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6 January 2012

January 15, 2012

Today’s plan was to get moved to Ho’okena. Yesterday was really windy and today started off windy as well. We made Cream of Wheat and broke camp, packed the car and visited the Visitor Center at Pu’ukohola Hei’au. Then we headed to Ho’okena Beach Park to set up camp from which we will work the South Kona and South Point sites. We had leisure so we turned toward the ocean and took Ali’i Drive. A pretty drive but with lots of touristy things, especially at the beginning of it.

Camping at Ho'okena Beach Park

We finally arrived at Ho’okena which will constitute my first truly beach camping because we are right on the beach. We get settled into a site that is almost the farthest from the parking lot but with a good view of the ocean with a picnic table that we quickly lay claim to. We ate lunch and then walked along the beach.

Sea Urchin at Ho'okena Beach Park

There is pahoehoe lava going down to the water and there are lots of sea urchins and barnacles. One of the sea urchins has bright red, fleshy spines. I took some photos of it as did Elizabeth (from here on I will refer to her as ERE). She is taking photos on black and white film for her film class at Jewell and I am trying to convince her to also use the college’s Nikon to learn some other techniques.

This night we sampled the area from Captain Cook all the way down to just past the road to South Point. In James Cook, we stopped at the intersection of Hwy 11 and Hwy 180 and listened. Nothing. We stopped at the Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden and listened…no frogs. We heard coquies up the hill from a convenience store call EKE. We turned back and, using the iPhone as a GPS (which has generally worked for us), turned up a road called Rabbitt Hill Road. It could have just as easily been called “Rabbitt Hole Road” because we soon found ourselves on a small road going through coffee fields with the theme song from “The Deliverance) going through my head (played on a slack-key guitar). We found a place to turn around and got out of there. We continued southeast on Hwy 11 and heard frogs up Ho’olala Road and turned up it and parked in front of the Honaunau Elementary School. We collected our 20 frogs here fairly easily (ERE recorded all our times and frogs caught) in a Philodenrdron patch across the street from the school. We continued south on Hwy 11 and checked other sites where frog calling had been reported in the past. No frogs at Manuka State Wayside or Ocean View Estates or Wai-Ohinu although, the trip up through the length of Ocean View Estates was interesting. This is a huge housing division that is seriously underpopulated so driving through it in the middle of the night is kind-of surreal. It is just bull-dozed lava with roads and widely spaced houses. The perfect development for the anti-social set. Here is how the Lonely Planet (2011) described it:

“The largest subdivision in the USA (or the world, depending on who you ask), Ocean View is comprised of the mauka (inland) Hawaiian Ocean View Estates (HOVE) and makai (seaward) Hawaiian Ranchos, two huge subdivisions that were bulldozed into the desolate black lava in the 1950s. The lots were never fully settled (despite their original $1500 per acre price tag) and they remain unsettled today for a variety of reasons, including lack of jobs, blankets of vog and a reputation for substance abuse (no wonder locals call this area “the dirty South”). Still, the residents are tiht-knit and proud – far preferring the rough simplicity of their independent life to the ‘rat race’ in Kona or Hilo, where many work.”

One thing in this description that is accurate is the desolation part.

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