Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Hidden Side of Maui: Kipahulu and the Pipiwai Trail

A two hour drive from our house, and around the backside of the Haleakala Volcano, exists a place lost in time.  There are no stores, no shopping, no electric grid, and no gasoline.  It is home to roughly 1,000 Hawaiians and a few others looking for a slower pace of life.  It's a place where the high ridges of Haleakala drop off steeply to the Pacific Ocean with exotic plant and animal life, and where the Oheo stream flows from pool to waterfall to pool numerous times until finally crashing into the breakers of the Pacific Ocean.  It's called Kipahulu, and is home to the 4.5 mile Pipiwai Trail.

The trail starts where the Oheo Stream intersects the Pacific

Ben and Adrienne hiding out in the Banyan Tree

The 400 ft. high Waimoku Falls

The Bamboo Forest sounds like hundreds
of bamboo chimes ringing together

Friday, August 1, 2014

House of the Sun and the Most Spiritual Hour in a National Park

An incredible spiritual experience Thursday Morning from House of the Sun at 10,000 ft. on top of Haleakala.  Awaken at 3:15 AM, drive to the summit by 5:00 AM, and watch the one hour long show.  I highly recommend putting this one on your bucket list.  I'm glad Star and I waited until the traveling Burri visited before taking it in.

My daughter, who has traveled much of our planet, said it best with "This is IT!"

Video of sunrise and the traditional ceremonial chant

Star, I'm almost certain wearing a bathrobe over your
NPS uniform is a violation of park policy.  Then again,
work doesn't start for another two hours.
First hint of daybreak 5:15 AM
And it begins



Sunday, July 20, 2014

The "Remnants" of Tropical Storm Wali

Wait, this was a downgraded tropical storm?  After last night and this morning, I'm not certain we'll want to be in our house at 3,200 ft. when the real thing blows in.  It could get ugly around here if 35-40 mph winds and a few inches of rain one day turns into 100 mph winds and a foot of rain.

Good Riddance

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Really High and Dry

Friday was my lieu day (every other Friday), so mid-afternoon we took off to a rarely visited part of Maui.  The Skyline Trail starts at the Observatory just steps from the Haleakala National Park Boundary at 9,925 ft. elevation, where the lush tropical paradise of Maui seems a world away.  This is about as close to flying as you can get without your feet leaving the ground, as 360 degree views abound.  The "trail" follows an old asphalt roadbed for 1/2 mile before turning to a dirt track.  We hiked for 3 hours and encountered no other people, birds, animals, or living creature of any kind.  If you ever trek this way, bring plenty of water, because there's no H2O to be found except for the Pacific Ocean looming 9,000 feet below you.

The Trailhead, Observatory, and the National Park Boundary

Star Thinking about Lava Rock and Past Mishaps from the Trailhead

Doofus and the Pacific Ocean Below

About a mile in we went through a pass and were looking
West at the Island of Lanai
We passed by several cinder cones

Maui from above

Star Hikes by a Cinder Cone ahead of me

At 8,900 feet, we reached the interface of lava and greenery

Our stopping point with the coastline way below

Headed back toward the car, we passed a sign near this area
saying "Watch for Falling Trees."  As Star says, "There hasn't
been a tree here since the beginning of our planet."

The Big Island in the Distance

As sunset neared, the temperatures dropped to around 50.

On our drive back home, I stopped to take this photo of
my workplace far in the distance.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Back in the Saddle at Pilopilo State Park and the Kula Forest Reserve

Star proclaimed she was ready to hit the trail again this weekend, so on Sunday afternoon we took off to explore a new area; one with few lava rock, and trails similar to those in the Blue Ridge. 

We took it easy on our first hike since the broken ankle, and she responded magnificently.   We went 2 1/4 miles through an unbelievable eucalyptus forest and got in several hundred feet of elevation work. 

Disclaimer:  We are in no way responsible for the
22 seconds of life lost by watching this video.


Eucalyptus Forest

After a couple of miles, we broke out of the trees at 7,000 ft.
and had a great view of old cinder cones on the side of Haleakala.

Looking toward the South Shore driving down.

North and South Shores, Central Maui, and West Maui
Mountains in the distance.

Believe it or not, there is a Frisbee Golf Course to the left of Star.
We passed it on our way down from Polipoli at around 5,000 ft.