes at the visitor center to acclimate. You’re probably coming from sea level and going to 14k so take it seriously.
  • It’s cold up top… We registered 29° just after sunset.

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