Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hawaii's South Point Road

After Saddle Road, South Point Road is probably the most under-appreciated road on the Big Island. For anyone traveling between Kona and Volcano Village, South Point Road is an excellent diversion and worth a visit.

Between mile markers 69 and 70 on Highway 11, take South Point Road. It's a narrow paved road that has its share of potholes. Driving over 20 miles per hour would be uncomfortable and pointless. For the first few miles, you'll see occasional homes, a bed and breakfast, and a few mac nut farms. Then, you'll see cattle near a large wind farm.

Most of the gigantic wind turbines are rusty and broken. They look abandoned and unloved. But it's obvious why the Kama'oa Wind Farm is here. It's windy.

Even sitting inside your car with the windows rolled up, the windiness is evident when you look at the trees. They are all permanently windswept. The foliage grows horizontally, shaped by the wind. It is an odd sight.

Eventually, you reach Ka Lae, which means, "the point". It is the southermost spot in the U.S., even more southerly than Key West in Florida. As you stand on the cliff and look at the deep blue ocean to the south, you realize that the next piece of real estate in front of you is Antarctica, thousands of miles away.


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