Return to Hawaii…The Big Island

My first visit to Hawaii was to the Big Island in 1997. My brother and I spent a week here driving around and hiking the country side. Although it’s only one island, there is so much to see and do, that I promised to come back some day.

Well, someday is now and we just arrived from the long flight from Denver to the somewhat funky town of Hilo. Instead of staying in Hilo proper, I decided we’d stay in the village of Volcano, which is adjacent to the main entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We arrived just at dark to our hotel: The Volcano Inn. No big hotel chains here in Volcano, just a collection of B&B’s and rustic inns; Volcano Inn falls into the latter category. The lush vegetation of this part of the island really makes it difficult to find the businesses in this area, especially at night. Volcano Inn solves this problem with lots of  lights covering the property. The driveway into the inn is easy to spot; it has an easy-to-find archway covered with Christmas lights.

We were quite exhausted from our long flight from Denver, but we had to find food before retiring. We found a great little pizza place called the Kiawe Kitchen. The place was packed at 7:00, so the wait was a bit long for the food. It was worth the wait in spite of our fatigued bodies crying out for sleep as much as food. A modest sized wood-fired pesto pizza, followed by a chocolate brownie desert, and we were ready for bed.


About Mike

I have a passion for adventure travel that began in 1989 with my first overseas trip: climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Having never been to a foreign country, Africa felt like being on another planet; I knew then and there I was hooked on travel. Since that time, I have visited all seven continents and dozens of countries. I’m using the experience I’ve gained in planning my own trips to help my clients plan their own adventures through my adventure travel company ( After working as a firefighter for the US Forest Service in California and Wyoming for three years, I moved to Durango, Colorado where I graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in accounting. After graduation I moved to the Denver area where I worked in a Big Eight accounting firm to obtain my CPA license; soon afterward I began a career as an auditor with the Colorado Department of Education. My background in accounting helped me develop detailed-oriented skills that have been extremely useful in researching and planning my own travel over the years. I think this provides a unique asset to my clients in putting together their adventure travel plans. I currently live in Golden, Colorado with my wife Valerie, who shares my love of adventure travel. I’m an active member of the Colorado Mountain Club where I lead trips for club members and have taught ski lessons in their Telemark Ski School. I enjoy skiing, mountain hiking, trail running, photography, and astronomy. I take any opportunity I can get to explore new places, whether it’s on the other side of the world or just down the road.
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