Category Archives: Signs

Signs: Keep off

A sign on the breakwater at Kawaihae Harbor, Hawaii

This is the sign at the landward end of the breakwater that protects Kawaihae harbor. The breakwater is just over half a mile long and, as you’d expect, people rigorously respect the warning to stay off this dangerous structure. Just kidding. We’re talking people here. They fish from the structure on a regular basis and, as far as I can tell, nobody seems too bothered about that. This is an early morning view.

Signs: Tsunami hazard zone

The coastal regions of Hawaii are dotted with tsunami warning signs. Basically, any place within reach of a tsunami gets a sign.

I came across this sign while hiking the Puna Coast Trail in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It stood out as a dot of color in a field of lava and scrubby grasses. What I liked about the sign was its sage advice ‘In case of earthquake, immediately go to high ground or inland.’ At this spot, the high ground is inland, so that kills two birds with one stone.

On the other hand, getting to that high ground inland involves scrambling over a mile or more of rough lava. Also, if the earthquake was big enough, it might just mean that you could encounter lava from a new eruption heading down to the coast to meet you. The sign doesn’t offer any advice on what to do then!

For more information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, go to nps.gov/havo/.

Signs: Yes, but…

Back in June, I went to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to do a little hiking. The park had recently reopened and I thought it would be a good time to do some of the popular trails near the summit that are usually crowded. I was right about this because I saw hardly anyone all day.

One of the trails I hiked was the Byron Ledge Trail and when I got to a junction near the end of it I came across this sign. I knew the park had made the popular Kilauea Iki Trail one way, but I hadn’t known about it applying to any other trails.

As you might have guessed, I arrived at this spot from the pointy end of the arrow. I’d hiked the trail in the wrong direction. The problem was that there was nothing at the other end of the trail letting me know I shouldn’t enter. When I hiked Kilauea Iki later, it was the same: at the parking lot there was a sign saying hike this way, but nothing at the other entrances to the trail.

On my way out of the park I stopped at the entrance and mentioned this to the ranger on duty. When I returned to the park in August, I asked the ranger at the entrance if they were still doing one way traffic on some of the trails. She said they weren’t. I wasn’t surprised. To do it properly, it would require a lot of signage and, with the Visitor Center closed, it would be hard to get the message across to everyone who visits the park.

For more information about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, go to nps.gov/havo/.

Signs: Bumper stickers

No prizes for guessing who the owner of this truck will vote for, assuming he’s still alive. Trump might be the first president actively seeking to kill his most ardent supporters, by urging them to gather in groups and protest measures that help keep them alive.

Signs: No people

Three of these signs appeared at Upolu Airport recently. I think we can all agree that in these troubling times it’s important for people to stay safe by following such protocols.

The plane in the photo is owned by the skydiving company that used to fly out of the airport back in pre-pandemic days. It’s fairly safe to say that they’ll be one of the last businesses allowed to reopen. It’s hard to maintain social distancing on a plane that size, especially when most clients are going to be strapped to someone who knows how to operate a parachute.

In the meantime, in the last four months, the number of times I’ve seen more than one person inside the fence is exactly equal to the number of times I’ve seen that one person wearing a mask. I won’t say how many times that is, but it’s a very round number.

Posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Perspective.’ See more responses here.

Signs: Nēnē crossing

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Unusual.’ See more responses here.

Nēnē, the endemic Hawaiian geese, are long-distant relatives of Canada geese. They were listed as an endangered species, until the end of last year when their status was changed to ‘threatened.’

Because of the nēnē’s precarious numbers, it isn’t unusual to see “Slow, Nēnē Crossing” signs, particularly in areas where nēnē breed. Because their numbers are on the rebound on the Big Island, it’s also not unusual for me to see nēnē, on my daily walks or when I was working. But in my years on the island, I never saw a nēnē anywhere near one of the warning signs, until earlier this year, just before the lockdown. This sign and these two birds were in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where a fair number of the birds live and breed.

I had to stop and get a photo of this unusual event, fortunately without getting myself or the birds killed (it’s a busy, narrow road). The only disappointing thing about this encounter was that neither of the nēnē actually crossed the road. I guess I’ll have to wait another seven years to witness that.

Signs: Sign of the times

This sign went up on one of the stores in downtown Hawi recently. Many local stores rely on tourism to make ends meet, but there are virtually no tourists. Not that it matters, because non-essential businesses have been shut down for a couple of months anyway. Some businesses are now being allowed to open again, but a cautious approach is being taken – rightly in my opinion – and it’s likely a fair number of enterprises will never reopen.

Ironically, it was just over a year ago that I did another post about this shop (here). It was after that episode that Hawaii Cigar & Ukelele expanded in to the newly vacated space. But now they’re both vacant and not likely to be filled until something approaching normalcy returns to the area.