At one time, there was nothing here, not even an island. Created by magma-spewing hot spots in the ocean floor, the isolated archipelago of Hawaii evolved island by island eventually drifting northeast in its current configuration due to the movement of tectonic plates. Looking at the barren lava fields it’s almost unimaginable how anything at all came to grow, but a few million years does wonders to the scenery.
We really enjoyed the Lyman Museum in Hilo. For a small museum it was extremely well done, containing exhibits on natural history, Hawaiian cultural history, immigration and an extensive collection of crystals from around the world. The house was built by David Lyman who was one of the first missionaries on the Big Island. Originally from Connecticut, he arrived in 1832. We toured his house which was constructed in a style that is very familiar to us.
Hilo featured the Palace Theater where we caught a show called, “Hawaiiana” consisting of a husband and wife team who story-told, chanted, sang and played the essence of the Hawaiian spirit.
We drove to the north end of the island to hike into Waipi’o Valley. There was no hiking trail so we had to walk on the road. With a 25 degree toe-jamming pitch, it was restricted to hikers and 4-wheel vehicles.
We took a doors-off helicopter ride skimming about 500 feet over Kilauea Volcano. It is one of the most active volcanos in the world and has been continuously erupting since 1983.