Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hunt On Mauna Loa Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii

Life is such fun, you never know what a day may bring. My hubby and his friend went out at the crack of dawn the other day to hike and hunt on Mauna Loa Volcano. Or should I say more specifically, that part of the mountain that contains Kapala Ranch, the Forest Reserve, and Ainapo Trail?! He returned sunburned, tired and covered in dirt, but very happy. He did manage to shoot a small sheep, which I will not share the picture of here, as it is really not the focal point of my story.
Upon their arrival at their starting point, (the first of several gates that you need to pass through at Kapapala Ranch, a privately owned property), they drove for several miles where they finally parked their rig and began their hike. Why they chose to blaze their own trail is anyone's guess, but knowing my man and his friend, it was probably to see new county. After fighting their way through dense jungle and Koa Forest, the ground growing ever steeper as they gained elevation, they broke out into dryer country, which eventually led them to cross paths with the Ainapo Trail. An ancient trail randomly marked by cairn stones, this trail leads to the summit of Mauna Loa and its crater.
Following along the old trail they hiked for some time, and when about noon they seeing a rocky outcropping some fifteen feet off the trail, they decided to stop and have some lunch before heading back down to their vehicle. As they approached the rock, my husband looked down and saw with disgust what he thought was a beer bottle three quarters buried in the dirt. The law requiring all things packed in to be packed out, he decided to dig the junk bottle out and remove it from the landscape. He asked his buddy to stick it in his pack and the rest they say is history.

Here are a few pictures they took with their phones, so you will please pardon the quality.

As you can see the road is not something you would want to take your car on. This is at the lower elevation on the Kapapala Ranch, showing lovely Koa Tree's and jungle, and one of many gates passed through.

The size of the Koa tree's were really something, but the Red Akala berries which are a type of wild Hawaiian Raspberry, were rather sour and not nearly as tasty as they looked. Here is my hubby resting with his rifle in the Koa Forest on Kapapala Ranch or a bit north in the Forest Reserve.

 Here is Gregg hiking the Ainapo Trail in the Forest Reserve. They hiked up to about 6,500 feet or so in elevation, but did not feel the need or inclination to hike to the summit. As you can see it is much dryer at that elevation and if this was a trail you could have fooled me. They went well prepared however with compasses and gps finders.
My hubby arrived later that afternoon at my shop door, looking tired out from his long hike. With a sheepish grin he handed me a bottle telling me he thought it wasn't old because he thought it had a piece of plastic on the rim, but maybe I could find a use for it. Being an old bottle collector from my childhood I held my breath, because I just couldn't believe what he had found. I knew that was no plastic piece around its neck, but a glop of glass left over from the glass blowing process.

Here it is my glop top deep amber fifth of whiskey bottle, found by my husband, fifteen feet from the Ainapo Trail, at the 6,500 foot level, near that rocky outcropping. It was made sometime in the 1880's and before 1893, when new technology fazed out the glop top bottle. It was likely to have been made in San Francisco, California, but could also have come from as far away as Germany, or the Eastern United States.

Here is an up close look at the glop top. The glass bottle was made in two parts, with the top applied to the neck while still hot. This process left a glop of glass, as you can see here.

This view shows how the indent was made in the bottle from the spin mold it was placed in while being blown. The glass blower spun the bottle in the mold eliminating any seam lines. The bottom of the mold had a holding devise which caused the little button and the deep dish in the bottom. The spinning also caused horizontal lines in the bottle which also show clearly here. This enabled the easy application of labels, but also made it impossible for embossing. Thus the bottle without its label makes it impossible to know for certain where the bottle was made or what company filled its contents. This to me is not so important however as the location that this bottle was found.
The fact that this bottle lay where it did, close to the ancient trail of Ainapo, leading to the summit and crater of Mauna Loa, tells me that some early traveler in the late 1800's, left it there. At that time the closest place to stage your climb would have been the old original Volcano House Hotel, near the crater of Kilauea. The very same Volcano House that grt. grandma Anne Elston Krout-Scearce's sister, Mary Hannah Krout visited in 1894 and wrote a chapter about in her book, Hawaii and a Revolution.
This bottle sat in the ground for approximately 136 years, through all manner of weather and several volcanic eruptions, but still managed to come through it all without a nick or a scratch, and to think my husband almost threw it in the garbage recycle. He may have been hunting sheep, but he found something far greater. A piece of history from the old Mauna Loa Volcano days when all manner of people and scientists, came from all over the world to hike up and see the volcano. When roads and trails were far more primitive than today and you would have come to the Island in a tall steamer ship, still attached with sails.
Walking with packs or riding on horseback, some fellow or several fellows in a group, stopped on that very same spot, those many years ago, toasted themselves or each other, dropped that bottle and went on their way to the summit.

Maybe future research will reveal more about my bottle, and if it does, I shall endeavor to share it with you here. Thanks hubby, I couldn't think of a better find and gift.

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