Taking a Walk

A long weekend? Cloudy enough to preclude a night with a telescope? May as well take a walk.

Puʻuhinai with a snow capped Mauna Kea behind

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.

A new route this time… I park at the new shopping center and walk from there, following a power line road that cuts across Waikoloa Village Association land. It is only a couple miles out the the puʻu, a nice stroll through the pastureland.

The view from the top of Puʻuhinai towards Waikoloa
The view from the top of Puʻuhinai towards Waikoloa

I again climb to the top of the puʻu, heading not for the higher makai peak, but the slightly lower mauka peak. From here the view overlooks the new AES solar generation facility allowing me to appreciate just how big it is, a better view than one gets from Waikoloa Road. 30MW of generation capacity along with 120MWh of battery storage sprawls across the hillside. Even on a Sunday vehicles are moving about indicating ongoing construction.

Flying the drone gives an even better view of the solar facility, I blow through a couple batteries from the top of the puʻu. Also a good place to break out a few munchies and a drink.

I will wander about the old cinder quarry checking out the geology and looking for photos to take, then explore along Popoʻo Gulch a bit before heading back to the car.

AES Solar Facility Waikoloa
AES Solar Facility Waikoloa

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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