While walking through the Iao Valley, I pondered the history of this bloody battle, the battle of Kepaniwai, which means "The damming of the waters" (http://en.wikepedia.org/w/Ki/Iao_Valley). It got this name because when the battle occurred, the Iao stream was blocked by dead bodies.
As you can see in the photo above, the Hawaiian warriors were able to see all the way to the coast line. This made the Valley a great location for their community.
In 1790 The Iao Valley was invaded by King Kamehameha when his forces landed in Kahului Bay at the base of the valley. The word Iao means "cloud supreme" which I find appropriate, as in the 5 weeks that I spent there, there were always clouds surrounding these mountains.
The tall thin mountain top in the picture below, was the look out point for the warriors of the Hawaiian people.
This mountain is named Kuka'emoku, which means, Iao Needle. Looking at the shape of the mountain, the name makes sense.
The Iao Valley is the place where the 4 streams of Waikapu, Wailuku, Waiehu, and Waike'e meet, making this valley ideal for agriculture. King Kamehameha conquered the valley and united the Hawaiian islands in the battle of Ioa Valley.
The photo below is a rebuilt replica of the settlements that you would find there on the valley floor.
When you walk through Iao Valley, there is a spiritual feeling that comes over you. It was interesting to learn that the bodies of the highest chiefs have been burried in unknown "secret" places in the valley. To this day, their locations are unknown.
The photo below is a local swimming hole on the Iao Valley Stream. It is 6 feet deep in the center between the rocks. I got in at this spot and boy is the water cold... but refreshing!
The history of this battle is so brutal, but when walking through the beautiful land, it is difficult to imagine the bloodshed that took place here.
There are several areas that are easily accessible to the public to get to the stream.
The floweres around are beautiful as well! I love being able to be in such a gorgeous place and soak in the beauty around.
I have a lot more photos of this visit that I will be posting to our company fan page on facebook as I get through them. How blessed I feel to have the opportunity to see these amazing places! Enjoy your week and keep smiling! (http://www.hawaiiweb.com/maui/sites_to_see/IaoValleyStatePark.htm).