This simulated true-color image of the island ...

This simulated true-color image of the island of Hawai’i is from the Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) on the Landsat 7 satellite. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Shire is a twenty acre paradise of green grassy glades, pastures, tropical food forest with a seemingly endless variety of fruits and nuts dripping off the trees just begging to be sampled, and populated primarily by special creatures known as halflings or hobbits.  Of course, other Middle Earthlings abound as well, but they may be less obvious, with elves preferring to stay more secluded within their preferred sanctuary of seventy acres of surrounding tropical rain forest in which The Shire’s sun drenched greenery is nestled.  Dwarves are more often found digging in the earth, so keep an eye out, and you might just see one pop their head above the horizon!  Humans visit here, too, on occasion, but… hopefully no orcs!

To find your way through Middle Earth to The Shire, you will most likely arrive at Hilo Airport, about a half an hour drive away.  There are busses for one dollar per person plus one dollar for any extra or oversized bag (or even for a bicycle which can be carried on a rack on the front of the bus).  If you fancy yourself a grey or white wizard (over 55) you can show your kamaaina ID and ride for free.  The nearest bus stop to the airport is about a mile away in back of the Prince Kuhio Mall, and remember you are not in Hobbiton… Orc law forbids hitch-hiking near the airport – until you get out to the main Highway.  Hitching is challenging in town anyway… as orcs speed by one per car, with no time to stop for a simple wayfarer.  Once you get out into lower Puna district, where The Shire is located, you will find many friendlier and helpful country folk who will gladly offer you a ride, sometimes right to your destination.  We call them The Shire Taxi Service, and we are super grateful for them!!

English: Volcanic plume where lava meets sea n...

Volcanic plume where lava meets sea near Kalapana, Big Island, Hawaii (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, if you do wind up taking the bus to the quaint village of Pahoa, in the rural district of Puna (where the volcano is located!), you will want to get off at Pahoa, either at Cash and Carry, which is across the street from Island Naturals (the local health food store), or at the High School, which is just before the lone traffic light in all of Pahoa!  From that traffic light you can hitch or even walk about 1.3 miles toward Kalapana on Route 13o, until about 130 feet past the 13 mile marker where you will see the entrance to The Shire where we are building our farm stand.  Walk 1/3 mile straight in the gravel road (the green crystals are olivine!) and you enter the realm of The Shire (on your left as you enter the field).

If you want a ride from the airport or from Pahoa village, calling and arranging ahead gives you the best chance.  But you can try anyway, and someone may be available with a running vehicle to pick you up… Be sure to offer some gas money, though, if you want to start off on the right furry foot, and have a chance of rides in the future!!

See you in Hobbiton!

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