We got some training for driving the Jeep on that trip out to the beach, and put it to the test on day 6.
That day, we left Hilo and traveled north along the coast toward the Waipi'o Valley. It's a beautiful, old, and huge valley in the northern part of the island. This is a part of the island that would probably look like the other Hawaiian islands than most of what you've seen so far. There's been a lot of time for erosion up there.
Waipi'o is very secluded. I've visited the overlooks on other trips, but have never been able to go into the valley because the only road down there is a steep, one-lane, nasty thing that requires four wheel drive. But we drove down!And we went to the beach. It was a very nice beach with good sized waves and powdery soft black sand. Then we drove back up that road. Take a look at the horizon in this picture.
Next, we got back on the road and stopped for Thai food in Waimea. Yes! I can eat Thai food again!