Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hurricane Ana

In a rare occurrence, the Hawaiian Islands had 3 brushes with tropical storms this season.  Two were hurricanes hitting The Big Island pretty hard.  Thankfully, each of the storms only brushed Maui causing far less damage than a direct hit.

Anna came calling yesterday, but thankfully the eye stayed 90 miles to our south.  As a result, it was cloudy and rainy, but it was also strangely beautiful.



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Now that Star has completed her two month critical hire at the park, we are ready to fire back up the blog machine.  It was a tough assignment, involving several weekend work days, but it has provided her much inspiration to start writing some short stories.  Personally, I can't wait to see what she comes up with. 

And while on the subject of writing, we just received a copy of the July 2014 edition of the English Journal in the mail, and Star's submission was the featured poem.  Way to go, Star!

Early September, we attended Maui's annual Blues and Jazz Festival in Lahaina.  A great event with superb talent located in an "out of this world" venue.  

Good thing we had a room.  The culprit was Maui Ocean Vodka
and cranberry juice.

View from our Seats

Another view from our seats

Shaka Star on the Waihee Ridge Trail

Descending the Ridge

Water Project and Our Temporary Water Tank on the slopes
of Haleakala

Climbed down below the crater lookout earlier this month
to find a place to build scaffolding to replace windows

Don't want to fall from here.  2,500 ft. down into the crater


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.