A visit to Kukuiolono Park…Another historical spot in Kauai…Sightseeing continues…

Stumbling on this site along the highway, we stopped to check out this historic location, Kukuiolono Park.
A quote from the Kukuiolono Park website:
“In the town of Kalaheo, just off the beaten path lies a hidden gem, Kukuiolono Park and Golf Course. The park was once the site of an ancient Hawaiian Heiau and more recently the estate of the late Walter McBryde, who was the owner of the McBryde Sugar Plantation and donated the 180 acre parcel to the state as his gift to the people of Kauai.
The park offers extensive walking paths and gardens with breathtaking mountain and ocean views. The challenging 9-hole golf course is popular with the locals for its beauty and the most inexpensive greens fees on the island.
The newly renovated Japanese garden is a great place for a stroll down a quaint path and over a footbridge where visitors can see fountains, statues, bonsai trees and other plantings. The garden path leads up to a unique and extensive collection of Hawaiian lava rock artifacts and a newly-built meditation pavilion.”
Tom, history lover that he is, often reads every last line on such sign while I peruse the area for photo ops.

Obviously, sightseeing every day is impractical. For several reasons, we’ve had more interest in visiting various sites here in Kauai than we’ve had on the other islands.

The chickens flocked to us the moment we parked the car.

Ending a cruise in Honolulu on October 5th, we were coming off several busy months needing a break; two cruises, a month spent in Paris and London, three days in Boston, six days in Vancouver, dealing with two broken laptops and preparing for the arrival of family to the Big Island. 

As soon as we exited the car, this determined rooster indicated he was anxious to find out if we had any food. We did not. However, his familiarity with humans visiting the park made him unconcerned as I approached for the photos shown below.

On top of it all, we were worrying about the lava flow reaching the two houses we’d rented in Pahoa, feverishly checking online for other options. By the time we arrived in Maui on October 16th after spending 11 days in Oahu in a condo we found uncomfortable, we needed another break.

We’d never been close enough to a rooster, to notice his sharp spurs.

Arriving in Maui we immediately prepared for predicted Hurricane Ana shopping for the possibility of being without power or water for days to come. Once that risk subsided we hardly felt like driving around sightseeing.  We ending up spending lots of lazy days at home in the lovely condo overlooking the sea. It was easier to do nothing than plan trips.

Upon closer inspection, we saw how dangerous this spurs could be. Undoubtedly, roosters know how and when to use these. We kept our distance although he was a friendly fellow.

By the magic of life on the Hawaiian Islands we were able to take photos to share and we never missed a single day of posting in the six weeks in Maui. We did venture out on a handful of occasions to check out local attractions but, had little interest in long drives in the car.

There were a few flowers blooming in Kukuiolono Park.

Now, here we are, after over four months in the islands and we’ve got the bug to check out everything we can find on this exquisite island. At this point, we’ve accomplished traveling the entire perimeter of the island of Kauai as far as the paved roads allow.

The park had several trails leading to the rock displays.

From here? There’s plenty more. We feel excited to investigate the nuances only particular to Kauai along with many other sites we’ve yet to explore. With only three months remaining, we have time for planned and unplanned social activities and taking our time to see what magic lies beyond that which we’ve seen thus far.

Each of the historical displays had signage to explain its significance in Hawaiian history.

As a bonus to us, we’ll continue to observe and photograph the growing albatross chicks. We’ll be long gone by the time they’ve fledged the nest to take off on their own, when the last time their parents headed out to sea, never to return, as each chick impatiently awaited their next meal. 

Zoom in to read the sign. This basin was used by fishermen to keep their catch fresh overnight.

When the days pass as the chick waits in the nest and the parents don’t return, the chicks eventually realize that their time has come. They are on their own. And sometime in July or even August, the day will come when they too, head to sea to begin their lives. 

Offerings were left by the fisherman for the Divine One.

Lessons can be taken from wildlife who have the sense to know that at some point we must let the offspring go to build their own lives. Its never easy to do. 

Tree molds were formed over 2 million years ago when lava poured into the trees.

We humans may come to realize that giving them the opportunity to go off on their own only makes them stronger and more confident in the perpetuation of the species whether human or animal, ultimately to achieve fulfillment in their own lives.

A salt pan was used to gather salt from the sea, to be dried for everyday use.

Wildlife teaches us many lessons. As Tom and I have spent considerable time in our travels observing the life cycles of animals, we’ve seen how resourceful and determined they become to provide for their own when needed and to let go when the time is right. It’s the wonder of life.

We were intrigued by the oblong shape of this palm tree trunk at Kukuiolono Park.

And the wonder of our lives continues, whether sightseeing or relishing in lazy days at home, whether writing to our readers, our family or friends or, whether blissfully engaged in mindless activities. All of it matters. 

Another fish storage basin made of rock.

Every single day that we’re given life matters. Its how we spend it that shapes who we are, who we want to be and the legacy that eventually we’ll leave behind.

Having seen everything we wanted to see, once again, we were back on the road to what proved to be some of the most exciting finds of the day. Check back tomorrow.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, February 23, 2014:

As we busily prepared for our upcoming goodbye dinner party we were hosting, the visitors came to call as always. We seldom missed an opportunity to say hello, offer a few pellets, and take a photo.  For details on this date, one year ago, please click here.