The second half of our Hawaii adventure took place on the Big Island, which is simply called "Hawaii." This island is much bigger than Maui and everything is more extreme. The mountains are higher (Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa both stand more than 13,000 feet above sea level), the deserts are drier (some areas are so dry and bleak it looks as if they are in the middle of the Mojave Desert), and the rain forests wetter (some areas get well over 300 inches per year).
Once again, we camped for much of our time on the Big Island (six of the nine nights). We spent a good deal of time in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which included an overnight backpacking trip to the coast. We were awed by flowing lava and steam vents. The earth seems brand new here. We also visited three other National Park sites: Kaloko-Honokohau, Puuhonua o Honaunau and Puukohola Heiau (all National Historic Parks). I still don't have a clue how to pronounce any of them!
The 50th state has certainly lived up to my expectations as being an exotic location filled with incredible adventures!