Chris Butcher Photography

Kau Desert Ancient footprints

I recently hiked into the Kau desert.Across the area, there are footprints from ancient inhabitants of the area. It is hard to unravel the history, whether they were warriors or just people going about their daily business about 600 years ago.Of all the places I have hiked I think this one has had a big impact on me. It's hard to imagine what happened to the people who were walking here 600 years ago. It's not the greatest image, but I look at the heel prints, maybe an adult and a child, their prints melded together, child's over the edge of the adult, the squished earth between the toes. Of all the prints we saw these two raise the most questions. The sand dune in the area is huge, I dare say about 60 ft or more in height, it's far side slipping steeply into the forest floor beneath. This particular area is the starkest contrast of terrain I have ever found on this Island. How did they perish, was this a pyroclastic explosion ? Pyroclastic explosions occur when magma and water mix and the only reference in writing of water in Halemaumau is in an ancient chant. What does the future hold as we  now watch a lake of water rising slowly within Halemaumau ?


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