Tracing RootsOne of my objectives during this trip to Hawaii was to see if I could explore the area where my mother grew up. Now almost 90, she grew up during the 1930's and 40's on a sugar cane plantation on the eastern slope of Mauna Kea, on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Fortunately, that turned out to not be as difficult as I thought.
Although they lived 2 miles up the mountain from the public road, they were near some landmarks that were easy enough to find with the help of Google Earth. They were near a bridge across the Nanue Stream, there is only one bridge across that stream, and it's still there!
Closing her eyes, Mom was able to meticulously describe the 2-mile uphill trek she made every day, returning home from school. She described each bend in the road, and where it rose steeply and where it leveled out. As she reminisced, I was amazed I could find a match to her descriptions on Google Earth--moreso if I tilted the view to a 3D display so I could follow along with the ups and downs of the terrain she was describing.
It's possible vegetation might not grow as readily over the old road traces, making them more apparent in aerial views than they might be from ground level. As it happens, my grandfather was a "luna" (foreman) who led a plantation crew that "paved" the plantation roads with rocks quarried from the river, to help them withstand the muddy, rainy seasons. The faint traces still visible in satellite photos after all these years may be because he was good at his job!
Posted by Dan 01/15/2015, revised 01/18/2017 by Dan
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