Friday, December 16, 2016
Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
Kilauea Point, on the other hand. . . Kaua'i is a little out of the way in terms of where we live now, but I rhink I'd be willing to make the sacrifice. Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible to drive the Guppy there.
The lighthouse itself doesn't seem particularly tall -- it is only 52 feet in height -- and is done in the Classical Revival style popular with the Lighthouse Service 100 years ago. Land for the light station was purchased from a sugar company and construction began in 1912. It went up quickly considering the hassles involved in lifting material up a cliff. The second order clamshell-type Fresnel lens was lit for the first time on May 1, 1913. That lens, incidentally, seems truly humongous when viewed from the ground. (Side note: I tend to buy note cards when I hit gift shops in visitor centers; I still write actual letters. There were cards with a great photo of the lens, but I could not bring myself to buy any because on the back the lens was described as looking "like a beehive." On what planet do beehives look like clamshells?)
The Kilauea Light is reportedly the most visited site on Kauai. I'd love to know how anyone knows that. Every place we went that was any sort of a tourist attraction, right down to the scenic overlook of the Hanalai valley, had enough people there that parking was tight. So who's doing the counting and how? I'm also curious as to exactly when the powers-that-be decided to name the lighthouse after Senator Inouye. It would be nice if they did it while he was still alive, but odds are it happened after his death. Way too many of the honors people receive happen after they're too old or too dead to enjoy them.
Totally (almost) irrelevant bit of trivia: Actor Ben Stiller and his wife, Christine, have donated over $100,000 toward preservation of the lighthouse. There's an honor roll of donors; the Stillers are the only ones who have gone over $100K so far.