Hawaii offers history around every bend in the road. In waters clear and in forest deep, the forces of man and nature offer deep meditation and reflection.
A large deepwater natural harbor, the waters of Wai Momi were home to Kaʻahupahau, the shark goddess who protected the fish and pearl oysters in the harbor. West of Honolulu on the island of Oahu, the harbor is protected by a reef creating a barrier to shipping at the entrance.
The United States naval interests and development began in the late 1890’s; into the 1940’s, they had dredged the entrance, built docks, airfields, and all the infrastructure necessary to a first-rate naval and air defense base.
Home to thousands of military personnel and their families,the base would suffer huge physical, emotional, and geopolitical damage in a surprise attack by the Japanese navy and air force on December 7, 1941 -, what President Franklin D. Roosevelt would call “A date which will live in infamy.”
The National Park Service reported casualties that included 2,394 military and personnel dead, 1178 wounded, 21 ships sunk or beached, and 323 aircraft destroyed or damaged. Every year, millions from all over the world visit the harbor to pay respects and learn about the history.
Remembering Pearl Harbor
Among the memorials established are the USS Arizona Memorial and Battleship Missouri Memorial. Museums include the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park and the Pacific Aviation Museum.
With tickets for Oahu tours, you can join a tour conducted by entertaining and informative local and professional guides. Comfortable roomy vans pick you up at your hotel or cruise ship and head for Pearl Harbor. At the Valor in the Pacific National Monument, you watch a documentary about the development of the harbor and the events leading up the the attack.
Once you have had the chance to explore the museum’s collection of memories and historic records and vintage photographs, you board a US Navy vessel to the 10 minute ride across the harbor’s water to uniquely designed Arizona Memorial, gleaming white and suspended about the battleship in memory of its 1,177 victims. All these years later, the visit is a moving experience.
Following The Road To Hana
As they say, “it’s not the destination but the journey that matters.” That’s certainly true of Maui’s famous endurance test, the Road to Hana.
Heavenly Hana, as the locals call it, is well away from the hotels, golf courses and resorts that line the beachfronts on the Island of Maui. Protected and isolated, it remains treasured for its lack of modern development.
Its sheltered black sand beaches, cascading waterfalls, and spectacular flora and fauna await adventurous visitors every year. The thing is that it is not easy to get to. Depending on your stops for photo opportunities, the 52 mile drive will take up to four hours one way.
The best way to make the trip is to take a tour, available at www.roadtohanatour.com. The professional guides will drive you where rental cars are not permitted. And, they know where to stop for the best views and attractions.
The tour provides a fresh lunch and fruit at a beach location where you have time to swim. It picks you up and returns you to your hotel in its air-conditioned vans.
Another tourist target are the 7 Sacred Pools in a stunning ecosystem along the road. Water courses through Haleakala National Park, down levels in waterfalls, through the rainforest until it reaches the ocean.
To schedule a visit to the pools, you can ask your tour guide because the attraction largely depends on recent rains.
Mike Carroll is a freelance contributor to OutreachMama andTowering SEO who helps businesses find their audience online through research, content copy, and white papers. He frequently writes about management, marketing, and sales with customized outreach for digital marketing channels and outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.