While the beaches may be closed during the pandemic, most of the trails are open. Deb and I did a little walking on the Puʻu Oʻo Trail while coming back over the hill from Hilo.
Nothing unusual to report, no rare native birds. As the ʻōhiʻa are not in bloom few birds were in evidence. Even without blooms or birds this is always a pretty trail, a rugged landscape over recent lava flows and the pioneer plants found on these flows.
This week’s solo quarantine hike was to Goat House Tube. I have been here before, but had not explored downhill from the entrance, the first time I explored uphill.
Goat House is my name for this lava tube, there is no official name I am aware of, I just came up with Goat House when I needed a name for it. Climbing into the tube one finds the reason for the name rather obvious.
An early start saw me walking down the power line road shortly after sunrise. This walk is dominated by the large transmission poles and lines overhead. The lines make an ominous 60Hz buzzing, some of the poles are louder than others, with a buzz and rattle of the wires and insulators.
Governor Ige signed the new public access rules, drones would be illegal on the summit in ten more days.
With a deadline looming much sooner than I had contemplated there was a narrow window of opportunity. While I had wanted to fly the summit for a long time, I now had a few short days in which to do so. On January 23, 2020 the new rules would take effect.
The Office of Mauna Kea Management has attempted to restrict drone use on the summit by posting signs that drones are not allowed. Problem, they did this with no legal authority to do so. In conversations with OMKM staff I had pointed this out and received a quiet admission that it was true.
The new public access rules would change this… Flying a drone would be specifically prohibited on the science reserve, a civil offence with steep fines involved. With the governor’s signature those rules would be in force.