(Note to readers: I didn’t get to finish this post until tonight, a week late. Sorry for the confusion but we have been home for a week now:) Well, today is the dreaded day we head home. Actually, it’s not dreaded; we are excited to get back to our new home in the city and all the exciting things we have planned for 2020. But, if you have read anything on this blog, you know these are my least favorite days. We did, however, make the most of this day by leaving the condo at 10 and driving north towards Hawi. This is the cutest little town of bookstores and art galleries that you hit before driving to the end of the road, literally. (The end of the road brings you to Pololu Valley, a well-loved gorgeous stretch of black sand beach that you hike down toward.) Here, along this coast, the journey is as good as the destination. The north-western coast is full of wind-swept, grass-covered rolling mountains that stretch down into the Pacific. You can distinguish where the dry side and the wet side merge by watching the monochromatic brown grass fade quickly into fields that are the prettiest shade of green you’ve ever seen. Usually, clouds filled with light precipitation roll over the wet side while you stand in the sun on the dry side less than a few hundred yards away. It’s quite a site.
We followed Kohala Mountain Road back from Hawi down into Waimea and stopped a few times, trying to listen for the wind whistling through the tall straight pines that line the road. On this occasion, the whistling sound was barely audible; sun poked through the branches and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. So rare for this area, but so beautiful. We managed to grab a few shots at a scenic stop that are actually some of my favorites of the trip. From up on that mountain road, you can see for miles down the Kohala Coast; up Mauna Kea for a clear view of the telescopes and everything in between. It is one of my favorite sites on earth.
In Waimea, we stopped, again, at The Fish and The Hog for one last delicious meal before turning around and heading south for Kona. We found ourselves with an extra 90 minutes before needing to be at the airport so ventured further south to the Old Kona Airport Park. The site of the former airport, complete with a walking path and garden on one side of the wide landing strip and beautiful tide pools on the other, it must have been quite a site for an airport back in the 50s and 60s. It shut down in 1970 and now locals and vacationers alike come and relax along the shore. We had never been to this beach before and it was so fun to see a new place and make plans to return.
Another quick stop at the NEHLA (Energy Lab) beach to watch the waves come up high over the rocks that guarded the small but pretty tide pools here and our Hawaiian vacation came to a close. Although I wasn’t exactly healed by the Pacific waters and I still don’t have much mobility in my shoulders, it was just the vacation we (I) needed to start this new year and new decade. Until next time…