Hawaii - Maui and the Big Island

The Hawaiian Botanical Gardens - near Hilo.

The Hawaiian Islands mean many things to many people. Some people go for a vacation. Others go to work. And some, like Joan and I went for a wedding and a big 6-0 birthday, mine. Come along and join our motely crew of two as we spend a day in Maui and a week on the Big Island.

30 Second Natural History of the Hawaiian Islands

Regardless of the reasons the island chain or archipelago (An archipelago is a landform which consists of a chain or cluster of islands. Archipelagoes usually occur in the open sea; less commonly a large land mass may neighbour them. Archipelagos are often volcanic, forming along ocean ridges or hotspots, but there are many other processes involved in their construction, including erosion and deposition.)

The Hawaiian Archipelago consists of 132 islands, reefs and shoals of the State of Hawaii extending over 1500 miles across the North Pacific Ocean. They are the Earth’s most isolated islands, being some 2400 miles from both the nearest continental land mass, North America, and the islands of Polynesia in the South Pacific. These islands also were one of the last places on earth discovered, occupied and modified by humans.

The state of Hawaii is made of eight islands. Kauai is the oldest and the big island of Hawaii is the youngest. How they came to be is the most facinating thing about the islands. They are literally the tops of volcanoes or sea-mounts.

The Maui Wedding

Enough of that stuff.. Let's go to Maui for a wedding.. Randy Nordham is a long time friend and when he told me he was getting married Joan and I said we'd be there. We thought he'd get married in Dallas, Texas but instead he chose Maui. Let's see what's happening in Maui Cheryl and Randy Wedding. Lahiana, Front Street and all points in between in Maui, an island paradise, check it out.

We had a great place to stay, the Puka Maui. Great places to eat and the sceanary is spectacular.

From Maui, Joan and I headed for the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island.

The Big Island

Like all the islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago, the island of Hawaii grew out of the sea; and it's still growing. A visit to the big island is a journey back into time when the lands were form and how the continents have developed. The archipelago is traveling northwest, towards Japan. In case you're wondering, there is no such thing as solid ground on this planet. Our earth consists of a series of plates which float about the earth's crust.

Lava flow for Pu'u O'o. What you see here is new land forming on the big island.
Night time lava flow video clip - best viewed with Internet Explorer

While Yellowstone National Park has the largest concentration of geothermal features such as geysers, fumeroles and vents in the North Anerican Continent. The big island has three major volcanoes, all within view of each other; all very much alive!. And, two are active, along with the occasional new vent and lava flow that crops up to the delight of visitors and the dismay of residents.

Okay, so what's the big deal about the "Big Island?"

Here, take a look at this visual sampler of the big island. Hawaii, The Big Island.

All images © Anthony Galván III