Thursday, March 26, 2009

KaLaeMano

Between Four Seasons/Kona Village and Kiholo, for several miles, the land consists mostly of the a'a lava from the eruption (1750-1800) out of the pit craters near the end of Huehue Street in Kaloko Mauka. Around the 84 mile marker there is access to the wedge of pahoehoe lava between the two forks of a'a. The point at the tip of that wedge is called KaLaeMano (Shark Point).

It's just over two miles from the highway to the ocean, and there a new road and "interpretive center" near the coast, which according to the workers down there, isn't open to public access yet, although community groups have begun using the facility. In the old days (before about 2002) the only way to the shore was to hike in from Kona Village (to the south) or Kiholo (to the north) or drive to drive in from the Queen K highway at the 84 mile marker following arrows and lines spray painted on the lava. While the interpretive center violates the prior wilderness feel of the area, it actually represents a victory because more extensive development of the area was planned until this case (disclosure: I was one of the attorneys involved) tied things up for ten years or so.

It was a day that I felt like a hot walk, and in that regard, walking on bare lava in the middle of the day is just what the doctor ordered. I planned on swimming when I got to the ocean. But the seas were a little too frisky for me to try to climb down a cliff and swim. So I just walked some more.

In the hearings before the LUC, one of the things that came out was that one of the things that KaLaeMano was known for were its many salt pans. Because there are no streams on this side of the island, and virtually no plans near the ocean for several miles in either direction, the salt from KaLaeMano was known for its purity. I still have a small container of salt on my mantle that was given to me as part of that case.

A salt accumulation:

Two views of the coast:

and

Despite no swim (and falling about 2 minutes into walk and cutting my hands) it was an enjoyable, if hot, 5.2 mile walk.

3 comments:

Aaron Stene said...

John,

I assume this is the same project
that WHT reported on here ?

http://www.westhawaiitoday.com/articles/2007/06/22/local/local05.txt

John Powell said...

Yep. You can see the cranes and construction equipment in the first photo.

Bryan said...

I used to Mt bike down there back in the days when one could go anywhere on this island without getting chased away. That area should have been a park.