Road to
Waikoloa Heliport

Island of Hawaii
Friday, October 13th, 2000

Eventually, the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter representative showed up and lead us to the bus that was parked a couple of blocks from the pier. He said it was a 40-minute drive to the heliport. Kona is suggested in yellow on the map at left, and the Waikoloa Heliport location is marked in red. We drove for miles and miles through black lava beds. Because of the desert climate, very little except some grass and a few bougainvilleas have started to grow in spite of the fact that this lava nearly 200 years old!

Islanders and visitors have used white coral to make signs on the lava piles that line the roadway for miles and miles. My simple image: I Kona at the top of the page illustrates how these signs look. Many of these signs are very creative and complex. They were just too close to the road to photograph clearly from a speeding bus.

I borrowed these pictures from Odessa friends, James and Deanna Jordan, who celebrated their 22nd anniversary in the Kona area in January of 1999. Imagine 20 miles of these personal expressions in white coral and black lava. This probably makes this area unique in the world.

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

Eventually we arrived at the heliport, which sits directly on the lava beds just as do the town of Kona, the resorts, and the rock art of individuals such as those pictured above.

We sat on the porch of the Blue Hawaiian office for an hour while those who plan such things were trying to figure how to load all of us into the several helicopters. Passengers are arranged in the aircraft according to weight. This is a job that is very critical to the balance of a small airship. It seems there was one more passenger than they thought was listed on the manifest. And to further complicate things, there were two women with the same first name. The planners had not noticed the name duplication as they paid no attention to last names. You were lucky to get on the same chopper as your traveling companion. They had not noticed the duplicate first names, so they probably hadn't counted the passengers either. That's probably why they had one more person to seat than they thought they had. To us, it seemed as this job had been turned over to amatures.
But, to the company's credit, some people on our plane said they had flown with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters out of Hilo, and had no problems such as we had on this day. They said everything had run smoothly out of Hilo. Once we were in the air everything went just fine, except that the glass cabin was very, very, hot. I felt much like the Garfield the cat plasterred to the window.

Page last updated November 18, 2000.