Falls and Pools
Our second day on Maui was one of the high points of the entire trip. We got up early and headed through Hana past the Wailua Falls and Photo-sized Falls to the Kipahulu area. Within the Haleakala National Park, much of this area is part of the Kipahulu Valley Biological Reserve and not available to the public. We stopped for a hike to the falls and a visit to the famous pools. 
Annette in a Guava Grove
We started at the small ranger station visitor center, where we picked up the latest trail information and headed up the Pipiwai trail for a 4 mile round -trip hike. The hike begins with walking through grass and guava trees. Actually there were guava trees everywhere; they're considered weeds here even though their fruit is wonderful. You might want to call this the 'guava trail.' It's the only trail we know of that smells like a sweet juice all the way to the top. You'll find smashed guava and tiny fruit flies everywhere.
Part of the way up the mountain we stopped to photograph Makahiku Falls. Many people turn back at this point, but the beauty is just beginning. After a side-trip up through the woods, you arrive at Infinity Pool. At the head of this waterfall, there is a small area of quiet water and pools. This made a great stopping place for a snack of peanut butter, crackers, and apples. We even climbed up along the stream and were able to find some remote hidden areas with more quiet pools. Unfortunately, the mosquitos had also found this tropical paradise.
Back on the main trail, we immediately passed through a gated fence. It was time to head on toward the top. The trail passes many other side trails that can be taken back to the stream to find more pools, waterfalls, and grottoes. We enjoyed exploring most of these and were never disappointed!
As we approached a set of two bridges, we found one man leaning between a couple of other hikers. He was a taxi driver from the Oregon, who had slipped on some mud and landed on his ankle. It was clearly broken. He asked us to just push it back into place. We rejected this idea, helped to get the leg elevated, assured ourselves that he had plenty of water, and was as comfortable as possible off to the side of the trail. The first couple hurried on down to the ranger station to summon assistance. The 'rescue team' was an experienced, healthy ranger with a backboard . . . who carried the guy out. He made the trip at record pace. These rangers deserve combat pay!
After crossing the twin bridges, we found ourselves in a fantasy land -- a thick bamboo forest. Although not native to Hawaii, the bamboo was a unique hiking experience. The forest was thick enough to block the sunlight, leaving one in a strange, eerie twilight. The wind caused the bamboo tops to rustle and bump, sometimes making a spooky creaking sound as they rubbed together. The walk onto a boardwalk was a nice relief after hiking through dirt, mud, rock, and tree roots.
The Bamboo Forest
We were finally rewarded with a spectacular view of the Waimoku Falls. A short hike brought us to the base of the falls. The wonder and beauty was only temporarily interrupted by the annoying tourist helicopters who buzzed overhead periodically. You can't get this experience from a helicopter!
We soon headed downhill toward the ocean. On the way down, we could sometimes see the ocean peek through the hills (below left). When we reached the bottom, we headed to the Pools of 'Ohe'o. Historically known as 'Ohe'o Gulch, a local merchant began to advertise the area as the Seven Sacred Pools to attract tourists. It worked, but there are many more than seven pools and there's nothing sacred about them.
We ate lunch on the rocks near fresh water pools at the mouth of the ocean. A couple who had been hanging out near the ocean pointed out an endangered Hawaiian monk seal they nicknamed Betty. She (or is it he?) would poke their head out of the pool nearest the ocean and play every ten minutes or so. We enjoyed these sightings until he didn't return and we think we saw him head out into the ocean.
The ranger warned us not to get too chose to the surf. Thirty foot waves were not uncommon here and could easily pull us out into the ocean where sharks would finish us off (below center). Actually, I think he was just as concerned that we not disturb the Hawaiian monk seal (below right).
After exploring the pools, most people jump in their cars and head back down the Hana Highway the way they came. They're missing half the fun! At one time the road was very poor and only available to 4-wheel drive vehicles. They've been working on the road and it's much better.

As we left the park area, we quickly arrived in Kipahulu with a unique site, the grave of Charles Lindbergh. We found this stop very interesting. It's behind the Palapala Ho'omau Church (mile marker 41). Late in his life, Lindbergh liked to retreat to his home here to enjoy peace and quiet after life in the public eye. In 1974, when it was discovered that he had lung cancer and only a short time to live, he flew to Maui to spend the last week of his life. He requested a simple, informal funeral. The tourists at the nearby pools didn't even know it was his funeral procession passing them. A Hawaiian hymn was sung at his grave, "just soaring out and away with the wind and the crashing of the waves below us." The inscription at his grave from 139 Psalms reads, "If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea." His grave overlooks the ocean. Learn more about Charles Lindbergh at the PBS site and Links site.

Lindbergh's Grave
The drive around the rest of the coastline was an interesting contrast to the other shoreline. While the drive was similar with a few more potholes, steep drop-offs, and gravel segments thrown in, the vegetation was very different. Some sections were lush with deep grass. The pictures below show an area where the wind was strong and the grass was cool and deep. It was the ultimate, soft bed of grass for relaxing, cloud watching, and ocean viewing.
Down the road, it become more arid. The main obstacle for the remainder of the drive was the occasional cow in the road. The only stop was the Kaupo Store where people stopped for a snack and ice cream. We kept seeing the same couples over and over as we'd stop at an overlook and then continue down the road. For example, we re-met the couple we'd watched seals with back at the pools. We even stopped for a few minutes to talk. We spent the night in Kahului and planned our final day in Maui.

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 12/00
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