While visiting friends in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii this past January (2012), my friend MK and I hop into a rental car, and we drive out on separate days along the northeast Hamakua coast and along the south Ka’u coast. Even though I’d made a number of prior visits for astronomy-related work on the Big Island, I had yet to see much of the northeast or the southern coastlines.
On today’s drive along the northeast Hāmākua coast on the Big Island, I seek out three locations: Laupahoehoe, Waipio Lookout, and Akaka Falls. Why these three?
- They’re easy to reach from Hilo.
- They’re all related in one way or another to Mauna Kea, that massive and dormant shield-volcano, dominating the south the entire drive along the Hamakua Coast.
- They’re beautiful: what else is there?