Zeke’s Hawaii

paradise from the canine perspective

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Zeke, Your Official Hawaiian

Rescue Guide Dog

Due to the absence of opposable thumbs I really struggle with that tiny Mac keyboard, but despite Apple’s blatant indifference to customers of my species, I continue to excel as Hawaii’s premier canine travel journalist.

I am Zeke and this is my island. I have peed all over the thing, top to bottom, from the steaming (thanks to me) lava flows of Puna to the frozen yellow (again, me) snows atop Mauna Kea. Labrador Retrievers are natural guide dogs, so without hubris I can state that you will find no more knowledgeable or experienced canine tour leader than I.

My favorite food? Fresh crab that I catch myself. Mangoes. Papayas. And Hilo Homemade Tahitian Vanilla ice cream. My favorite book? Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck. My favorite drink: chicken broth. My hobbies include chasing geckos, and tearing apart coconuts from the husk, breaking the nut open with my bare teeth, and scouring out the contents. Yum. Even better if the coconut is rotten and smelly and the coconut water has fermented. It’s a great high. My tongue is so wide and long that I have the unique ability to completely envelop an average human face with just a single slurp. Okay, people have complained that my saliva has the consistency of Super Glue, but a little Ajax on a Scotch Brite pad will take that right off. I’m a real catch because I’m flea and tick-free.

My bio-dad was probably part bear as evidenced by my giant feet. But without them, I could not have covered the craggy lava landscape of this largest of the Hawaiian islands so thoroughly, or for so long

Allow me to take you along on my adventures. I may be a little slower these days but I can still get around with the best of ‘em. I’ve got a lot of experience under my belt/collar, and they tell me I don’t look half-bad. And remember, I’m flea and tick-free. Copy that, ladies? 



Whenever my pet humans aren’t taking me on as many adventures as I need, I nag them to load me into the VW pop-up with one of my canine braddahs to spend a few days being gypsies in Waikoloa, sleeping overnight in the bus that we park on a cliff-top away from everybody and everything. We cook hot dogs (ironic), watch the sunset and the moonrise, and marvel at how lucky we are to live in such an amazing place. We love 69s Beach, but my canine peeps have been banned ever since they paved the parking lot and installed showers. So now we trot a little north to 67 Beach with no bossy-body to tell me I can’t be there. Swimming at sunrise is my favorite thing in the world, taking breaks to roll in the sand...and no matter how far out toward the horizon those homosapiens throw that ball, I have no trouble finding it and bringing it back. I actually think I could swim all the way to Maui if I had to.

From Kona, drive north on Highway 19. Before mile marker 70, make a left turn on Puako Road, then turn left at the next road. Address: Alakea Dr., Kamuela, Hawaii 96743

69s Beach is located at the number 69 utility pole.


Zeke’s Guide To Waipio Valley

As you can tell from the photo below, I was a little reluctant to visit Waipio. It’s the thought of climbing back up that incredibly steep hot sunny road part that made me hesitate. My human was too cheap to go to Harper’s Rental Cars in Hilo and get a 4WD, because believe me, no 2WD can make it, much less get through the mud that waits at the bottom. So he made me walk!

The beach is fantastic, but the water’s too rough and currents scary for swimming. I like swimming in Waipio Stream better, and I have had all my leptospirosis shots, so I’m good to go. That’s Dr. Alex taking pictures by the stream, above. The good doctor recommends that humans make prophylactic preparations before their Hawaii visit if they plan on swimming in streams and pools. You should visit his page and read up on it.

Notice there are waterfalls just to the right from the mud road you’ll be on as it reaches the ocean. If you hike to the falls, it’s best to time that visit for low tide, and keep an eye out for rogue waves that can knock you over and sweep you out to sea.  photos by Alex del Rosario MD and Richard Sullivan

Zeke’s GuideTo Akaka Falls

With my head out the passenger side, I can always smell the fresh and flowery scent of Akaka Falls Park a mile away, and get very excited at the prospect of yet another visit.

Akaka Falls is 420 feet high, in a straight drop, and is one of my favorite places. Everybody I meet there wants to pet me, but, hey, I came here for a reason people: to stare at the beautiful cascades, and pee on every leaf and blade of grass along the way. See, I got me plenty to do and I don't like distractions. So unless you have a cookie to go along with that pat, or are a professional scalp massager, save it.

From Hilo, take Highway 19 and after mile marker 13 turn mauka/toward the mountains onto Hwy 220. You will pass thru the picturesque little town of Honomu, where I always get to stop for ice cream on the way back. Continue uphill following the signs to Akaka Falls Park, and wander the loop path over gurgling streams, above dizzying gorges and passing two waterfalls: Akaka at 422 feet, and Kahuna falls at 400 feet.

There's a nice little shelter overlooking Akaka Falls if you want to rest, or have brought a sandwich, but the mosquitos may just keep you on the move.

Being of the canine persuasion, I can pee anywhere, but humans will be happy to know there are restrooms for their needs adjacent to the parking area.

Local craftsmen and women are often present selling beautiful fresh lei, woven goods and other creations of the `aina, sitting along the wall or on the lawn.

On the way back from the Park stop in Honomu town and have a look in the shops, and if you happen to see me, I do love vanilla ice cream. You don't even have to buy me my own cup; I can clean up what's left of yours.

The stream that tumbles over Akaka Falls is named Kolekle, and back at Hwy. 19 you'll see the entrance to Kolekole Beach Park, which ironically, has no beach. Just rocks and boulders. But the surfers love it and the lawn under the towering highway bridge makes for a great lazy roll. You don't have to be a dog to enjoy a roll in the grass, if you catch my drift.

Kolekole Stream is a lot of fun for me to explore, but humans need to be careful as the boulders are wickedly slippery.

When tide is high, there's not much seashore here, but when it's low I like to explore and mostly watch the surfers. I try to go in for a swim, but that guy on the other end of the leash says it's way too rough for me. So I have to wait until we drive back to Hilo and have my traditional stop at Bayfront Beach by the catamarans, where I can get wet and roll in the sand.

Don't get hypnotized by all that endless green you're zooming past along Highway 19: stop at Honomu and Akaka Falls. You'll be happy you did.

Waipio Lookout

Waipio Beach

Waipio Valley

Waipio Beach

Waipio Stream

Are you sure

the pickup

won’t make it


Waipio Stream

Waipio Campground

Waipio Road

Waipio Valley Road

Waipio Beach’s Waterfalls

Waipio Stream

near 69s Beach

Kolekole Stream

Akaka Falls

I wonder if these people have cookies?




Punaluu Black Sand Beach...I can really lose myself there, you know. Blend in. Anyway, I am a big believer in protecting endangered species and I respect the signs posted here not to engage the Giant Green Sea Turtles that lounge on the sand and feed in the surf. I love coming here and exploring the rocky coast, as you can see in the photo. Punaluu beach is in the background, and right behind the sand is a large and tempting freshwater fish pond. You can visit Punaluu if you are driving around the south end of Hawaii’s Big Island on Hwy. 11. It’s southwest of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.




The Hawaii Visitors & Conventions Bureau:


Driving & Discovering Oahu


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