Rainbow Falls to Mauna Kea to Waipio Valley on the Big Island

Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate BRE #00697006

rainbow falls big island

When I was born, Hawaii was not yet a state. I was in first grade when Alaska became a state, followed 7 months later by Hawaii. It was the coolest thing ever, two new stars added to our flag! I thought that every year we would add new states, as I was way too young to understand how long it had been since any state was added to the Union. Before Alaska, Arizona was the last state, and Arizona joined the union on Valentine's Day in 1912. That means in the last 100 years, give or take, we've added only 3 states to the Union, yet the last state to join was more than 50 years ago.

Oh, the photo above, that is Rainbow Falls off the Saddleback Road on the Big Island. You can see the rainbow in the lower right on the rock.

Boiling Pots Big Island

This is another state park outside of Hilo called Boiling Pots. I think at certain times, the pools of water that you can see will bubble but they weren't bubbling when we were there early morning. It was sunny, warm and beautiful. Whomever says that it rains all the time in Hilo must be talking about some other time of year. Sure, it rains daily but it rains in Kauai, too, and you don't hear anybody complaining about that.

road to mauna kea big island

There is a visitor's center located about 6 miles up this road. We never made it all the way to the summit because it was raining, foggy and the guy at the Visitor's Center said even with 4-wheel drive it would be dangerous. He said the last tourist who got stuck up there had to pay $1,400 to get his car towed. The top of the mountain is almost 14,000 feet from sea level; from the ocean floor it's over 33,000 feet, making Mauna Kea the tallest mountain in the world. It snows on the cap of Mauna Kea, and I spotted blotches of snow along the way. Snow. In Hawaii.

Waipio Valley Big Island

OK, by the time we reached this scenic spot at Waipio Valley, it had begun to rain and the fog blanketed the shore. This is a sacred spot, and you're not supposed to go down there except by invitation. The road from Mauna Kea to Waipio led us through lush forested canopies and past cattle plantations. If it hadn't been raining and impossible to shoot the shot because there was no place to pull over, I would have jumped out of the car to show you the road. At one spot, you could see the rolling blacktop made up 8 hills, way off in the distance, up and down and up and down. In another a triple set of S turns.

Another interesting tidbit, the guy for whom the Douglas Fir was named, this botanist Douglas, lived in the region when it was overrun by wild cows. The cows were mean, not like today's cows. He was walking along the road when he fell into a pit designed to trap cows. Fortunately, he survived the fall. But so did this bull, and the bull gored him to death. True story.

Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub

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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

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Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.


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Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

Very interesting post - not the same old beautifual Hawaiian stuff, but some things a little different. Fun read!

Dec 24, 2010 06:28 AM #1
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Coming from the other side of that... the "we've always had 50 states" life... I never even thought about about the fact that my parents saw them come states.  Now there is a conversation.

Dec 24, 2010 06:32 AM #2
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Foggy or not, that is a gorgeous picture.  I am glad you're enjoying your time on vacation.  As for your history tidbit, I may just yank it out at the Christmas dinner table tomorrow and impress a few folks. 

Dec 24, 2010 06:55 AM #3
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Elizabeth: I didn't realize you are in Hawaii right now. I guess I have not been by your blog in a few days. Have you seen Barack and Michelle? Enjoy the trip.

Dec 24, 2010 08:41 AM #4
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Aloha, Elizabeth. Just wanted to thank you for bringing wonderful memories to life for me. I've had some grand adventures on Hawaii (and Kauai, especially). I hiked to the top of Mauna Kea from the visitor's center the summer I finished radiation treatments, and it was the most other-worldly experience I've ever had. We saw nothing living there--no moss, no insects, nothing! And then to the lush Waipio Valley, the opposite extreme, so full of life. And they are only a few miles apart.

Enjoy your trip, and Meli Kalikimaka!

Dec 24, 2010 09:12 AM #5
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Pretty cool~  I've yet to visit Hawaii, and it's the only state of the Union I havent' visited.

Mike in Tucson

Dec 24, 2010 10:07 AM #6
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

I've never spent Christmas in Hawaii (Thanksgiving, yes) but I'm sure it will be a memorable one for you judging from the photo-journal you are sharing with AR. 

I'm off to spend Christmas Eve with my 6 grandchildren here in Southern Cali which I'm happy to report is a sunny and 60 degree Christmas Eve.

Dec 24, 2010 10:31 AM #7
Linda Hinson
S & L Properties - Calabash, NC

I lived on the Big Island for a year, and I loved the people and the environment but I had rock fever after six months.  You can circle the island in just over two hours (except for the volcano section) and I like to explore.  My family had some great experiences while we were there.  There used to be a sign posted on the gravel road that goes down to Waipio Valley warning that brakes might fail from the extreme incline and the drive back up was impossible without four wheel drive.  My sons surfed by invitation the black beach.  My favorite food was fresh baked Taro bread and fresh squeezed POG juice (Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava).

Dec 24, 2010 12:26 PM #8
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Aloha Elizabeth: There is a treehouse waterfall retreat in Waipio Valley renowned for its romantic location. Personally always liked Kona Village, especially way back when there was no lower road, only the upper one. They used to shuttle you down to the hotel or we used to fly in by small private plane right on the beach. Don't know if that small airstrip is still there. Will have to check it out. Have a Merry Christmas.

Dec 24, 2010 01:04 PM #9
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Nice pistures, I have never been to the big island. I went to the other larger islands though and your state is absolutely beautiful.

Dec 24, 2010 02:13 PM #10
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

So glad you're enjoying your vacation!  Many like to come to get away from the cold during the winter months....   BTW...my brother has lived in Sacramento since the late 70's.

Dec 24, 2010 04:26 PM #11
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Liz - The last time I was in Hawaii we walked on the asphalt walkways at the top of Mauna Kea.  I was wearing tennis shoes and the soles melted a little - hot walking!  We left there and went to the black sand beach near Hilo, stopping at a Forster Freeze stand there to get a cone.  We left for California a few days later and the next day there was an eruption and the Foster Freeze was overtaken by lava and burned to the ground.

Dec 24, 2010 06:15 PM #12
Rob Thomas
Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954 - Bristol, TN
Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro

Elizabeth....My mom and dad have been here several times over the years....I hope to visit there one day also! Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Dec 25, 2010 02:18 AM #13
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Elizabeth,  Thanks for some pretty cool pics and a little local color thrown in for good measure.  Best of the New Year to you !

Dec 25, 2010 02:19 AM #14
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Ah yes, the Boiling Pots.  I had almost forgotten about those!  In the 1970s, I loved visiting Kalapana Black Sand Beaches.  But the volcanos have had a field day down there.

Dec 25, 2010 11:13 AM #15
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