Puʻu ʻŌʻō (pronounced “poo-oo oh-oh”) is a cinder/spatter cone in the eastern rift zone of the Kīlauea volcano of the Hawaiian Islands. The photo herein was taken about 25′ very mouth of Pele. Look close enough and you can see Pele’s mouth, nose and eyes. I was lucky to have gotten up close to this spectacle — as it’s illegal to hike near the volcano. “Oh-oh!”
Puʻu ʻŌʻō has been erupting continuously since January 3, 1983, making it the longest-lived rift-zone eruption of the last two centuries. Although the name is often translated as “Hill of the ʻŌʻō Bird” from Hawaiian, there is a different explanation of the Hawaiian appellation. The word ʻŌʻō also means digging stick. Because in Hawaiian legends the volcano goddess Pele uses her magic rod pāoa to create volcanic pits, this seems to be the intention for the naming. The cone was originally informally called “Puʻu O” by volcanologists, who simply assigned letters to vents as they arose during the first part of the eruption.
If you want to get up close – make sure to get a guide who has “been there – done that.” You can only hike in through the dark of night – which makes it even more dangerous. Whew.
On Oahu’s Windward coast, the Nuʻuanu Pali lookout watches over the cliffs of the Ko’olau mountains. The Koʻolau Range is a name given to the fragmented remnant of the eastern or windward shield volcano of the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972, and is truly one of the best viewpoints on Oahu to gaze out across the landscape. The Pali Pass provides panoramic vistas looking out toward Chinaman’s Hat and Kāneʻohe Bay. To clarify, Kāneʻohe Bay is the largest sheltered body of water in the main Hawaiian Islands. This reef-dominated embayment constitutes a significant scenic and recreational feature along the windward (northeast) coast of the Island of Oʻahu. The largest population center on Kāneʻohe Bay is the town of Kāneʻohe.
The Pali Pass claimed its spot in Hawaiian hsitory in 1795 when it become the site of a massacre where King Kamehameha defeated the island’s warriors by forcing them off the treacherous cliff top to their deaths. Suggestion: you’ll need a tripod or be able to grip the railing because it can get extremely windy — and consider another layer of clothing because it can be chilly. Aloha.