Day 16: April 7, 2017
The Last Move

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Today marked the last time I changed hotels on this trip and the only time I did it without the aid of an airplane. I Ubered to the airport, picked up the rental, then stopped back at the hotel for my baggage. After a pass through downtown Hilo, I headed north but stopped at the very first turnout I saw. It offered a look back across Hilo Bay and a different view of the breakwater. And there was a nice welcome to the coast as I pulled out.

I was basically following HI-19 but about three miles up the road I saw a scenic route sign and pulled onto Old Mamalahoa Highway. It really was a pretty drive that included a waterfall where I stopped for a better look.

Back on HI-19, I encounter some fairly big time bridge repairs just a few miles further on.

Just past Laupahoehoe, this pullout gave me a peek at the town's former location and ultimately a visit there. The sign summarizes the story and might be readable here.

This is Laupahoehoe Point where the town used to be. The 1946 tsunami that destroyed so much in the Hilo area took the lives of twenty-four residents. Their pictures and other information about the tragedy, though faded, are displayed here. A monument loaded with flowers stands nearby. Although the point is quite scenic, the coast here doesn't look very inviting to me.

For any familiar with my one and only cat picture on Facebook, it was taken on the drive back to HI-19 from Laupahoehoe Point. Here's the original.

When I make my movie about a pilot being stranded on an island, the opening scene will look a lot like that first picture and the pilot will be so happy. Doesn't that look like the perfect spot to crash land? In the real world, before you see that view, you have to walk down that path or drive down that road and I can't guarantee what you'll see on the road. I did the walk only. It's the Waipio Lookout and many, including me, clearly think the view is worth the twenty mile round-trip drive off of HI-19.

I stayed on HI-19 to Waimea then turned onto HI-250 to Hawi at the island's northern edge. From there it was HI-270 south to reconnect with HI-19 and continue to Kona where I immediately checked into the Kona Seaside Hotel. I looked over my room, glanced left and right from my balcony, and headed across the street.

My haste was due to this being National Beer Day and having Kona Brewing Company essentially across the street from my hotel. What could be better? Being here earlier for one thing. The place was packed. I managed to get a beer but could find no place to set either it or myself down. I finished the beer then headed to a place I'd spotted on the walk over. I found a barstool and enjoyed a decidedly non-Hawaiian Pabst Blue ribbon at "Bar Without a Porpoise", the Dolphin Spit Saloon. Then I walked back past my hotel and on to to the sea but did not have dinner there. It was close, though, at Quinn's.

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