Story Index:

Eclipse!!
08/29/2017

Summer Weekend in the Colorado Rockies
07/19/2016

Kim's Day In The Sun
02/28/2015

Tracing Roots
01/15/2015

Whitney Completes Her Master's Degree
01/10/2015

Day Trip to Moorea
11/01/2012

Stopover in Tahiti
10/30/2012

Exploring New Zealand's Northland
10/27/2012

Waiheke Island
10/24/2012

2012 Triathlon World Championships
10/23/2012

Travails with Tom-Tom
10/21/2012

Off to New Zealand!
10/18/2012

Cycling on the Oregon Coast
07/24/2012

Partial Solar Eclipse, May 20
05/23/2012

"Tour of California" Bike Race comes through town!
05/15/2012

Wildflower Triathlon a family affair
05/07/2012

Truth in Packaging?
04/01/2012

Nik Graduates from Cal Poly
12/10/2011

Cal Poly's Open House Weekend
04/17/2011

Cultural Musings...
09/18/2009

2009 Triathlon World Championships
09/12/2009

Sightseeing around the Gold Coast
09/09/2009

South Bank: Brisbane's Fine Arts center
09/05/2009

Brisbane, Australia
09/04/2009

Catching up . . .
08/31/2009

Summa Cum Laude, Baby!
06/15/2008

Kim completes her first Half-Ironman
06/10/2008

Kim Visits Home for Wildflower Triathlon
05/16/2008

The Last Supper
02/16/2008

Farewell, Dad
01/15/2008

Whitney Plays Final Soccer Game
12/10/2007

Watch the Women's World Cup!
09/12/2007

Kim Blazes Chicago Triathlon
08/27/2007

Nik Bicycles Pacific Coast
08/15/2007

Whitney Begins Final Season
08/13/2007

More Triathlons for Kim
06/15/2006

Corvallis gets snow!
03/09/2006

Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week
01/15/2006

Whitney's new cat
09/26/2005

Kim in Chicago Triathlon
08/31/2005

Rare family get-together
08/23/2005

Empty Nest
08/11/2005

Whitney Signs National Letter-of-Intent
02/08/2004

ODP cancels European tour
04/11/2003

Whitney renamed to Regional Team
08/07/2002

Kim graduates from Willamette
06/17/2002

Whitney Stars in High School Soccer
03/07/2002

Nik graduates from UTI
01/07/2002

2001 - A Year for Remembrance
12/30/2001

Whitney selected to the 2001 State ODP pool for U-15 Girls
03/22/2001

Kim returns from Europe
02/02/2001

2000: A Year for Traveling
12/15/2000

Kim Travels Europe
11/24/2000

Whitney selected to the US Far Western Regional ODP Pool!
07/14/2000

Congratulations to Nik, Ygnacio Valley High Graduating Class of 2000!
06/30/2000
Tracing Roots

One 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.


My grandparents in front of their home, c.1940.
My grandfather worked for the Hakalau Sugar Cane Plantation, and in those days, workers lived in small plantation-built "camps" of around 6-10 bungalows each, scattered amidst the cane fields in which they worked. But the camps were all torn down when the plantations closed in the middle of the last century, and the land has essentially sat, devoid of structures for more than a half century. I'd have to figure out where her house used to be by going from her memory of the terrain.

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.


Google Earth 3D view of where my mother's childhood home used to be, with Mauna Kea rising in the distance.
Mom was able to describe the bridge, roads, swimming holes, and even an unusual "double-waterfall" behind her house. She was able to describe where stables and the other homes were in the long-gone camp.


Satellite view of where structures used to be.
I was surprised to find traces of the old roads were still visible in the satellite photos. Some roads may still be occasional used by agricultural vehicles, but other roads are grown over and barely visible as faint traces in the satellite photos.

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!




These two photos show the Nanue Stream bridge under construction in the summer of 1940. The size of the stream would change dramatically depending on the storms crossing the mountain slopes. The second bridge in the background is a crossing for a sugar cane flume.

I was able to make my way to the old bridge from the north (the right side in the Google Earth photos above). Here is the bridge as it looks today.



Lucy and Whitney examining the surface of the old bridge.

View south from the bridge. This path would have been lined with several small houses for plantation workers. My grandparents' house would have been around the trees to the left. A locked gate at the south end of the bridge barred me from exploring further.

In this view from the north side of the stream, the bridge is off camera to the right and the stream is in a gully amidst the trees. The tall trees are on the far side of the stream. During WWII my grandparents' home would have been near the left edge of the tall trees.
photo c.1933 of my mother as a child, with her older brother.
photo c.1936 including my grandmother and her daughters.

Posted by Dan 01/15/2015, revised 01/18/2017 by Dan
FreeStyle Journal 19.03.21
©2003-2011 by Dan Goodell

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