Hawai’i – Rainbow and Akaka Falls

We had visited both Rainbow and Akaka falls a number of times in the early and mid-nineties . . . and not since. Last month, on one of those days when we decide to skip our exercise routine, we drove to Hilo with the specific intent to visit these two falls . . . and perhaps get something to eat at Tex.


That’s Rainbow Falls. When the sun is at the right angle, a rainbow forms in the spray of the water. Somewhere I have a photo of our first visit when indeed a small rainbow is visible. When I say photo, I do mean photo . . . them were the pre-digital days. 

By the way, the other reason for going on these drives is that we get to spend 6+ hours in air-conditioned comfort. The weather is a bit cooler now . . . 


. . . but it was a bit warmer back in September. 

Memory is a funny thing . . . I remember flowers and beauty surrounding the area and the falls. Sadly, that is not the case now. The Wikipedia entry mentions that same beauty and lush surroundings.


I did see a few interesting trees, this being one of them . . . 


Here are the placards one can read at one of the viewing areas . . . 



This next shot is taken from under the shade of a large tree and I had to play with it a bit to bring out some of the details in the darker areas without blowing out the lighter areas. 


Here is a shot of just the falls . . . 


This is yet another tree I liked, and this had to be shot with the on-camera flash on to get any detail at all. 


This particular shady spot was lush and had flowers, but anything out in the open was dried and burnt. 

On our first visit here, I took a few photos of this Banyan tree but did not have the experience necessary to actually get decent photos. This area is under a huge canopy that effectively blocks out all of the light. The only ambient light is from the side. 



Those were shot with a very high ISO and the aid of the on-camera flash. I should have grabbed my tripod, but this worked out OK. I even did a panorama. 


As usual, you can click HERE for the full-size version (8MB). You can also go to the SmugMug gallery HERE for all the photos available at full resolution. 

This next shot is a vertical panorama composed of photos in portrait mode . . . 


Again, click HERE for the full version (7MB).

Here is one of the shots comprising the panorama:


This next landscape shot . . . 


is one of several landscape shots making up this panorama shot . . . 


Click HERE for the full version (10MB).

Those are two linear panorama composites. This next one is made up of 15 shots . . . 


If you really want to see the original, click HERE (22MB). Lots of detail in that one.

Here are two of the photos comprising the above panorama.



Let me take a little side trip before I continue to Akaka Falls.

As of today, I’ve reached a blogging milestone:

1,577 posts

Now, I know most people like to celebrate round numbers (1,500 or 1,000 or 100,000 or 15,000) but I am waging a lonely battle against the round-number-milestone herd mentality of people at large. 

Think about it . . . why is 1,000 any more special than 996 or 1,004? Who died and decided it should be king? Stop catering to this insanity! All numbers are of equal importance. In fact, 996 is way more important than 1,000. Heck, without 996, you wouldn’t even have 1,000 . . . you would only ever reach 995, and that’s it! Imagine how confusing it would be if every year was the year 995, or the cost of every expensive item would be $995.

Say . . . we might be on to something here! I say, let’s all agree to get rid of 996. WAIT! let’s get rid of 11. Imagine . . . every single thing in the world would cost no more than $10.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled post. 

Before we left Hilo to head up the coast, I snapped a photo of this landmark . . . 


That shows the height of various tsunamis that have hit Hilo.

Here is a panorama showing the monument in relation to the Hilo waterfront.


Click HERE for the full-size version of that shot (33MB). Not sure if you can open that in most browsers. You might have to download it or go to SmugMug to see it. 


Click HERE for the full-size version of that shot (10MB) which should work since it’s smaller. 

OK, so, Akaka Falls . . . 


The park was one of them places where being a resident saves you some money. Free parking and free access to the trail, otherwise $5 for parking and $1 to get on the trail. You can park outside the grounds to save the $5 parking fee. 

I did not look at the above trail map before heading to Kahuna Falls. The loop is a half mile around. I can do that with no sweat despite the steep climbs. That’s an expression . . . while it was not difficult, I did sweat plenty. Melisa had decided to wait at the car, so I did not want her to wait long and really hustled along the trail.

Well, except when I was taking photos. 




That last one was quite the nice spot.

20160907_dsc8913_1_dxo_digi 20160907_dsc8915_1_dxo_digi

I should have remembered something about Kahuna Falls . . . namely, that you can’t quite see it.


Mind you, it’s a beautiful spot, but hardly worth the hike. 


Still, worth a few photos . . . including one of these leaves. 


I’m old, so I might not be remembering correctly, but I think I had a plant with similar leaves while I was in college . . . forty years ago. 

When you take the path I did, you come upon the falls from an elevated angle . . . which is obstructed by vegetation. It did not use to be, but there you go. It’s also where Melisa was waiting for me, having decided to join me.

These next shots are all from the viewing area . . . which also has vegetation obstructing the view. These were shot with me standing on my toes and leaning forward as far as I could. 




That last one is my eye-level view. 

But then, this one particular spot was vacated by a couple of people that had been standing there talking, not even looking at the falls and I took this vertical panorama. 


That photo appeared on another post, but here it is again. And HERE is the full-size version (8MB).

Here is a crop of one of the shots comprising that panorama.


On the way back to the exit, I stopped to catch another small fall in a quite picturesque setting. Don’t be fooled, the scene was very dark and this too is one I had to tweak to coax out a decent image. 


That particular shot is taken from the bridge where those people are standing. Akaka Falls are in the background. 


You can’t see it from here, but those people are giant rear orifices. There was no one on that spot when I got there. A few seconds later, as I was still taking photos, they literally surrounded me. I’m talking shoulder-to-shoulder with one leaning in front of me to take a photo. No “excuse me”, no “may I” . . . they just crowded in. And then, they stood there talking as I left, not even looking at the falls, discussing their inbred heritage. 

Here’s a final shot of the falls from the top of the trail. 


Here are a few more signs giving pertinent information about the area. 





From there, North to Tex and a few Malasadas, then West to Waimea, down to the coast, and back South toward Kona. All and all, a good drive. 

Before I end this, here’s something not many people will have heard before. Some might not like it, but I thought it interesting . . . the epic version of the song Sound of Silence

One final thing before I go . . . did you catch the facial representation of the goat in the Banyan tree? For a moment, I thought a real goat was staring out at me. 

That’s it; this post has ended.


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