Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Maui 2016 Part 4

Thursday – Waihe'e Ridge Trail

The plan for our last full day on Maui was to hike the Waihe'e Ridge Trail with Jenny. Jenny had been trying to get me to go hiking for a while, and I was looking forward to doing something together even though I was a little nervous about keeping up with her. I hadn’t been exercising much lately and was definitely not in my best shape.

Waihe'e Ridge Trail was on the northwest side of the island, off of a winding road just past Mendes Ranch where we had taken the horseback riding tour in 1999. It was a two-and-a-half mile trail, beginning at 1000 feet and ascending to Lanilili Peak at 2563 feet. We got to the trailhead around 9 o’clock and started up. It didn’t take long for me to realize that being out of shape was not my problem. My problem was that I’m a klutz and have an intense fear of falling, particularly falling off cliffs. :-)

The hike started simple enough, a somewhat steep walk up a concrete path. But once we got into the woods, it was all slippery mud and tree roots. Jenny warned us, “There will be falling. Just accept it.” Sure enough, I quickly slipped and fell on my side with my foot stuck under a tree root, covering myself with mud. Well, at least I’d gotten that out of the way! Fortunately, Ron saved the day and broke off several large branches for us to use as walking sticks, which made the going much more manageable.

Once we got past the muddy woods, we were rewarded with a view of Makamaka’ole Falls, cascading 300 feet down into the valley. Then we rounded a few more curves and I literally gasped, it was so beautiful. We were looking down into a lush, ridged valley with views of Maui’s north shore and Haleakala on one side and the rushing stream of Waihe'e Gorge below. I have to say that God does some amazing work. It was truly breathtaking.

start of the trail

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Maui 2016 Part 3

Wednesday – Haleakala

The first thing we did when we got up Wednesday morning was check the top of Haleakala. No clouds! It looked like a perfect day for a drive up the mountain. We left Wailea at 7 o’clock and made it to the summit at around 9, passing through several different climate zones as we climbed from sea level to the peak at 10,000 feet. First there were the gentle slopes of Haleakala’s upcountry, with jacaranda trees and flower farms. Then we drove through groves of tall trees. And finally we reached the zig zagging switchbacks through scrublands with the clouds below us. The crazy curves were even starting to make Ron feel disoriented. We rounded one turn and there was a nene (the endangered Hawaiian goose) standing in the middle of road! Thank goodness, the car behind us wasn’t following too closely so Ron was able to stop and wait for it to move out of the way. I was very glad we hadn’t had to make the choice of hitting the nene or driving off the cliff. I think the nene might have lost that one.

upcountry Maui

Monday, August 8, 2016

Maui 2016 Part 2

Monday – Cabana Day

The next morning we went snorkeling again, this time at Ulua Beach, which was about a mile walk from the condo along the Wailea Coastal Walk. We’d actually done one of our very first scuba dives from Ulua Beach in 1999. Back then, I remember looking up and seeing snorkelers swimming overhead. This time we were looking down at the scuba divers. :-) The water was just as stirred up as it had been the day before, but we did see lots of fish, including a bunch of humuhumunukunukuapuaas. We only saw one turtle, hiding under a ledge with just his back flippers sticking out.

Ulua Beach
Wailea Coastal Walk

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Maui 2016 Part 1

Friday/Saturday – Getting There

When I said last year that Maui was a pain to get to, I didn’t know the half of it! We actually hadn’t planned on going back to Maui so soon, but then we got the email from Jenny saying they were selling the condo at Wailea Point and it was now or never. Well, that was a no-brainer. We weren’t going to miss our last chance to go to Maui!

So here we were, touching down at the Kahului Airport, 36 looooong hours after we’d left home. The adventure had actually started Thursday night when the phone rang just as we were going to bed. It was American Airlines saying that our flight in the morning would be delayed 45 minutes. Hmmm, that would cut our layover in Dallas in half. I thought we could still make the connection as long as there weren’t any other issues, but I wasn’t sure that our luggage would. Just in case, we threw a change of clothes and some basic toiletries into Ron’s backpack.

When we got to the airport the next morning, it looked like things were going to work out. The crew was on the plane, the passengers were on the plane, the doors were closed. But then the pilot came on the intercom and announced that there was some bad weather near Dallas. We were going to have to put more fuel in the plane and take a longer route to avoid the storm. There went our connection. :-(