12 July, 1997


Today was spent enjoying some of the "real" parts of Hawa'i, away from the big hotels and overburdened beaches. First on the agenda was an old botanical garden, created in the 1800's. Some of the trees are massive with 8 to 10 foot trunk diameters! The orchids and spice tree collections were also informative and impressive.

After the garden, a tour of the perimeter of the island began. I got to see breath-taking mountains and mist-filled valleys that were still without cultivation or buildings. There are still beaches that are uncluttered and beautiful to behold.

We returned to the university grounds by the central road through Oahu that takes one through the Dole pineapple fields. Great study has gone into the cultivation of this crop so that the land is injured the least by its presence. I was surprised to see horse and cattle farms on the island. Somehow I never pictured them here.

One of the things I did take careful note of as I passed by the edge of the island was the minimal runoff into the ocean. Of course, I'm certain that the impact is more noticable during or after a rain storm, but the amount of muddy water flowing out to the reef area was not noticable. That shows a conscious effort on the part of land owners to protect this special island and its shores. I was impressed by that.


Besse Dawson

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