The Kahuku tract of Volcanoes National Park was established a little over a decade ago and continues as a very special place of solitude for me.
The atmosphere usually consists of mist and mystery - as if the forest has deep secrets that are hard to find.
Perhaps the answers are in the presence of rare forest birds like the Akepa or the Akiapolaau.
I have found the Akepa only once on the Big Island in the Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge on the eastern edge of Mauna Kea. Although this species is possibly in few numbers in the upper reaches of the Kahuku, I've never seen it.
Nevertheless, places like Kahuku (the land of which was purchased years ago by The Nature Conservancy), are super important for the protection it offers to endangered endemic plant and animal life.
Still because of changes in outside disease influences like the Rapid Ohia Death problem that has plagued thousands of acres of island trees of recent, the efforts to protect what is here is intricate and demanding.
For more information on Kahuku please visit the link on the National Park website.