We have the tallest mountain in the world! Mauna Kea, at its summit, is 30,000 feet above the ocean floor, although the visible portion is 13,760 feet above sea level.
South Point, the southern tip of the Big Island, is the southernmost location of the United States – about the latitude of Belize and Cuba. (Alaska has the distinction of being the westernmost part of the United States)
If the weather cooperates and you are in the right area, you can experience a “five volcano day”. This occurs when you stand in one place turn around and see Kohala, Haleakala (on Maui), Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and Hualalai.
MACNUTS & COFFEE! Hawaii County has the largest macadamia nut industry and the largest orchid growing business in the world. Thus the nickname of “The Orchid Isle”.Hawaii County is the major producer of coffee (yumm…Kona coffee!) and ginger in the United States.
$$$$$$$! Our cost of living is considered high by comparison to other states; however remember our temperate year-around climate offsets this by allowing us to do without heavy winter clothing, heating and air conditioning. And remember that just about everything we use here needs to have a boat or plane ticket – cars, building materials, clothing, furniture, food, on and on and on.
The speed of travel for news is legendary, due to what is called either the “bamboo telegraph” or the “coconut wireless”.
VARMINTS, BIRDS & STUFF! There are no hummingbirds in Hawaii, sad, but true. However there is no rabies and there are no snakes in Hawaii. Geckos, lizards, chameleons yes, but no snakes. Our Department of Agriculture has very strict regulations controlling the importation of pets, animals, fruit, vegetables and live plants. And don’t go to the pet store planning to purchase a hamster – they are not allowed either!
CONNECTED! For those of you who must stay “connected”, our cellular coverage is excellent except in the most remote areas, our access to the world wide web is the same as on the mainland, and depending on the supplier you choose, you can view all your favorite TV programs.
MISCELLANY! The Big Island is home to two of the most powerful goddesses in the Hawaiian culture: Pele resides to reside in Halemaumau Crater in Kilauea Volcano, and her sister, Poliahu, resides in Mauna Kea.
Fresh fish that you buy in the markets was probably still swimming that morning.
Rural area life offers the opportunity to live with a “catchment water” system. Many of our areas collect water into a cistern and then purify it for domestic use. We generally have enough rainfall…but sometimes it is necessary to call the water delivery truck!
History is rich on the Big Island. Everywhere there are heiau or sacred places, ancient burial sites, petroglyphs easily visible. The power (mana) of the Hawaiian monarchy is omnipresent.The Spirit of Aloha lives on the Big Island. Friends help friends, the weather is perfect, the ocean is crystal clear, flowers are everywhere, and everyone smiles and says, “Aloha!”