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Photos 3, page 16
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"Kipuka" hike
March 27, 2007
Today I decided to explore the "kipuka" near the New Black Sand Beach in Kaimu, just down the road from the house, in
the direction of the lava flows.  "Kipuka" is the Hawaiian word for a vegetated area surrounded by lava flow.  I had heard
that there was a path along the coast and that there was a hidden black sand beach somewhere out there...
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
The green line along the coast is the outgoing hike and the red line is the return trip.  The day was quite hot and I  
appreciated any shade I could get.  "Skinny Dip" is where I found the beach mentioned above.  On the very left side of
the image, you can see the red line where I almost to the road then suddenly turned away and walked further down
before I intersected the road.  This was because some guy showed up and told me, in a very unfriendly manner, that I
was on his property.  So I did an about face and walked around.  As you can see from the image, this was an area of
lava.  I don't know what this guy thought I was going to damage by walking the 200 feet to the road.
Pu'u O'o above the ridge or pali
from the new Black Sand Beach
I saw this guy walking along the coast
wearing black clothes under a black
umbrella - not exactly the colors I'd choose
for walking in the hot sun.  He was looking for
the lava flows so I gave my best guidance on
the subject
Black Sand Beach
<-- This is the kipuka I'm heading for.  
I'd walked out to it (
4/16/06) before but
didn't have time to explore.
Here's the kipuka.  You can see why
the lava went around -->
Another look at the Pu'u O'o vent

<-- No zoom                    Full zoom -->
Looking ahead of me.  That's the
steam plume from the Kamokuna lava
ocean entry some 3 miles down the
coast.  I like the lone palm in front of
the plume
Approaching the beach I heard about.  It's actually two beaches separated by a pile of rocks.  I was so hot from hiking, I
stripped off all my clothes and waded into the water.  It being an unknown swimming place, I didn't just dive in but stood
in the water where the waves could wash over me.  I didn't go any deeper because someone had told me that if you get
caught in a rip tide, the next land mass is Antarctica!
Talk about idyllic settings!  The beach had a little grove of palms behind it where I could sit in the shade and cool off.  I
was feeling pretty primal sitting there completely naked and not a soul around!
I reached an area I labelled "Bench" on the map.  This is where the new lava flowed over the edge of the sea cliff and
formed a delta along the coast very much like it's doing every day just up the coast.  It reminds me of a bumper sticker I
saw and liked:
"THE BIG ISLAND -- GETTING BIGGER EVERY DAY!"
Coming around "Edge of Kipuka" on
the map), that's the ridge I always take
a picture of when I start my hikes out to
the lava.

How do you suppose this plant decides
which color to grow? -->