end of the hike at Cliff Trail Lookout.
go back and read it!), you too have "earned" your right to enjoy the superlative views from several pull-outs from the highway leading to Koke'e Park. The class had ended and most of the students headed home, so Mrs. Geotripper and I stole away for one last visit to the canyon and the high-altitude rainforest above. It was late in the afternoon, and the sun's shadows were lengthening, bring the canyon into sharp relief. There's a story here, both in the geology, and in life. This place is a refuge.
Some of the native birds are on the verge extinction like the dozens of species already lost, but others have stable populations, at least for the time being. They face new threats, not the least of which is global warming. The new leaders inhabiting our federal government may deny it, but warming is continuing and the islands are changing. There will no doubt be changes in the frequency and intensity of storms (one rare typhoon, Iniki in 1992, actually caused the extinction of one or two species of bird). The greatest threat may be the expansion of the mosquitos into the high country refuge. There may be nothing that can be done to save the last of the natives, and they will, like the Menehune, disappear into legend.
We reached the coastal plain in a brief rainstorm and were treated to a final rainbow. We headed back to the hotel and packed. We had a plane to catch in the morning.