We discovered it by accident. We were on a road trip going from Waikoloa to Hilo on Highway 19 and had loaded the car down with freshly made organic salads, fruit, fruit juices, water, and some candy munchies from the pit stop made earlier at a naturals foods market in Waimea. Highway 19, along the Hāmākua Coast, is littered with these bridges that once were railroad lines that. By 1949, they had been resurfaced to be used by cars. These bridges extend across lush valleys, and stunning waterfalls. Well…our “embrace the detours” moment happened as we crossed one of those bridges just past mile marker 15.
Roland said, “What was that?”
I was like, “What?”
He said, “That sign said something about a park”
I said, “Should I turn around?”
He’s like, “I don’t know.”
Then I’m like, “Yes or no!?”
He said, “Yes.” So, I made an illegal Uturn, and we went back to what turned out to be the sweetest little spot ever.
We descended down a narrow road with a rock wall lined with lush vegetation on the left, a drop off to the valley floor on the right, and overhead it was thick with leaves from the surrounding trees, creating a tree tunnel. I love a tree tunnel!! When we reached the base of this road, there was the option to cross a bridge that goes over a stream, or make a right and head into the park.
After stopping to take some photos, we veered to the right and drove along the stream into the parking lot situated in front of a large grassy area that was lined with a few picnic tables. Next to us flowed the stream, feed by the Akaka Falls about 4 miles away, that lead to a rocky beach where it met the ocean. As we ate our lunch, the view directly in front of us was of a small waterfall.
So…there we were sitting at a nice clean picnic table, eating our fresh salads, next to a stream, with a waterfall in the background. It really was picture perfect. All because we had decided to take a detour.
Have you had your own “Embrace The Detours” moment?