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on the Big Island

Hilo is the largest town on the island of Hawaii, and the county seat of Hawaii County, Hawaii. As of the 2000 census, the CDP had a total population of 40,759.
Hilo's location on the eastern side of the island of Hawaii (windward relative to the trade winds) makes it one of the wettest cities in the world. An average of 129.19 inches (3281 mm) of rain falls on Hilo annually.
Its location on the shore of funnel-shaped Hilo Bay also makes it vulnerable to tsunamis. On April 1, 1946 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands created a 14-meter high tsunami that hit Hilo hours later killing 159 people. As a result, an early warning system was established to track these killer waves and provide warning. On May 23, 1960, another tsunami, caused by a 9.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile the previous day, claimed 61 lives allegedly due to people's failure to heed warning sirens. Low-lying bayfront areas of the city, previously populated, were rededicated as parks and memorials.
Source: Wikipedia
After my air tour of the Island I decided to take a look around town. On the map I knew where I wanted to go, but how was I to know that the Mall near the places I wanted to see, was no longer in business? So the taxi driver took me to the new Mall, which ended up being about five or six miles from where I needed to be. Well, I'd been doing a lot of walking on this little trip, so I walked some more, and some more, and some. . . You get the idea. However, I did get to see a lot of Hilo. Take a look.

Because of all that rain, Hilo is in bloom year round. Beautiful flowers were everywhere I went.

Beautiful flowers

And gently swaying palm trees

This is Hilo's branch of the State Judiciary. I would have thought it would be bigger, but with 40,000 residents, I suppose they don't need a large building.

There are many canals and ponds for flood control. With all that rain and the constant threat of tsunami, these are an important part of the landscape. A lone fisherwoman is reflected by the canal in the right photo.

The State Office Building

The sign that told me that

King Kamehameha I in Wailoa State Park, Hilo

Under the rule of Kamehameha I the Hawaiian Islands were unified into one Kingdom.
In ancient Hawaii, legends told of a day when a great king would unite all the Hawaiian islands. The sign of his birth, kahuna (priests) claimed, would be a comet.
And so it goes that Kamehameha was born in 1758, the year Halley's Comet made an appearance over Hawaiian skies. This birth year is an estimate, Kamehameha was born between 1750 and 1762 by most accounts) Kamehameha was born in Paiea on the Big Island of Hawaii. His father was said to be Keoua, a grandson of Keaweikekahialiiokamoku, who once ruled a large portion of the island. Translated, Kamehameha means "the lonely one."
Another legend tells of a kahuna who prophesized that the man who moved the 7,000-pound Naha Stone would become the greatest king of Hawaii. When Kamehameha was 14, the story goes, he moved the massive rock, and then lifted it and turned it completely over.
Once he gained control of the island of Hawaii, he set his sights on the other islands. In turn he conquered Maui, Lanai, and Molokai. He then returned to Hawaii to protect his home district and plan his invasion of Oahu. In 1795 he invaded and conquered Oahu, leaving only Kauai and Niihau outside the kingdom. He planned to attack Kauai several times, but bad weather spoiled his plans.
In 1810, Kaumualii, the king of Kauai, peacefully surrendered his island to Kamehameha to avoid further bloodshed. With that, Kamehameha fulfilled his destiny of uniting all the Hawaiian islands under one rule.
In the center is a flower.
On the right the black sand beaches of Hilo Bay. The black sand comes from the lava and centuries of being crushed and ground by the surf.

The sea wall protecting Hilo Bay

Part of Wailoa State Park

Brigadeer General ALbert Kaulii Brickwood Lyman, first person of Hawaiian ancestry to make the ramk of General.
As the heat of the day subsides, the clouds dissapate and Mauna Kea becomes visible. Mauna Kea means White Mountain. For most of the day it is shrouded in clouds, and the summit cannot be seen.
Mauna Kea's summit is 9 kilometers above the adjacent ocean floor, making Mauna Kea the tallest mountain in the world. Because of its high altitude, thin and clean air, and great distance from urban areas, the summit of Mauna Kea is an idea place for sky watching and star gazing. In fact, this mountain is home to the world's most powerful observatories and telescopes, including the Keck telescope which has the world's largest mirror.

A slightly closer view

The Observatories on Mauna Kea

By now I had checked in at the airport for my return flight, and, luckily, they got me an earlier flight. I had just enough time to watch this beautiful sunset.



And as the sun faded to the west, I, too, headed west back to Honolulu.

Music is "Blue Hawaii"

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