Just past Honomu travel down and over Pahe’ehe’e Stream. You’ll cruize through Wailea, a pleasant little town with so much potential. A short stint on the highway and you find yourself sinking deeper into the historic jungle of the Hamakua Coast as you descend into Kolekole. Kolekole riverbed is damp, narrow and mysterious. The Kolekole bridge is an architectural novelty spanning 497’. Built after the 1946 tsunami destroyed the original rail bridge infrastructure, the automotive bridge was restructured with reinforced concrete towers and salvaged steel taken from the old Wailuku River railroad bridge. The cost $275K.
Few other places have I felt such a connection to the physical elements of a past and the present than in this segment of the journey. Our route takes you back in time as you cross Kolekole stream. Covered in lichen and moss, along with the rush of the river, it’s hard not to feel a provoking moment of serenity while crossing this bridge. Take a moment to breathe the atmosphere; a bridges link to the past, it’s current life still in play today. The river is powerful, yet harmonious and calming. The magnitude of the surrounding woods is overwhelming and grounding. The setting is peaceful, wetness, damp decay everywhere nature taking back what once was. This moment in time, as your moment in time. As we ride up the other side of the gulch you’ll notice the struggle of man against nature continues with landslides, active streams and the constant growth, death and regrowth biting away at the road. Mamalahoa Old Highway winds road between small quaint towns and captures a lifestyle that once was. Perhaps you can envision how it could be again with just a little breath, and perhaps a lot of effort.