Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Sunrise on The Big Island
Today would be considered another rest and self-care day since I did not venture very far from where I was staying. I woke up at the crack of dawn, so I decided to use the time to go view the sunrise at Kohala Lighthouse on the Northeast side of The Big Island. Google maps has been fairly accurate on my drive around 49 states, but today, it was very wrong. I saw a road that led all the way to Kohala Lighthouse overlooking Keawaeli Bay, checked out recent pictures (from 3 months ago), and decided to make the early morning trip. When I was about a mile from the lighthouse location, the road went from gravel to dirt, and the road was only fit for off-road vehicles. I parked the car and decided to walk briskly to get to the sunrise in time. I know I can walk about a 16 minute mile and I had 10 minutes, so I was running, in flip flops, and then it started to rain. I was soaked and covered in mud, but made it to the location with one minute to spare. There was no lighthouse like I saw in the picture, only a tall light pole. There seems to have been a structure once there, but the one I had hoped to see was gone. I set my phone camera to time-lapse and recorded the sun rising through a slit in the clouds. I was happy and grateful to catch my first Hawaiian sunrise. The rain had stopped once the sun came up. I walked back to the car and proceeded down this dead end road for the chance to see Pololū Valley, but stopped at a few other locations first.
Statue of King Kamehameha & The Good Good Peace Garden
After my lovely morning hike to a nonexistent lighthouse and capturing the sunrise, I stopped by the statue of King Kamehameha to introduce myself and thank the King for uniting the islands and leaving us with rich background that Hawaii will continue to preserve for our future generations to better understand the culture, history, and traditions they have passed down for us to cherish and remember. I also checked out a local peace garden called, The Good Good, filled with fruits, chickens (who followed me everywhere), and exotic botanical plants where I snapped a few pictures along with me in my cap and a shaka sign with the King for this blissful time in Hawaii.
Kēōkea Beach Park & Pololū Valley
The Akoni Pule Highway (270) starts on the Northwest side of The Big Island and goes all the way around the Northern tip to a dead end on the Northeast side at Pololū Valley Lookout. After visiting the king and peace garden, I stopped at Kēōkea Beach Park for a couple nice pictures of the sun shining on the coastline, and to wash off my muddy feet. After I was cleaned up and rested, I ventured off to peer at Pololū Valley Lookout. This is where the rugged mountains form a gulch and valley that open up into the ocean. This place is great for hiking, but not so great if you are wearing flip flops or have to use the restroom. In that case, I snapped a few pictures and headed back to the hotel to take a shower and relax the rest of the day. I topped off the evening by attending a wonderful BBQ dinner at a new friend’s house here on The Big Island. I am so happy and grateful for the amazing experiences and the awesome new friends I have made with Jaime in Hawaii in July.
Thank you for reading and viewing,
Dr. Jaime Brainerd, Ed.D.