Meandering Back in Time, Along Our Mamalahoa Kona Heritage Corridor

For two years I have been wanting to write a post on this “ten mile trip back to Old Hawai’i, where coffee farms and nature flourish on the cool mauka hillside.” The signs have been in place designating this byway for years. I found this old blog post from 2009 sharing that this was Hawaii state’s first scenic byway. It did go on to become a national scenic byway.

Bea’s Knees Farm is about half a mile north of this, on the makai (ocean) side of the road.

For a while there were brochures available detailing its sights and significance; maybe there still are. I recall last seeing them at Kimura’s Lauhala Shop in Holualoa. In this day and age, if there’s a brochure available, surely that is also available online in PDF format, or there’s a website for whoever produced the brochure. I wanted this post to link to that. But I couldn’t find it, so I thought I’d wait and check again later. But I still can’t find the brochure online. So I’ve taken photos of it and included them here.

Bea’s Knees Farm is in the south section of this heritage corridor (the bottom of the bottom half of the map), where Honalo junction, more commonly referred to as Teshima junction, is. This is the Y-type junction where many a tourist coming from the south (e.g., Kealakekua, Honaunau or Volcano) has unintentionally traveled our corridor because they went straight instead of taking the curve and remaining on the main Belt Road.

This junction, looking in the south direction from the byway sign, is famous to locals because of Teshima restaurant, the red Daifukuji buddhist temple, and the utility pole. There have been many collisions, injuries, and two fatalities in the past seven years at or near this utility pole. Just last Thursday, they replaced the wooden utility pole with a giant, metal pole. It almost seems to say, “try and bring THIS down!”

I think this junction keeps UH (Uncle Harold) alive. Improving safety and traffic flow here is his pet cause. He used to work for the California Dept. of Transportation before returning to his roots in Kona. He has written letters to the editor for our local paper, attended many meetings and provided timely comments (& encouraged the ‘ohana to comment) to the Hawaii Dept. of Transportation. He knows how state bureaucracy works.

Today I’ll close with a scene seen on the north end of this byway, as we were heading south. Pau hana. Finish work. End of a productive work day on Friday. Each bag holds roughly 100-150 pounds of coffee cherry.

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