Hawai`i Roads - HI 130

HI 130

The Pahoa bypass SB, starting from the divergence of former 130 (realigned to a T intersection, of course). It's rare for guide signs to feature kahako (the lines above vowels); same for `okina (glottal stops looking like `).

Looking north along the stub of Pahoa-Kalapana Rd. Behind me is redesignated CR 137, which had followed Kalapana Beach Road until it became overrun with lava. Ahead behind the stub, or to the left at a T, is HI 130. Most traffic continues on 130 to Kalapana to watch the lava flow, and 137 has virtually no traffic at all (except a few locals), so that's why this stub was left. What's interesting is there's an old alignment just to the east, Ahia Rd., which was the original Pahoa-Kalapana Rd. and probably predates any route designations on the island.

The end of HI 130 is at the beginning of the Kalapana lava flow area. Kalapana was a village just ahead here, but as you can see this area is now fraught with HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS, DANGER VOLCANO FUMES, and the GATES LOCKED at 10:00 PM every night. Well, actually, lava flows knocked out most but not all of the houses, and with true island spirit the remaining residents stayed put and a few people rebuilt right on top of the lava. So the gates aren't actually locked overnight, and locals come and go as they please. Also, the area's only dangerous when the wind shifts, which is almost never.

Driving over the first lava flow, with the Kalapana lava flow in the background hitting the ocean and throwing up copious amounts of steam. Sometime in the 2000's (a few years after the lava stopped flowing), the road was coarsely graded and paved over the lava flows - after all, it's light traffic and the lava rock is hard - and then remains intact between them in several stretches.

That first stretch of HI 130 continues straight into the lava flow, already old enough to be growing its own grass. Somewhere in this area HI 130 and Chain of Craters Road became synonymous, and once upon a time 130 was a popular back door into the Kilauea area. Now, Chain of Craters Road is on the west side of the lava, and HI 130 ends on the east side.

Past the short second stretch of open road, or "kipuka" (a land island surrounded by lava), to some of the houses I mentioned before. From this vantage point, they all appear to have been rebuilt directly on the lava.

These pictures don't do justice what it feels like to sail on a lava sea for miles and miles. Click the second photo to see the first signs of life poking their heads out of the cracks - this was obviously a much newer flow than the first two.

The next kipuka is the last, and has been widened for the hundreds of people who come nightly to see the lava flow kick up orange glow high into the steam cloud. It gets so crowded that the cars ultimately get parked in the next two kipukas back - leaving over a mile walk to the viewing site. In the back of the last photo past the manned booth is the last open stretch of road, not open to general traffic but available to the few people who live there.

The entirety of the "closed" kipuka, which is just left to run straight into the lava. I guess whoever needs to go back there has a 4x4 to run over the lumpy pahoehoe.

Onto CR 137 ("Red Road")
More Big Island roads
To the Kalapana lava flow
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