Celebrating all the ladies out there today – the mothers, daughters, sisters, partners and friends. You add beauty and grace to the world, you are the best companions to share in our adventures, and you deserve equality in the workplace and in life. #plegeforparity
The Big Island of Hawaii is well-known for its active volcano, black sand beaches, and magical Kona sunsets, and that’s more than enough reason to visit this island paradise. But what many may not realize is that the eastern side of the island is a lush tropical landscape of cascading waterfalls and jungle-lined valleys in a primordial setting.
Traveling north from Hilo on the old Mamalahoa Highway is a journey back in time. Passing countless sugar cane fields, the primary industry here during the last century, the landscape soon enters the dense jungle as the road winds along the rugged Hamakua Coast. With constant views of the Pacific on the right, the highway passes countless verdant chasms lined with an amazing variety of plants and trees that fill every available space with green. Needless to say, you soon find yourself looking for every available pull-out.
Akaka Falls State Park is one of the highlights of the coast. A short nature trail leads through giant bamboo forests and tropical cascades before arriving at its namesake waterfall. Further north, just before the highway turns west towards the town of Waimea, a spur road leads through the sleepy hamlet of Honoka’a to the spectacular Waipio Valley. The overlook at the end of the main road provides stunning views of this valley of the kings and the dramatic cliffs of the north coast, but traveling into the valley down the 25% grade (reported to be the steepest in the US) requires several hours and a guide or 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Boasting 4 out of the 5 major climate zones in the world, and 8 out of 13 of the sub-zones, the Big Isle really does have it all! Unlike the other Islands, which require less travel time, it takes a bit of planning to fully experience the largest of the Hawaiian Islands – but this is one part you don’t want to miss.
In keeping the tradition that Jim Goldstein started over 10 years ago, I’ve selected my favorite images released in the past year. These are not necessarily my best or most popular, but each holds a special place as a moment in time not soon to be repeated or forgotten.
Enjoy! And feel free to let me know your favorites. You can click on any image for a large view, to learn more about it, or share individually. I look forward to seeing your selects in the weeks ahead, and wish everyone a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year full of beauty, adventure and photographic possibilities.
August 25th is the 101st birthday of the National Park Service. Established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, the National Park Service was created to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein…for the enjoyment of future generations.”
From its humble beginnings with just thirty-five parks administered under the Department of the Interior, today the National Park System includes over 400 units including parks, monuments, and historic sites. Ken Burns’ recent film The National Parks: America’s Best Idea rekindled the connection many feel with the parks, and is a wonderful tribute to the history and originality that first made them possible.
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and a great resource for staying in the loop about events and activities at nearby parks or putting the finishing touches on planning your next big adventure.