Along the way to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, you can take a 20-mile detour to visit the southernmost point in the United States, Ka Lae, or South Point.
There's not much to do or see there, but we took the detour, just for fun.
Along the way, we saw this funny sign:
We also saw these satellite dishes, and dreamed up all sorts of conspiracy theories explaining why they might be there. (If you check out this wikipedia article, you'll see that they are nothing more interesting than shortwave radio antennas and a parabolic antenna of the Universal Space Network of the Swedish Space Corporation. Bummer.)
It's totally windy there. As a result, they have lots of wind turbines, and trees that are nearly horizonal!
I fought the wind to open my car door in order to check out the monument that marks the spot as a Registered National Historic Landmark:
Here I am at the windy tip of South Point.
Tracy didn't want to fight the wind, so she stayed in the car while I walked to the point. Funny thing is: while I was there, I met a guy who lives not far from me in Utah. He's the one who took this photo. Small world. He was thinking about going swimming there; I tried to talk him out of the idea, because the rocks, wind, and currents make that a very dangerous place. One of the Hawaiian chiefs died in the currents here. I don't know if I was successful at talking the Utah guy out of the idea of swimming there...he was pretty set on it. I hope he's still alive....I liked him.
They say there's a green sand beach near there, and we tried to find it, but didn't know where we were going and didn't want to fight the wind anyway, so we turned around and headed back to the main road. And we told ourselves that green sand beaches aren't really that cool anyway. But, of course, we were lying to make ourselves feel better. The next time I go to the Big Island, I'll do my green sand beach homework so I don't miss it!
Even without the green sand, I'm still glad we took the fun, quirky detour to visit South Point.