We keep hearing people refer to the “old airport” here in Kona and we were wondering what that was all about. So we looked it up and found out it is a city park where the “old airport” used to be – thus the very clever name!
Yesterday was a scorcher (about 91 degrees and 500% humidity) and we spent most of the day cooling our jets at the pool. Being a little deep-fried this morning we decided a day with out sunbathing would be a healthy choice so it seemed like a good day to go check out the “old airport”.
After a four mile run (and we are up to 60 seconds on our plank challenge!) I wasn’t sure about a ten-mile bike ride but we decided to tackle it anyway. The bikes that came with our condo are super old and heavy and nothing like the great lightweight road bikes we have at home. But time in the saddle, any saddle, is good training for our upcoming 400 mile ride in July so off we went on the clunkers.
It turned out great. The five-mile ride to the park was lovely. We discovered the “old airport” was built-in the 1930’s, the original tourist airport for the island. The old terminal is still there too. None of it has been in use for flights since the 60’s when they built the larger airport that is still in use today. The “old airport” sat empty for a long time and apparently the runway was used for drag racing for many years (unofficially). Today the runway is a great long ride on the bikes from the south end of the park where there is a community pool and soccer fields and hockey court to the far north of the runway where there is public beach access and restrooms. There is also a nice community garden.
I love to see spaces reincarnated in communities and it was fun to visit a place that was designed for the local community not for tourists. Of course tourists are welcome there, but most the people we saw were local families, school children at summer day camp, and individuals out for a stroll or a run.