Pe‘epe‘e Falls, Akaka Falls, Rainbow Falls

The final excursion of my recent fortieth anniversary Hawaii cruise with the lovely Robin was a tour of three of the waterfalls on the big island. The Pe‘epe‘e Falls (above) is on the eighteen-mile-long Wailuku River, the second longest river in Hawaiʻi. The falls create an area of the river called "Boiling Pots," which was created by lava tubes, nearly vertical columns that formed as the lava cooled in the river bed. When the river rises, water in the terraced pools or “lava pots” becomes turbulent and appears to be boiling.
 Rainbow Falls (above), also on the Wailuku River, features  an eighty-foot drop over a deep lava cave, the mythological home to Hina, an ancient Hawaiian goddess. The falls are named for the rainbows that often form in the surrounding mist. We didn't get to see any rainbows, but it was a beautiful sight nonetheless.
The final stop on our expedition was Akaka Falls, eleven miles north of Hilo. It requires a winding walk along the shoulder of the gorge to get to the overlook view of the 442-foot-tall waterfall. "Akaka" is the Hawaiian word for "rent, split, chink, or separation." On our walk to and from the lookout we heard the chirping of coqui, tiny tree frogs that were recently (and unintentionally) imported from Puerto Rico.

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