San Francisco, California
June 9, 2002
Starting at Kaunakakai, the first stop of note is St. Joseph's church. The dock at Kamalo is a great place to take a photo of the mountains that loom above the Eastern side.
Continuing on past the Ualapu'e fish pond (mile marker 13), there's further evidence of native history at the Ili'ili'opae Heiau, a less gentle temple than the one at Kamalo Plantation, where human sacrifices occured until the 1700's. It's between Mile Marker 15-16, and is a 5 minute hike inland.
Right around here is the Neighborhood Market, the one place out here where you can buy provisions and even a hot plate lunch. Alas, the one gas station has been closed for several decades, so hopefully you tanked up back in Kaunakakai!
You will pass by several lovely beaches, including, at Mile Marker 20, the aptly named Twenty Mile Beach (it probably has a native moniker like halihaliapua'apuahaumumu.) Snorkeling is possible here, although the waters are very shallow. You may want to wait for high tide, or better yet, just relax on the beach. The road hugs the coast and gets very scenic at this point. You'll have a great view onto Lanai, Maui and a nearby islet. At around Mile Marker 25 the road gets even windy and narrower (be thankful that there is very little traffic out here).
Continue on to Halawa Valley, stopping at the scenic overlook to take in the steep cliffs and waterfall. At the end of the road there's a secluded beach (pretty, but not great for swimming), a cute little church and some fishermens' shacks.
While this area used to be well populated, and many heiau can still be found, it was nearly abandoned in the mid 20th century. The trail up to the waterfall is on private land, and there used to be a guided hike. Unfortunately, some hikers died on the trail back in the Fall of 2001, so it still remains closed. Casual excursions to see "what's there" should be discouraged as the local pot farmers are protective of their crop!
From journal Molokai Mo' Bettah