Wednesday, January 12, 2011

North Kohala: Hawi & Pololu

We have just broken a record for a major snow fall but it quickly changed to rain and the snow is nearly gone. Not gone enough to ride, but enough to make it a non-issue for 4 wheeled vehicles (or Hacks).


The temperature change is amazing. A day ago it was -6C and today it went up to +8C with lows of +4C tonight. While it is still over 2 months to Spring we have not yet come to grip with Winter's wrath as most of our inclement weather occurs during February and March.

As I was looking out my window at the melting snow I was thinking about where we were last year at this time. If you can believe, this exact week last year January 2010 we were on vacation in Hawai'i and I remembered that I still have a post or two to complete our journey on our visit to North Kohala, the northern tip of the Big Island of Hawai'i


If you look at the maps you will find that it is only 51 miles from Kailua-Kona to Hawi but the speed limits are low and it takes over an hour, not counting stops. It is a leisurely drive with enjoyable scenery . It is windy on the northwestern slopes as evidenced by many windmill farms


while driving along I notice a house with something strange hanging on their porch, so naturally I have to stop


Soon we arrive in Hawi a small town with some facilities

(Hawi: main area with dustcatcher shops)

You can't imagine how hungry you get watching scenery and snapping photos so we had to stop for food and refreshments. We walked up and down the street wondering what to eat and then we found a small Mexican restaurant.

(Mi Ranchito, sounds good to me)

It is exactly as advertised. It is a kitchen and they have a few tables outside. Nothing fancy.


It is semi selfserve. You order through a window in the wall, pay and the girl brings it to your table. The kitchen is very compact (small) and prices are reasonable . I am a creature of habit and usually end up ordering the same thing everywhere we go

(most likely Enchiladas, chicken or beef)

It was very good and soon it was gone


We walked around a bit looking at T-shirts and other stuff we didn't need . It was 28c (82F) so I got the bright idea to have an ice cream dessert before we headed off

(Mango & Coconut scoops)

We only had 9 miles to go before the end of the road at Pololu


A couple of miles later we notice a sign


for King Kamehameha


I think he was a little envious of my Pink footwear

I think you would like it here if you were a horse


imagine grazing on the grass here with panoramic views of the cliffs and ocean . We manage another peek a boo view


We are nearing the end of the road where those cars are parked


I guess it depends which way you are facing. We think it is the end of the road, but if you turn around and head back you are at the beginning of the State Highway



Here you get a stunning view of the cliffs. It is about a mile hike down to the water level but the hike up would be a killer. Too strenuous for me, I'm afraid. Not unless Geoff sent me one of those magnetic bracelets.


I did consider it for a millisecond, but after looking at all the warning signs


I quickly decided to just stay on top and absorb the views like the other tourists. It was nice to just sit there for a while to contemplate our next move. I actually went down to the first bend in the trail, but it was very steep and my Crocs did not have the foundation required for this strenuous trail . I don't think there were many rocks so perhaps I should have just slipped them off.

We made a few more stops along the way back to Kailua-Kona


it was a relaxing day to explore the island


and we managed to catch a sunset on Hapuno Beach


Luckily I still have memories and photos because it was so long ago it seems like a dream that never happened and makes me think that it would be nice to go back there again, especially when it snows . . .


  1. It looks like it's time to pack up and go. After all how else could you really test those magnetic bracelets. Very nice sunset photo.

    You could always try those screw-in carbide studs that Aerostitch sells. A colleague with a moto-repair side business mentioned that some folks around Alaska run about 40 on the rear tire and 80 on the front. After all isn't the V-Strom a dual sport bike?


  2. Usually I have to visit Key West to mentally warm up, but today your posting did the trick. Thanks for your memories of Hawaii. It makes me want to go on vacation right away. Can we have spring pronto, please?

  3. How fun to see some images from your trip. Thanks for sharing them. What beautiful scenery. That trail looks very intriguing. I'd be hard pressed to not go exploring.

