August 21 – Celebrating Hawaii!

Posted on August 21, 2016

The most recent state to join the United States of America, Hawaii became the 50th state on this date in 1959!

Hawaii is beautiful and unique among American states, so I have written about it several times. Also, Hawaii's troubling path to statehood warranted several posts. All of my past posts on Hawaii can be found here. (Be sure to click “Older Posts” at the bottom.) 

Here are a few things I have not previously focused on:

  • Wahiawa (on Oahu) claims to have the world's largest plant maze.

    It's on the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Built of 14,000 plants, there are many possible routes through the maze, and it takes most people about an hour to get through. The record time is just seven minutes!

  •  I've loved the white white sand beaches and black sand beaches in Hawaii...but I've never seen the green sand beach called Papkolea!

The olive-green color of the sand comes from the mineral olivine. Olivine crystals in lava tend to accumulate on the beach while less-dense particles of the lava are washed out to sea.

This beach is located on the Big Island of Hawaii.

  •  The Hawaiian islands were all created by volcanoes, and the southernmost island, the “Big Island” of Hawaii, is still gaining more real estate from its two active volcanoes. Hawaii's volcanoes tend to create more gentle and slow-motion disasters than the usual “OMG! The volcano is erupting!” scenario beloved of disaster movies. Check out the 2014 – 2015 lava flow that threatened the town of Pahoa. 
  • A new Hawaiian island is forming. The Lo'ihi Volcano is building up an island off the southern coast of the “Big Island,” but it is still underwater. If it keeps growing, we expect the newest island to break the surface in about 100,000 years.
Yeah...that's a while! 

  • The Waipa Foundation (on Kauai Island) offers Poi Day once a week. Visitors are welcome to come and join in the work of making this traditional food. Work starts at 5:00 a.m. and is usually done around noon (you don't have to show up at 5:00 to participate!). The foundation website points out, “This is not a photo op, it is work.”  
  • Shipwreck Beach (on Lanai Island) is the site of many coral reefs and really powerful currents. That's why ships have gotten wrecked there! But it also means that visitors cannot swim there.
The ship you can see in the background, here,
is a World War II Liberty ship that is
rusting out there on a coral reef...
  • Kalaupapa (on Molokai Island) is where the Hawaiian government sent “lepers” – people suffering from leprosy, or Hansen's disease. It's a very isolated place, and although the “leper colony” is closed, with no patients with active leprosy living there, some people do choose to live there because they enjoy that isolation.

    I guess the photo of the landforms there can show you why it isn't a hopping beach town:

  • One of the loveliest of unexpected sights on Maui (when it is blooming!) is the lavender growing at the Alli Kula Lavender Farm.

    The lavender plant isn't native to Hawaii – and many of the flowers native to the island are very colorful and showy:
Hawaiian ginger

Also on this date:

Plan ahead:

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