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The native boys of Honolulu are the best swimmers in the world. These youths will remain about a ship diving for money thrown them by the passengers. It is rare indeed that a coin gets away from them in the clear waters of Honolulu harbor. They will not dive for coppers
where except probably in New Zealand and in Scotland. You are now standing as it were on a raised center of a huge platform, probably from four to six miles wide and of irregular shape, and from here your
by erratic air currents, ever returning to some resting place in the inner edge of the rocky coronet to this valley of mysteries.
Scott might have written one of his
majestic poems in this spot, or Wagner have composed a Parsifal that would have. paled his masterpiece into utter insignifi
The walls of this great cup tower above you for five thousand feet, and it seems as though you were looking from some vantage ground upward to the gates of heaven, guarded by a fluttering host. What a picture for the pencil of a Dore!
The summits of these mountains have been properly and poetically named Palilele-o. Koae the home of the sea-bird.
It is of interest to chronicle in these pages the fact that at this time there is probably no guide with hardihood and nerve enough to lead the traveler over these precipitous mountains, but they have in the past been conquered by the hardy Hawaiians, and white men, too, have penetrated the fastnesses now no longer trodden by foot of man. In early days the natives used the Iao Valley and the passes over these mountains as a regular highway, if so it may be called, between there and Lahaina.
Princess Nahienaena, the sister of Kamehameha III, was carried over these mountains to Lahaina in the thirties on the shoulders of a native bearer. Others who have made the trip in a later day are Mrs. Laura P. Judd, Mr. H. P. Baldwin, Mr. D. D. Baldwin, and Mr. S. F. Alexander.
Kapela is the highest of all the peaks of the Lihau range. It overlooks Olowalu and is probably the most interesting mountain in Iao. Again I borrow from the legendary lore gathered by Mr. J. N. Keola of Wailuku:
"Among its dark recesses is the cave containing the bones of the kings and chiefs of Maui. In this cave were supposed to have been hidden the bones of Kahekili, king of Maui and Kalanikupule, his son, and other royal personages of Maui. There is no doubt that this cave, known as Kapela-kapu-o-na-lii, contains treasures of untold value. Not only bones of high chiefs or chiefesses were hidden for fear of being made into fish hooks, etc., but feather cloaks or royal ahuulas belonging to King Kahekili and other Maui rulers may be there still. Lehua trees abound in this vicinity. The indigent birds have almost disappeared,
for the once familiar notes of the ao, iiwi, o-u, amakihi, amao and other songsters of the dale are silenced forever. While lao Valley is full of historic interest, yet the one event that made it famous above all others was the battle of the Paniwai, fought about 1790, between the sons of the King of Maui and Kamehameha the Great, with Young and Davis as gunners. Kamehameha marched overland from Hana. His army is said to have contained 16,000 men. Nelson's famous exhortation to his men at Trafalgar (1805) fifteen years later was: 'England expects every man this day to do his duty,' but Kamehameha's command to his battlescarred veterans was: 'Imua e na pokii a inu i ka wai awaawa' (onward brothers until you taste the bitter waters of death.)
"Kamehameha ordered his army to advance by way of Waikani and Puuohala on the north side of the Iao stream. There the Maui army met the invaders, but the Maui defenders were so powerless in the face of musketry that they retreated up the valley with the Kamehameha army following them. The Maui army made their last stand on the present site of 'Kapaniwai,' and here they were slaughtered by the attacking army. The bodies of the slain so choked up the stream that the battle was called the 'Paniwai-o-Iao,' or the Damming of the Waters of Iao, and the pure crystal-like waters were turned into red by the blood of those slain, and the people living below were compelled to go to a spring above to get their drinking water. The Paniwai battle is one of the most important of Kamehameha's battles, and it was the beginning of the turning point in Hawaiian history, for shortly afterwards the battle of Nuuanu, Oahu, was fought, and then followed the conciliation between Kamehameha and Kaumualii, King of Kauai and the Hawaiian group was united into one Kingdom."
Maui is undoubtedly one of the notably picturesque of the island group, and it is not a subject of wonder that the ancient alliis or nobility adopted it as an abiding place, the home of kings. It is called the Valley Isle and Wailuku, its principal town, is understood at a glance as the gateway to the valleys of pleasure beyond. The House of the Sun, as it has been poetically named by the natives, Hale
kala, is visible from Wailuku, and it rears its snow capped summit in broad spread majesty. Halealakala is an extinct volcano and the largest of these in the islands. It is ten thousand and thirty-two feet in height, and it may be easily reached by rail, carriage and saddle horse.
From its summit one may get a view of Hawaii, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe. The trip is often made by tourists who wish to view the magnificent sunrise and sunset from this altitude. The crater itself is one of the most interesting of the many in these islands, for it is from seven and a half to two and a half miles wide, and the floor of the crater is about two hundred feet below the rim.
There are a large number of cones rising out of the floor of the crater, and these rise to a height of from two to eight hundred feet-blow-outs in the last great struggle before the spirit of the mountain was conquered and made quiescent. The highest one of these is that known as "The Hill of Sand," and this is the last expired from the caverns of fire, now sealed over. On its summit it has a cone probably two hundred feet across at its top and about two hundred feet deep. The climb to its summit is a very difficult one,
limn the grandeur of Kilauea or the Pit Halemaumau than attempt the refinement of gold or gild the lily. The observation is trite, but fits the case perfectly, for words fail when one tries to describe the wonders of nature in revolt.
"The lava has now risen so near the top of Halemaumau that the impressiveness of the activities presented is not blurred or minimized by the lack of perspective. It is now so near that the actual flow and play of the lava may be seen clearly. Its spread from the center of
In 1889 Robert Louis Stevenson lived in a little cottage in a gorge in the Nuuanu Valley, and it was here that the lines quoted below were penned. Mr. Stevenson has not in all his works more beautiful lines than these, inspired by the rush of winds blowing from the heights of the Pali, down the Valley of Nuuanu.