Saturday, November 09, 2013

Rainbow Bridge, Hale'iwa


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On my recent trip to Oahu, I spent most of a day riding bus #55, which loops around the eastern half of the island. After a few earlier stops including Turtle Bay and Waimea Bay, I decided to stop in the little North Shore town of Haleiwa for lunch. When I got there, I couldn't help but notice this little arched bridge at the edge of the town's little downtown area. So naturally I had to take a few photos of it.

Hawaii's generally not a land of interesting bridges, as the local geography doesn't favor them. For the most part the islands' rivers and streams are too small to require anything beyond simple utilitarian bridges, and the channels between the islands are too wide to bridge at all. Hale'iwa's "Rainbow Bridge" on the little Anahulu River is a rare photogenic exception to the rule. In the early 20th Century, Hale'iwa was a popular seaside resort at the northern terminus of Oahu's cross-island railroad, and the town was a popular weekend escape from the (relative) hustle and bustle of big-city Honolulu. The bridge dates to the town's resort heyday, which I imagine is why it's more decorative (and presumably expensive) than it strictly needed to be.

After taking the bridge photos, I stopped at a nearby food truck for a plate of garlic shrimp. It was delicious. I usually don't like shrimp, so that's saying a lot. And yes, I'm blogging my Instagram food photos. Somehow it feels a little less vain and self-absorbed when they're also vacation photos. I think. Anyway, after that I stopped at a famous shave ice shop, and I have an Instagram photo from there too:

So I can recommend their tropical combo with condensed milk on top, in case you're ever in Hale'iwa and feel like getting a shave ice.

Anyway, about Hawaii and bridges, I said earlier that the islands are too far apart to bridge, but Wikipedia's "Channels of the Hawaiian Islands" article indicates that all but one of the inter-island channels are no more than 30 miles wide, which is shorter than the Channel Tunnel or Japan's Seikan Tunnel. The ocean between the islands is also up to 6100 feet deep in places, much deeper than any existing undersea tunnel, which is kind of a problem. Still, if you could figure out a way to deal with that, tunnels might be technically possible. It's just that it would cost many tens of billions of dollars, and Hawaii only has a bit over a million people, and most of them live on Oahu, and inter-island flights are quick and cheap. So this is more of an SF novel plot point than an actual idea. Imagine, in an alternate timeline, an inter-island bullet train network serving the fabulously rich Kingdom of Hawaii, the Switzerland of the Pacific. Possibly created with advanced alien technology, or built by domesticated krakens, or something.

1 comment :

Chuco Townsend said...

Great post. Hawaii has a rich history of food trucks. There is a monthly food truck rally in Honolulu with over 40 vendors each time. You should check it out the next time you're in town.