maui | part II

yesterday was spent in west maui.  lots of hiking and driving, which in an open-top jeep is awesome at first but by hour seven, you can barely feel your face and even with SPF 45 (applied multiple times), you are sunburnt.  but really, who's complaining. our first stop was julia's shack, where we bought banana bread, taro chips and coconut candy.  all of which are so darn good (i can't stop eating the coconut candy).  then we came across this sign, which i yelled, "wait. stop.  back up.  i need a picture of that sign.".  driving through a certain part of west maui, there are a lot of one lane roads, which again totally scared the crap out of me.  you'll be driving, turn a corner and there, directly in front of you is a car, going in the opposite direction.  no way to go for one of the cars, except backwards, because if you pull over to the side, you'll be rolling down the mountain cliff.

anyways... i just had to get a picture of this sign.  steve and i never had a honeymoon.  we were instant family.  then separated for six months because of the AF-navy thing.  once together, we had a baby (skyler) a month later.  nine months after that, i was pregnant again and steve deployed, returning a couple weeks before ryder was born.  so, we talk about how this trip to hawaii is our 8-year honeymoon.  and yes...falling in love (all over again) rocks.  i'll definitely be printing and framing this photo for our house.

we also came across this cross along the way, in this open field along the ocean's edge.  the area wasn't really accessible.  such an incredible sight.  sadly, i don't think photos do this area justice.

hike 1 | iao needle (hawaiian god of the ocean):  a beautiful area but pretty touristy.  amazing history though.  we went hiking (off the paved path) for quite a ways, but not knowing where the trail went or how long it was, we eventually decided to turn around, making the hike beautiful but pretty anti-climactic.  i think the coolest part of the hike was seeing some of the local kids having a blast, swimming in the stream.

hike 2 | the ovilene pools:  so cool!!  we hiked down a small-ish, rocky mountain to get there.  there's these pools of water there.  one of them being deep enough to swim in, which we did.  there was a dad and his son there.  the boy was snorkeling and his dad fishing.  the dad had interesting stories to share about the pools (one of them being a story about a man, who was severely injured when a massive wave barreled him over, resulting in a mangled body and multiple broken bones).  but the place was absolutely amazing.  i wish i had my underwater camera there but it's just too big to hike with (especially down a mountain of lava boulders).  you can see the boy and his dad in the photo below.  the swimming pool is the one directly to the right of them.

hike 3 | nakalele blowhole:  another pretty spectacular site.  and another pretty good hike down a small-ish mountain.  there's a few signs along the way about the dangers of the blowhole and how dave potts got sucked in and lost his life. and OMG...little did i know (until i just googled it right now) that the incident just happened...about a week ago.  how sad and how terrible!!

and if you walked just a bit from the blowhole and turned the corner, there was this heart formation in the rocks.  we initially thought someone had to carve the hole, but looking at it, it didn't look that way.

after our visit to the blowhole, wind and sun burnt, we decided to head home.  tonight, i am so looking forward to a family session on west maui.

note to self:  next trip to hawaii, bring and wear hiking / water shoes.  the converse / barefoot thing is doable, but not always easy.

maui | part I

we arrived in maui TUESDAY afternoon.  photo session that evening.  and dinner with awesome (new) friends, who were visiting maui, from denver.  lucky for me, i get to see them again next week, while in CO for the NAPCP retreat that leah and i are speaking at.

WEDNESDAY was an admin type of day, for most of the day.  that afternoon, once everything was done, we drove out to this interesting area on the SW edge of the island, where in 1790 the lava exploded, after hitting the ocean. the phenomenon created this area looks like freshly tilled dirt except it is actually rock hard lava.  the trail we had been hoping to walk was closed; however, we did find another awesome trail that walked along the ocean's edge. there, we saw two wild goats that were standing on a lava rock cliff that jutted out into the ocean. from this land of broken-up lava rock to the random goats, it was all a bit surreal.

THURSDAY: we got up at 3 AM and drove to the top of haleakala (a 10,000 foot mountain) to view the most amazing (yet painfully windy and cold) sunrise ever. the entire horizon was clouds and as the sun rose, the clouds lit up like the filament of a lightbulb.  there was also a few locals, who sang a beautiful ceremonial chant.  truly a breathtaking moment to witness, but i have to say...i don't think i have ever been so cold.  we went home, took a nap and chilled most of the afternoon.

after dinner, we went snorkeling at a nearby area, where i almost drowned and was attacked by a shark (i mean a rock).  it really was quite comical.  but we did see a couple sea turtles, which was awesome.  steve got this photo (i could barely handle myself, let alone a huge camera).

YESTERDAY: we followed the road to hana (north side of the island).  along the way, we stopped to do various hikes.  each...absolutely majestic!!

hike 1 | puohokamoa falls:  this hike was pretty tough because we took it further than most do.  the falls were far away, but so beautiful.

hike 2 | punalau falls:  this was probably our favorite spot of the day.  we hiked through this dry stream of boulders, which ended in this pool of water.  the falls weren't much yet still amazing.  it was our own private waterfall and pool.

hike 3 | three bears falls:  pretty easy, short hike (all except the first few steps), leading to three incredible side-by-side falls.  there were quite a few people at these falls because they're easily seen from the road.

hike 4 | pua'a ka'a state park:  a super muddy hike.  towards the end, you have to walk along and across this viaduct on a platform that is about 1-1/2 feet wide.  as long as i didn't look down, i was just fine.

on our way out of hana, we stopped at red sands beach (wish i took a picture, but i was drained by this time).  the hike there scared the shit out of me because it was on the edge of the cliff and i had no traction on the dirt / sand (thanks to the chucks i was wearing).  we also stopped at hamoa beach, where steve did some bodysurfing.  by this time, i was really exhausted and simply enjoyed relaxing on the beach, while steve bodysurfed.

after hamoa beach, we continued driving south, which also scared the shit out of me -- super windy, narrow roads (most could not fit two cards side-by-side, without going up on the edge of the mountain side a bit).  also, most of the road was dirt and super bumpy.  i don't get car sick and towards the end, i did think about it.

all in all, the day was beyond spectacular, starting out at 7:30 AM and arriving in paia at 7:30 PM, for an incredible dinner of flatbread and salad (everything local, fresh and organic).  oh yea -- the cucumber, mint gin and tonic was pretty darn awesome too.  will definitely make that when back home.

today, we head to the west side, for more hiking and exploring.