- 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.
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
- Annette in a Guava
- We started at the small ranger station
visitor center, where we picked up the
latest trail information and headed up the
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.
- 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
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
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
- 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
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
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