|Honoka'a Theater, still operating.|
There's the Hawaii of shiny resort hotels, shopping, and activities for purchase.
Then there's the Hawaii of rusting corrugated iron roofs. And there's the Hawaii of trails that predate Cook's first encounter back in 1778. I like to wander through these Hawaiis.
I'm currently staying in the little rusting town of Honoka'a on Hawaii's Big Island.
|I'm in room 3|
A Hotel with no Name
There was another hotel, once: Tom Araki's "hotel with no name" in the nearby Waipio Valley. I walked past the building, today, still in good condition, now repurposed yet again.
|2014, the former hotel with no name|
There are so many stories about this building and the valley. Back in JFK's presidency this was the first Peace Corps training camp. And back in 1946 this valley was scraped by a huge tsunami.
When we stayed there, the accommodations were still basic, with no electricity, just oil lamps. And avocados straight from the garden.
Tom Araki, a Japanese American, was operating the hotel on his own, in his 80's. He entertained us with stories, including his work in 1942 building the military saddle road high across the island.
The Muliwai Trail
The Muliwai Trail is a good alternative to the Kalalau Trail which I have written about here and here.
I had no idea Dwight would come into my life and we would wander The Muliwai together. I tried to get camping permission from the sugar cane company that owned the land, but they declined.
|1989, black sand beach, start of trail|
We did it anyway. It takes 6 to 8 hours of arduous hiking to reach the Waimanu Valley. We pitched our tent by a waterfall and a beach.
In 1994 the sugar company ceased operations and the trail became a state trail. Today, it's just a matter of applying for a permit from the state of Hawaii.
|Former sugar cane facility, 2014|
The main street is surprisingly vibrant, mainly locals. Clearly something keeps this place working.
Judging by some of the posters and bumper stickers I'm seeing, there is some groundswell for leaving things as they are. The high rainfall on this side of the island helps this position by making the development of resorts unattractive.
I sit here alone in my room in an empty hotel in Honoka'a. I hear shrill birds and the splattering of rain on rusting corrugated iron. I can't say which type of economic development is right or wrong, but I so appreciate being here.