    Um, is it just me, or is your snow pic upside down? Very cool abstract either way! :)

  4. Bob...things just look too warm there...specially since they caused the re-appearance of pink crocs in your pictures!


    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    Redleg's Rides

  5. I didn't even notice the pink Crocs! I'm afraid I would've gone down the trail. The presence of the signs would've clinched it.


  6. Bob,

    Thank you for the warm thoughts. the last couple of days it has been in the single digits (9F) when I leave for work, not as cold as some, but cold enough for me. GAW

  7. Nice pictures of the tropicsa and palms.

  8. Perfect time to reminisce. I was wondering what the idea behind the title image palm trees was. I thought it might be "gloating" at first. :)

    I'm happy your snow isn't sticking around. Hopefully it will be gone in the next couple of days.

  9. No Bluekat, it's not just you, that first pic is upside down.
    Kinda trippy.

  10. Nice photos to look at in winter! Wow, it doesn't seem like a year ago that you went there. It seems like about 6 months ago but that was probably China. I really like that sunset photo - the food looks good too!

  11. RichardM: V-stroms are top heavy and I am not used to gravel and the lack of traction on the rear wheels. I got caught on pee gravel a couple of years ago and it was scary

    SonjaM: for some reason I didn't finish my vacation adventure. This was the last episode and it was appropriate that it was exactly one year ago to the week. I wouldn't mind going back as there are a few more places I want to see. Sort of like going to NZ but less expensive

    BlueKat: How observant you are, I suppose only a photographer would have noticed that the snow was upside-down. I thought it looked better that way . you may be right about that trail. There is a valley below and I only just found out that you can hire a 4x4 to bring you down and back up. Will have to wait until next time

    Charlie6: The weather was perfect. 28c (82f) and not too hot. even warm at night. it is so casual over there, you don't need dress up clothes, just T-shirts and shorts and bring a golf shirt if you need to dress up a bit, but we didn't.

    RichardM: Okay, I get the hint. come along next time and we'll do the trail. I need your help to get back up . make sure to bring your Crocs too

  12. GAW: a few days ago it was -6c here. Today it went up to +9c but we are getting lots of rain storms. Most often it is icy and frosty when I leave for work in the morning so I can't ride

    Mr Conchscooter: I like palm trees too. Too bad I have to pay to go somewhere to see them. You are lucky. You can see them from your window anytime you want

    Lori/BeemerGirl: I was just thinking how nice it would be to go back to Hawai'i the next time it snowed. and this was my last episode

    Troubadour: Drats ! you discovered my secret. Did you have to turn your laptop upside down ? I thought I was being artsy

    Mike: Thank you. I have been waiting a year to post these photos. somehow I have lots of posts conjured up in my head but they never made it to print. now that it is a slower time of year I have time to try and catch up. I also have video footage from 6 months ago to edit. There just doesn't seem like I have enough time to do it all.

  13. I thought it looked pretty cool that way too. In my drawing classes they used to tell us a good composition looks good whether it's right side up, or upside down. :)

  14. Dear Bobskoot:

    I got my first look at this blog episode, about 1am this morning, and I was too exhausted to type a word. We'd been planning a quiet night at home and got a call to rescue a buddy of mine at a bar. One thing led to another and I nearly needed rescuing myself.

    I easily remember a great many fine points regarding your last trip to Hawaii, but my favorite episode was that neat, old hotel, on a hillside, with a men's room reached by a kind of bridge.

    I could cast my vote for renting motorcycles in Hawaii, and riding around there as opposed to suffering through the doldrums of winter. Maybe next year.

    The photo of that strange head (hanging on the porch of that house) reminded me of "Wilson," the crushed soccor ball head that kept Tom Hanks company in the movie Cast Away.

    I have only been to Hawaii once, and that was for 30 hours (business trip). But I could pick any one of the beaches you've photographed, and sit in one place for a week.

    Four to six inches of snow, ice scum in the driveway, and salt and sand everywhere have ended my riding season. (I didn't realized you regarded your bike as "top heavy." The K75 falls into this category, but only with the engine off, when you are attempting to maneuver it around with your feet.)

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads