Sometimes, the places that strike your fancy are the ones that you have never heard of. Such was the case with Laie Point State Wayside Park just outside the town of Laie in Oahu, Hawaii.
It’s not what you usually picture when you think of the word “park” – there are no picnic tables or benches, no campsites or pigeons, no entrance fees or park rangers. It’s small, it’s rocky, and it seems at odds with the run-of-the-mill residential street it juts out from. But it is fierce.
There’s a pretty nifty Hawaiian legend to go along with it. A plaque at the entrance to the site tells the tale of “Laniloa the Mo’o”.
Here’s the text of the plaque so you don’t kill your eyes…
This point of land that extends out into the ocean is called Laniloa. According to legend. This peninsula was originally a “Mo’o” or giant lizard. Standing upright ready to kill any intruder.
After Kana (a legendary warrior) and his brother had rescued their mother from Moloka’i and had taken her back to Hawaii. Kana set out on a journey to kill all the Mo’o in the islands. In time, he arrived in La’ie where the Mo’o had been killing many people. Kana easily defeated the Mo’o taking its head. He chopped it into five pieces and flung them into the ocean.
The pieces of the lizard’s head can still be seen today as five small islands lying off-shore their original names were Kihewamoku, Moluaaniwa, Pulemoku, Malualai and Keauakaluapa’a’a.
Source: “Hawaiian Legends” by William Rice, Bishop Museum Bulletin, Honolulu, HI 1923.
There’s a wealth of amazing sites around the city of Honolulu and the island of Oahu, but this was one of the relative few free from the throngs of people competing for space.
Check it out if you find yourself longing for a cool ocean breeze and some good alone time.