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Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park Lava Tree Mold EarthCache

Hidden : 06/12/2017
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

The purpose of this earth cache is to teach the geocacher about the formation of tree molds.

Plan your visit so that you may learn and appreciate the cultural and historical significance of this park as well as the beautiful scenery and geological features.

Park Hours and Fees:
The lava tree molds are located on the grounds of the beautiful Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park. This earth cache is available ONLY during park operating hours. 
The Park hours are as follows: Park opens at 7am. Park closes 15 minutes after Sunset. Standard Hours Sunday to Saturday 7:00 am - Sunset. Please DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS CACHE AFTER HOURS. THIS WAS THE CONDITION OF PLACEMENT!!
The Visitor Center hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily.
Please note there is a fee to enter the park. Per Vehicle - $20 Admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all of its passengers (up to 8 persons).
Per Individual-Walk-In-$10 Admits one individual when entering by foot, bicycle, or motorcycle. Individuals 15 years old and younger are admitted free of charge.
General Park Overview:
"In old Hawai'i, if you had broken a law, the penalty was death.....Laws or kapu, governed every aspect of Hawaiian society. The penalty for breaking laws was certain death. Your only option for survival is to elude your pursuers and reach the nearest pu'uhonua, or place of refuge." 
"Today, you may visit Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park, and still feel the spirit of peace and forgiveness that continues to surround and bless this special place." (
Please remember to stay on designated paths at all times. Take only pictures. Leave only footprints.
Earth Cache Lesson:
1. "Lava Trees are created when fast-flowing lava moves through a forest completely surrounding the moist trees. The lava cools on the outside as the tree is incinerated on the inside, leaving a lava shell in the shape of the tree. While some molds will reach several feet high, others will be merely stumps or even depressions. Sometimes lava trees will preserve the texture of the original bark. They are most often formed by smooth pahoehoe but occasionally a'a will create the same form." (
2.  Lava Tree Molds are created when fluid lava flows through dense tropical forest became chilled against the larger trees and tree ferns and later drained away. Trees growing in such an area are quickly covered with lava. The lava touching the tree causes the tree to burn out. ( >
At this location a lava tree mold was formed in lava as the wet trees chilled and cooled the lava as it surrounded them and thus were insulated from the intense heat of the surrounding flow. The cooling was rapid enough to preserve the shape though the tree burned away.
There are two types of lava on the Big Island. A'a is the most common. It cools down forming fragmented, rough, or blocky surfaces. Pahoehoe lava is smooth, billowy, or ropy surface. It has been likened to the appearance of a pan of chocolate brownies.
In your LOG, please note the number of people in your group.
To demonstrate the educational importance of this earth cache, please email your answers via the geocaching messaging profile. (Failure to submit answers within one week of logging will result in the deletion of your log. You may submit your answers and log when appropriate.)
Logging tasks:
1. Estimate the length of the tree mold.
2. Estimate the width of the tree mold.
3. What type of lava is at this location?
4.  What color is the lava?
5. In your words, describe how the tree mold was formed.
6. What number is near this earth cache?
7. Optional-Please post pictures of you at the park with your gps. No spoilers please.
Permission to place this earth cache was provided by MaryAnne Maigret, 8-15-17, Acting Superintendent. Email on file.


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Cyrnfr abgr gur ahzore bs crbcyr va lbhe tebhc va lbhe ybt!
Znunyb sbe ivfvgvat!!

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(letter above equals below, and vice versa)