A long weekend? Cloudy enough to preclude a night with a telescope? May as well take a walk.
There are a few great hikes around the island, but often I just do not feel like driving very far. Thus I head out to Puʻuhinai again, one of my favorite local hikes just outside the village.
Recent rains have turned the landscape green and lush. Everywhere there are signs of flowing water, even along many of the old ranch roads, the downpours have been intense lately. The mauna have had snow all year so far, a reminder of a very wet winter rainy season.
After two weeks of being stuck at home I really wanted to get out and stretch my legs. A hike is in order.
The governor specifically allows outdoor exercise in his stay-at-home order, including “surfing, swimming and walking pets”. I took that to cover a local hike near home. Just outside Waikoloa Village are quite a few rough roads that allow access to big areas of land, much of which belongs to the village association.
Puʻu Hinai would be my destination, a prominent landmark that sits 200 feet above the surrounding plains, a feature that I have seen on every commute for 13 years and wondered what was out there. A short walk of about a mile off of Waikoloa Road it was an easy target.
A large part of the puʻu has been carved away by a cinder mining operation. A decade ago trucks carrying cinder were a common sight on Waikoloa Road, no longer, the quarry lies abandoned. The side of the puʻu that faces the road is mostly untouched. The far side? It appears much is gone, I wanted to see just how much.
An ancient megalith here on Hawaiʻi? That would be cool, check this out!
The video I find linked on a local Facebook group shows a rayed structure on the ground a few miles north of Kawaihae, with lines radiating from a central point for a mile or more, an enormous compass that points at destinations near and far from the islands.
It is a striking feature, but it is quite the jump to claim that this is a geoglyph created by an ancient civilization.
The video explains that the feature is 120,000 years old based on the geologic datings of the lava flows on the western slope of the Kohala. Part of this dating is based on a map of the island inscribed around the compass.
I know this area fairly well, even know some of the local ranchers, I find the evidence provided by the video a bit lacking. There are more than a few real archaeological remains in the area, remains of the rich Hawaiian culture that existed in the area before western contact.
As soon as I looked at the Google satellite imagery I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking at. A few moments of research confirmed my suspicions… The pattern on the ground is a paddock system used to control cattle movements in a section of range land. I am a bit disappointed, but not really surprised.