Volleyball season is starting which means our family is going to start making weekly pilgrimages to Hilo. For my PT job as a volleyball referee we are required to meet at the director's house in Hilo every Sunday. All the other refs live in Hilo so this doesnt really inconvenience anyone but me. But, since I have to do it anyway, we might as well make the best of it and explore some of the places on the island we dont normally go.
Mauna Kea - the white mountain
This week we decided to take Saddle Road to Hilo instead of the Hamakua Coast Hwy. If you drive the Hamakua Coast you are basically going from Waimea (which is in the middle) and driving along the northern coast of the island and then down into Hilo. Saddle Road is south of Waimea and runs in between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea (it "saddles" the two, hence the clever name).
Mauna Loa - the wide mountain
Although they have repaved a huge portion of the road, the first few miles are still pretty brutal. Potholes and winding hills made the first twenty minutes feel like an old, rickety roller coaster. Barf. There is a military training camp but nothing else. The change from dessert climate to rain forest is dramatic. One minute its hotter than hot on the barren waste land and the next its misty and theres so many ferns and trees you cant see a thing beyond the road.
My big desire was to check out the Hilo Goodwill (Mr A wasnt what I would consider "excited" about this. Despite my enthusiasm for thrifting, he still insists that thrift stores "smell funny") and get a new Snappi from the eco-friendly baby store, Moonsprout. Both were closed at 4pm on Sunday. Arrrg! So maaaaaad!
We capped off the day with a visit to Boiling Pots National Park. Couldnt tell you why its called that but there are some very deep pools of water that could be jumped into from tall rocks. I definitely want to swim there once the kids are old enough not to die during such an activity. For now we had to settle for some amazing views and a photo with a monstrous monstera plant.