“It never rains in Kona…”

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…were the opening lyrics to a little ditty my sister and I used to sing as children (vaguely to the tune of “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” but it was mostly an original composition). Of course, we were mostly kidding: we knew that of course, it had to rain in Kona sometimes: in comparison to our home in the Volcano rainforest, though, it seemed like Kona was about as close to a beach paradise/desert as you could get in Hawai’i.

It’s true that I’ve rarely seen Kona on a stormy afternoon, and as we kicked off our most recent trip with a bout of pouring rain, I now have a better sense of how our dry opposite coast transforms with a bit of cloud cover. It means waiting a day for the azure waters and sunny sands that usually signify a Kona beach expedition, but I think it has an overcast beauty to it–don’t you?

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We made the drive up through Hilo and the Saddle Road battling what felt like a hurricane: the rain remained ceaseless until the clouds decided to take a break long enough for me to visit “A-Bay” (a.k.a. Anaeho’omalu) and see the Pacific for the first time in a year!

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A-Bay isn’t known for great beachcombing (it’s pretty rocky, and a lot of shells break down quickly), but I did find a few interesting fragments to photograph.

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And, as it turns out, all this rain meant some beautiful snowfall for Mauna Kea (living up to its name) and Mauna Loa! The prospect of visiting either peak to see the snow would have excited me as a child; as an embittered young adult stranded on the icy Mainland for 48 weeks out of the year, however, I am perfectly content to admire this Hawaiian snow from afar. At least we get our own version of a white Christmas!

3 thoughts on ““It never rains in Kona…”

  1. Matching today’s weather in the SF Bay Area! Well it’s much colder here, of course: a bitter 52 F as I type this, just prior to noon. I am picturing Kailua-Kona’s charming airport as I write this. I’m saddened to learn (and just now) that the Astronaut Ellison S Onizuka Space Center closed this spring, the victim of airport expansion plans. Did you ever get the chance to visit? A sweet little space & science museum, right at the airport.

    • Wow, that’s a blast from the past! I did go there a few times, on the odd occasion when we flew through Kona. My family also attended Ellison Onizuka Science Day in Hilo ever since it started (like in 2003??); a super-formative part of my childhood! What a shame that the center has closed.

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