Trip Start Feb 04, 2011
5Trip End Mar 07, 2011
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good care of it.
It turned out the weather gods had a plan in mind when they forced the cancellation of Ray’s around-the-island flight last week. Ray, Kris and Tamara climbed on a Big Island Air Cessna Caravan on Thursday with six other venturesome tourists for a two-hour tour around the Big
flew clockwise from Kona Airport up the Kohala Coast, over the top of Kohala volcano and down the east side to Hilo and back around. The pilot accommodated us by flying over our temporary home on the Kohala hillside, then ducked in and out of valleys down the east side.
Buster was able to fly across the center of Hilo, something he rarely can do because of the frequent rains on that side of the island (200+ inches a year). Then he flew us up to one of the most active volcanic sites in the world – Pu’u Oo (Poo-oo oh-oh) – and circled over it while we
gawked at and photographed live lava flows. Inside the crater is a huge pool of molten lava covered by a thin dry gray skin which constantly moves and cracks, offering glimpses of the hellish heart of the volcano. Pu’u Oo has been erupting continuously since January, 1983, making it the longest-lived rift-zone eruption of the last two centuries. So far, the eruption has claimed 189 buildings and almost nine miles of highway, as well as many ancient Hawaiian
The rest of the flight was kind of an anticlimax, although the excellent conditions allowed us to view layer upon layer of lava flows dating back centuries, each a different shade of gray or
black. We flew over the Great Crack, widening constantly as the edge of the volcano slowly separates from the island. As we approached Kona, Buster pointed out the huge macadamia nut farm partially owned by Julie Andrews, right next door to Jimmy Stewart’s former Hoomau Ranch. Buster said Jimmy would fly his Piper Cub to Kailua-Kona for supplies. Great flight, great memories.
Friday we spent time with the kids in Kona, acting like tourists and lunching at Bongo Ben’s, across from the ocean. Then happy hour at Don the Beachcomber and a trip to the airport to put Ben and Ashley on their late flights back to Phoenix.
Kris and Tamara left Saturday. We’ve had a great time with the kids and we hate to see them leave. But our lives all are in different orbits, so we count ourselves lucky to be able to spend time with them, however briefly. We have missed Josh and Lindsey, but we look forward to Luke’s arrival salving their regret at missing this great vacation.
We fly home tomorrow night so, barring some remarkable occurrence, this will be our last report from Hawaii. Wish you had been here, but hope you enjoyed sharing our visit to the Aloha State. Mahalo.
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