Windmill Walk

Another Sunday hike. This one requires no drive to reach the trailhead, I put on my boots and swung the pack over my shoulder at the front door. This time I would head north out of the village to the Lalamilo Wind Farm.

A typical ranch road trail near Waikoloa
A typical ranch road trail near Waikoloa

I have hiked out this way before, but have not gone nearly as far out from the village. The hike is along old ranch roads through the pasture land that surrounds Waikoloa Village.

The grassy hills that surround Waikoloa may look inviting from a distance. It is when you actually attempt to hike here that the true nature of the area becomes apparent. These are old aʻa lava flows, studded with loose rock and clinker, difficult to see in the thick grass threatening to trip you, roll an ankle, or scrape your chins. You quickly learn to stay on the old ranch roads and jeep trails, which form a web across the landscape.

The cool morning air makes for a pleasant walk through the low hills. Goats are everywhere, bleating kids echo across the landscape, billy’s keep watch on you from boulders perched above the trail.

The facilities and detritus of cattle ranching are scattered across the area. Here an abandoned watering trough, another filled with water and operational. A wrecked and abandoned IH semi tractor sits in a corral rusting back into the earth.

A still morning greets a wind turbine near Waikoloa
A still morning greets a wind turbine near Waikoloa

It is not until you get close that you realize just how big the windmills are, they loom over than landscape. The five Vestas V47/660 turbines stand 55m (180ft) high and have blades 47m (over 150ft) long.

With no wind the blades are still and feathered. I take advantage of this to fly the drone around and get some nice photos before finding a bit of shade. I take a break to eat and drink before starting the walk back to the house. I figure the walk put 7.4 miles behind me, just a nice morning stroll.