Did you know...?
The island of Hawaii is the largest and newest of the Hawaiian Islands (and it's still being formed)! It is often called 'The Big Island' to differentiate it from the rest of the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii's land mass is roughly the size of Connecticut and has a population of approximately 185,079 according to the 2010 census. It is twice the size of all the other main Hawaiian Islands combined. By comparison, Oahu (the most populated island) has a population of 953,207.
The Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated population on earth. They are roughly 2,390 miles from California; 3,850 miles from Japan; 4,900 miles from China; and 5,280 miles from the Philippines.
Two of the tallest mountains in the Pacific - Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa make up the island. Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world (measured from it's base at the ocean floor).
Kilauea is one of the worlds most active volcanoes in the world.
Parker Ranch, near Waimea/Kamuela (in between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa), is one of the oldest ranches in the United States. It was founded in 1847. It is also one of the largest cattle ranches spreading across approximately 135,000 acres. The founder of the ranch was John Palmer Parker who, it was said, was granted the land by Kamehameha I after he assisted him in ridding the island of feral bulls. The history and story of John Parker and Parker Ranch can be an interesting one. See below for the mysterious death of David Douglas (as in Douglas Fir) and what it has to do with feral bulls.
David Douglas, the Scottish botanist for whom the Douglas Fir tree was named, met his death on the Big Island in 1832. The mysterious circumstances surrounding his death have made for interesting debate and speculation. Douglas was visiting Hawaii for the third time at the time of his death. While waiting for return passage to England later in the year, Douglas decided to hike the Laumai'a Trail skirting Mauna Kea at the 6,000 foot level. The official report was that David Douglas fell into one of the pit falls dug to entrap feral bulls (after a bull had already fell into it) and was killed by the bull. Cutting to the chase - because of shady facts surrounding his 'fall' some believe that he was actually murdered by a bullock hunter who was an escaped convict from Botany Bay after learning that Mr. Douglas was carrying a significant sum of money. Look it up - it's an interesting read!