Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21, 1959: Hawaii Becomes the 50th State

August 21, 1959: Hawaii Becomes the 50th State of the USA
Happy Birthday Aloha State!

Here's a taste of Blue Hawaii, the 50th state of the United States and President Obama's home-state...





Flying Hawaiian. Hawaiian airliner taking off from Maui airport. Photo Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Flying Hawaiian. Hawaiian airliner taking off from Maui airport. Photo Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
So, let's fly to Hawaii...

There are eight Hawaiian islands:



Map of the Hawaii Islands on a full rainbow stretching from Molokai to Lanai. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Map of the Hawaii Islands on a full rainbow stretching from Molokai to Lanai. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.



 Maui - the Valley Island - is maybe the most visited Hawaiian island. A city full of art galleries and tourists is Lahaina. Haleakala dormant volcano is also on Maui. Haleakala crater is said to be the size of Manhattan Island. It's a place from where one can witness the sunset from above the clouds, and also the optical illusion known as Brocken Spectre.

Lanai'i - the Pineapple Island - is a small island where we got to spend a fabulous day. It is known for its pineapple plantations.

Hawai'i - the Big Island - is the largest and closest to the West Coast of continental U.S.. The Big Island is home for Volcano National Park and the only live Hawaiian volcanoes. Black (volcano) and green sand beaches are also on this island.

O'ahu - the Gathering Place - is a place where history was written: Pearl Harbor, close to Honolulu (Hawaii's capital and birthplace of America's first black president, the 44th president of the United States, President Barack Obama)

While in Hawaii, I tried to learn a few words in Hawaiian...

Aloha: Hello, Good-Bye
Ahinahina: Very Gray
Anuenue: Rainbow
Mahalo: Thank You



Maui, Hawaii: Sunset at Haleakala

Haleakala reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet above sea level. That allows visitors to witness the sunrise/sunset from above the clouds. It is truly a "top of the world" kind of experience.

The dormant Haleakala crater is said to be the size of Manhattan. This giant crater holds smaller craters, as seen in the next image.

The bottom of the crater has trails, on which travelers can take horseback rides.
Sunset over one of Haleakala's dormant craters. Maui, Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Sunset over one of Haleakala's dormant craters. Maui, Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
West Maui, green, Hawaii, clouds, landscape photography
West Maui Green. Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.



Sailing Boats Silhouetted by Maui Sunset Glow. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Sailing Boats Silhouetted by Maui Sunset Glow. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Watching the Sunset from Above the Clouds. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Watching the Sunset from Above the Clouds. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Crawling on Lanai Beach. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Crawling on Lanai Beach. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


The Big Island offers everything for everybody: live volcanoes and lava flow, smoking lava fields, serenity and rain forests, waterfalls and rough terrain (unmaintained roads, how they are called). In a poignant way, Big Island is Mother Nature's  kingdom and She is the queen--beautiful, fascinating and at times dangerous, always in charge, showing her mesmerizing power everywhere.

Visiting the Big Island, finding ourselves, literally, at the edge of the world, on a forgotten coast where there's no signal of any sort (no radio and no Internet), we were reminded of the majesty--and also the force--of Mother Nature. Thus we could rediscover its beauty and power... and relearn to respect it. 


Lava Face. Watching Live Lava Flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Lava Face. Watching Live Lava Flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
 There's nothing like watching lava flow, burning everything on its path to the ocean, adding to the island, creating new land, thus defining the juxtaposition between destruction and creation. Along the way it forms lava caves (the top layer solidifies, creating lava tunnels). In its solid form lava   turns black, hence the color of black, lava beaches. On these beaches, deep inside their dryness, people have planted seeds that, in time, grow into green plants.

Live Lava images were taken near Hilo, Big Island
Smoking Lava Fields. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Smoking Lava Fields. Aerial Photography over Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Ahinahina ("very gray" in Hawaiian) is a strange looking plant one can find at Haleakala. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Ahinahina ("very gray" in Hawaiian) is a strange looking plant one can find at Haleakala.



Smoking Lava Fields. Aerial Photography over Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Smoking Lava Fields. Aerial Photography over Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii. Aerial Photography. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii. Aerial Photography. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.



Coconut Island. Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Coconut Island. Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


Whale Watching in Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Whale Watching in Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Whale Watching in Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Whale Watching in Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


Live Lava Flow. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Live Lava Flow. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Akkaka Falls. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Akkaka Falls. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Kona, Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Kona, Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Peeking Through: Lava watching on the Big Island. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Peeking Through: Lava watching on the Big Island. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.


Lava Creatures. Volcano National Park. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Lava Creatures. Solidified Lava forms what is known as Lava Trees. Sometimes the Trees look more like Creatures. Volcano National Park. Big Island of Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Honolulu, Hawaii, WWII, Pearl Harbor, tower, Pearl City
Tower from where the Pearl Harbor attack was first seen. Pearl City, near Honolulu, Hawaii. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Hawaiian woman surfing, water, woman on the surfboard, watersports
(Hawaiian Woman) Surfing: the Aloha Sport. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Honolulu, Hawaii, hotel, resort, turning on the street lights
Honolulu, Hawaii: a local [hotel employee, I assume] turning on the street lights to guide our way to our next destination or maybe help us find our way back to the Land of Rainbows. Copyright 2010 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.





Hawaii
Having the Ultimate Hawaii Adventure. Photo by Alina Oswald.
To Hawaii, the 50th state of the United States! I look forward to visiting again, hopefully sometime soon.

Hope you enjoyed this brief Hawaii experience. As always, thanks for stopping by,

Alina Oswald
Writer/Photographer
Author of Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography
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