Hawaii From 13,000 Feet by Randy P. Martin in Mauna Kea, Hilo, Hawaii

Mauna Kea is one of the biggest reasons this place I live exists. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, it popped up from the sea, and created this incredible place. Now considered to be one of the most diverse chunks of land it’s size any place in the world, the Big Island of Hawaii owes it’s success to Mauna Kea and the other 4 volcanoes that make up the island.

Name:Randy P. Martin



Currently getting ready for a summer trip that should be pretty insane. Check it out here: fourthousandmilesproject.com

Can you sum up the big island of Hawaii?

The big island of Hawaii is one of the slowest places I’ve ever been to in the world. Especially in the US. Things are very community based here. The locals actually have genuine smiles on their faces and neighbors smile at neighbors because they actually want to. The diversity of landscape here is totally incredible for such a small place. Everything from snow capped mountains to active volcanoes to barren deserts reminiscent of african plains to coral reefs teeming with life to lush green jungles to beaches that put the ones in Corona commercials to shame – it’s all here.

A perfect day?

Coffee preparation is always step one regardless of where I’m living. Luckily for me here, we grow it on the farm I’m staying at. Once I’ve got a hot mug in my hand, I like to grab the papaya picker and pluck breakfast from one of the trees on the property. If a banana bunch is looking ready, I’ll find my machete and add a fresh apple banana or two to my plate. The joy from this kind of freshness is hard to explain.

During the day, a hike to the beach for some snorkeling and teal water lounging with a 6 pack in the cooler is usually in order.

At night after cooking up a feast with my closest buds, a bonfire at the island fire pit on our private river is as good a place as any I’ve ever been to stare up at the stars and listen to the coqui frogs, the wind, the water rushing by.

What is the best thing about your spot?

The weather. And the accessibility to nature. Any place on the island, it’s right outside your door.

What is the worst?

I’ve been here for two months now. I’ll let you know when I figure out a single con.

What would be surprising about this place to an outsider?

The fact that the Big Island is not the picture you have in your head when somebody says Hawaii. The entire island is like going through a time warp to some small northern California town in the early eighties.

Before I die I want to visit:

The Arctic Circle in northern Alaska. Should be only about two months til I get to cross this one off my list!

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Luke Byrne. Matt Lief Anderson. Marlon Geller.


Name:Randy P. Martin


Favorite place to eat:

I’ve only been out to eat once since I arrived two months ago. There are too many farmers markets and fresh food everywhere that I haven’t ventured out much further than my kitchen.

Favorite place to drink:

The bowling alley bar at Hilo Lanes

Favorite place to shop:

Hilo Farmers Market

Local Tip:

No Trespassing, Private Property and Keep Out signs almost never have any legal backing to them on the island. They’re put up by locals who want beaches and secluded spots to themselves. If you’ve heard/read about some epic place then encounter a gate, or one of these signs on your way, just keep walking.

Must Do:

Visit the glow of the Kilauea lava lake after dark with a bottle of whiskey in your pocket.