Sunday, April 5, 2009

More Scenes From The Big Island Of Hawaii

I don't think I'll have time to post individually about all the places on the Big Island that interest me, so here's a quick look at sites I've enjoyed visiting.

One cool place is the small town of Na'alehu, which has the distinction of being the southernmost incorporated town in the United States. The local post office provides the full data:

Na'alehu has a neat restored movie theater that's now a museum. It was closed when I took the photo below, but the exterior was worth a look:

A few miles from Na'alehu is South Point, the southernmost point in the United States. There is a heiau there, which was used for human sacrifices. South Point is very isolated; there is a navigation light there but not much else.

Kalapana was a town on the southeast corner of the Big Island. It was destroyed in 1990 by lava flows from Kilauea. However, lava doesn't flow in a continuous stream; instead, it sometimes flows around areas, resulting in islands of untouched greenery amid a sea of black, cooled lava. And a few houses are spared this way, as you can see below. But this homeowner, and others like him/her, wasn't exactly lucky. If lava destroys a home, the insurance paid the value of the home. But homes like the one below were cut off from roads, electricity, water, sewer services, telephone service, etc.------in other words, those homes were back in the nineteenth century. And since the homes themselves are undamaged, the insurance companies pay nothing, the owners can't sell, and they're stuck:

Visible from the site of Kalapana is the gas cloud emitted from the Pu'u O'o vent of Kilauea. The photo below doesn't do justice to how impressive the cloud was; it was churning like boiling water:

There are several additional places I'll blog about in the future.