Hawaii can represent many things and it’s charm is different for each person. To me it represents Freedom to be active all year round. Don’t be mistaken however, there may be times that the consistent warm sunny weather can become monotonous and restrictive. Click here for some maps and basic information about Molokai, Hawaii.
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There certainly is something to say about the fresh crisp mainland mornings of Autumn that you will never quite feel on the islands. A lot of long time residents will tell you they really do have a winter but it’s a tongue in cheek statement if they have ever lived elsewhere. Molokai, Hawaii, has the best climate and is the least commercialized of Sandwich island chain. Most of the island is of lower elevation but there are places "up country" that do get cold and require some source of heat in the winter.
Most people only see the commercial tourist attractions and only go on foot to the more remote parts of the island as their knowledge and time here progress. A large proportion of the island, about 80%, is under private ranch, state and some federal ownership. The approximate 60% private ranch ownership can be hard to see yet encompasses a large part of the most breathtaking and pristine areas. Molokai Ranch owns around 58,000 acres, about a third of the entire island mostly located on the west end. Some of these areas can be accessed via permission or with a guide. State and Federal lands are much more open and there a lot of trails and undeveloped areas you can explore once you’ve learned the how and where.
The island is microcosms of climates. The leeward side known as Kaluakoi, is dry, rolling and makes up about 30% of the island. These leeward areas on the west Molokai are not unlike the high desert of California with the prominent Kiawe tree, the Hawaii Mesquite. The windward side rises to a height of 4961' at Kamakou and takes the brunt of the trade winds and resulting storms but it’s still warm and inviting with the lush valleys and flowing streams. On the sunny days there is no place on earth that is more beautiful than the windward side and Halawa Valley. The island is 262 square miles and approximately 10 X 38 miles.
The diversity of Molokai is astounding. There are numerous forest species including 10 indigenous but endangered forest species . Because of the island environment you and I will likely most frequent you’ll probably become familiar with the Ohia Lehua, Mango, Kiawe, ironwood, monkeypod, coconut and Koa. At this point and being new here myself I've only briefly researched and visited a few areas like Moomomi Bay, Ilio Point and the Keonelele Dunes to the northwest, Hale O Lono Harbor and Helena Beach on the southwest corner, the Kamakou Forest reserve mid island high country and the beautiful Halawa valley at the road terminus eastern most point of the island. I'm not going to attempt a research documentary on the island with my scant knowledge but the internet will certainly give you a wealth of knowledge if you desire. Molokai has the longest continuous reef in Hawaii along its southeast shore and to the west, Papohaku, is the longest white sand beach in Hawaii.
There is also an abundance of wildlife on the island. One of the most attractive aspects of Molokai for me is the variety of wildlife species. Where I live there are vast herds of Axis deer, turkeys everywhere, the clucking of California Quail in the evening, Gray and black Franklin grouse in the morning as well as the common Red Cardinal, Red Crested cardinal, Zebra, morning and Spotted Doves and a variety of finch. Along the shore you'll see a selection of Plovers, Terns and the occasional Long Billed Dowitcher.
You won’t be disappointed with the sounds in the Kamakou forest either. Some Molokai bird life endemic to these islands are found no where but the islands, colors you rarely see on the mainland and the song of the Red Cardinal, Apapane, Iiwi and Hawaii Amakihi will etch your memory of the islands forever.
If you like to swim, snorkel or fish I guess you already know there is a vast and delicious varieties of reef and off shore opportunities awaiting, after all this is Hawaii! So far fishing along the beach or rocky shoreline has always been a rewarding pleasure. Here in Molokai it's not uncommon to spend the day fishing and never see another person!
What I’m trying to tell you is contrary to popular belief, Molokai Hawaii is a wild place and not just the beach, beer and a luau. There is more than you can possible do in your retirement years and you won’t be bored or cold anymore.