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.

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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 . . . 

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. . . 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.

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

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

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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. 

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Here is a shot of just the falls . . . 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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 . . . 

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

Here is one of the shots comprising the panorama:

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This next landscape shot . . . 

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

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Click HERE for the full version (10MB).

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

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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.

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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
996 followers
100,072 views
15,411 comments

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 . . . 

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

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

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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. 

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

OK, so, Akaka Falls . . . 

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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. 

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That last one was quite the nice spot.

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

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

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

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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

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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. 

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

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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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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Musings Stuff, Opinion, Personal, Photo-effects, Photography, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Hawai’i – Rainbow and Akaka Falls

  1. renxkyoko says:

    The park looks primeval… and that’s a good thing. Love the photos.

    Like

  2. We saw Akaka Falls in 1979. Your pics brought back many pleasant memories of that vacation long ago.

    Like

  3. Beautiful waterfalls!! The flora reminds me very much of Queensland :)

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Thank you. Depending on where in Queensland, we’re at about the same distance from the equator, only you guys are upside down, So I’m not too surprised. But, unlike Australian flora, ours is not actively trying to kill us.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You forgot how many words,

    Those birds in the poster for the “adapting to the rainforest’ are very pretty from the little I can see of them, how about blowing them up a bit, posting them and letting me and your other follower know what they are!

    Like

  5. what an incredible place! I used to dream of living in Hawaii or the South Pacific!! Gorgeous images. Thanks for sharing your journey!

    Like

  6. Wow! There are such powerful, unique, amazing, stunning details in nature! Thank you for taking time to notice, snap such beautiful photos, and then share them with us! :-)
    I love that song…it has special meaning to me and my life…and that version is one of my favorites! I needed to hear it tonight…didn’t realize I did until I saw you put it in this post. I needed it. Thank you, Emilio!
    HUGS!!! :-)

    Like

  7. paigeaddams says:

    Awesome photos! :D The falls and banyan trees are gorgeous!

    Like

  8. paigeaddams says:

    Also, I really like that version of Sound of Silence! :D

    Like

  9. AnnMarie says:

    When I read “Getting to the Waterfalls” I was surprised that ‘they’ chose to plant “non-native tropical plants to create the feel of a lush rainforest” instead of leaving it the way ‘they’ found it. I would think it more important to allow the original plant species to thrive instead of introducing non-native ones to invade the place. Typical.

    Anyway, the ‘rainforest’ is a reality now and your photos captured its lush beauty. Looking and contemplating the perfection of those majestic falls, the banyan trees (interconnection galore), and especially that close-up of those textured leaves, was the perfect start to this day. Thanks.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      You are welcome.

      Eh, as for the introduced plants, I would not know the difference. Also, many of the “native” plants were once brought over by the original settlers, and others by the next settlers who ousted the original settlers, and other still by Europeans and other cultures. Also, birds and probably sea currents carry seeds all over the place.

      When do we stop calling something introduced “native”? Based on how the Hawai’ian islands were formed (lava spilling out from the bottom of the ocean) none of the plants here are “native”. If you remember from previous posts, the coconut and palm trees, arguably the image people often have when thinking of many tropical islands, are not native to Hawaii. I don’t hear anyone complaining about them.

      Like

  10. Aquileana says:

    Those photographs are mind blowing… the zoom effect is powerful… they seem so perfectly unreachable, though ;)

    Like

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