("Camo" in Kipuka Kanohina - photo by D. Coons)
The time is approaching again, but never quickly enough, for my annual sojourn to the Big Island of Hawaii. One of the best things (to me) about going there is the caving.
Caving, to be technical, is what we who engage in the activity call spelunking
...but in the close-knit caving community the technical term is used with disdain, as in:
I have acquired a property in a desert region on the Big Island, with two entrances into the second largest lava tube type cave in the world...the Kipuka Kanohina System.
The largest lava tube type system is also on the Big Island, and is called Kazumura Cave
; I've been there
Due to my involvement in the exploration, survey and preservation of the Hawaiian cave systems, I was elected to the Board of The Cave Conservancy of Hawaii:"The Cave Conservancy of Hawaii is dedicated to the conservation, study, and management of caves in Hawai`i. The CCH combines the resources of cave explorers, educators, scientists, landowners, and conservation experts to save this unique - and important - environment."Cave Conservancy of Hawaii
My friend and fellow CCH Board member Ric Elhard is a full time resident of the Big Island, and the owner/operator of a commercialized part of the system. As his website proclaims:
"Come, take a walk into the largest mountain on earth."
(Mauna Loa, in which the Kipuka Kanohina System is located, is the largest mountain on earth by mass)Kula Kai Caverns website
I'm also on the Board of my local
cave club:"The Philadelphia Grotto is a caving club that was chartered in 1947 as a chapter of the National Speleological Society. We are dedicated to cave conservation, exploration, education, and research."The Philadelphia Grotto
Additionally, I'm a member of the National Speleological Society:"With over 12,000 members and 200 grottos, the National Speleological Society does more than any other organization to study, explore, and conserve cave and karst resources; protect access to caves; encourage responsible management of caves and their unique environments; and promote responsible caving."National Speleological Society
For those who may be interested in this subject, the links posted above are an excellent place to start your exploration, be it virtual or real...