by Bob Sparrow
As I pulled onto main street in ‘downtown’ Hana; OK, there is only one street in downtown Hana, actually there is barely even a downtown Hana, I dropped off Kristen and headed down to Hana Bay to eat the picnic lunch that I had packed. As I gnawed on some dead chicken and gazed at the picturesque crescent beach, I started turning over in my mind the story that Kristen had told me about Carly Scott’s disappearance and put together another scenario of why Kristen was out on the road hitchhiking. Perhaps Kristen had been seeing Carly’s old boyfriend, Steve Cabobianco, and when she learned that Carly was carrying his baby and feared they might be getting back together again, she . . . made her disappear. So now I wondered if I had aided and abetted a criminal and was now a ‘person of interest’ in the on-going investigation. Either that or someone had put a hallucinogenic in my chicken. On further contemplation, the hallucinogenic chicken theory makes more sense.
My first couple of stops heading out on the ‘road passed Hana’ were at two spectacular beaches – Koki and Hamoa – they were un-crowded and pristine, right out of South Pacific; in fact James Michener, called them the most beautiful beaches in the south Pacific even though they are in the north Pacific.
Haleakala is the 10,000-foot dormant volcano, which from the top several years ago my daughter, Dana and I saw a beautiful sunrise and then bicycled down the mountain. Haleakala State Park goes from the peak down to the beautiful shoreline in front of me, where numerous waterfalls and the Seven Pools are located. Actually they used to be called the Seven Sacred Pools until no one could answer the question as to why they were sacred. To me they looked like a hippo watering hole at feeding time as the pools were filled with large, over-weight tourists detracting from the otherwise beautiful waterfalls and pools. I quickly moved on.
Next stop was famous American aviator, Charles Lindbergh’s gravesite, located just up the road on the beautifully jagged Kipahulu coast. When faced with cancer in 1968, rather than take treatment on the mainland, Lindbergh chose to live out his remaining years here – he died in 1974.
Just passed Lindbergh’s gravesite the road changes from a narrow, single lane, partly paved, bumpy, unmaintained road to a narrow, single lane, unpaved, unmaintained, crushed lava carriageway. It was here I was expecting to see the ‘Dead End, Turn Around’ and ‘No Rental Cars Permitted Beyond This Point’ signs but, “Honestly officer, I never saw them.” If you came across another car coming from the other direction, which I did only once, I had to back up to the nearest wide spot in the road so they could pass. As reward for the demanding drive, the scene in front of me of black lava, contrasting with the green vegetation and the blue water crashing against the coastline was so amazing.
After several miles, where the only building I saw was a solitary church, I got back to what is termed as ‘rough paved road’ and ‘civilization’ which consisted only of Kaupo General Store, sitting all by itself along this desolate road. I purchased a pineapple-coconut shave ice and stood alone on a small rise next to the road and looked at the miles of grassland, actually grazing farmland for horses and cattle, all the way down to the black lava coastline where there were several energy-producing windmills. If you’re ever looking for peace, quiet and solitude, this is the place.
As the crushed lava trail I was traveling on turned into a paved two-lane road, I saw two cars ahead of me and several tourists standing by the roadside posing for pictures and I knew the adventure on and passed the road to Hana was over.
Update: As of this writing there is still no new news on the whereabouts of Carly Scott, missing now for 30 days.