Ramblings and Photos About Maui + Neil Young Hawaii Lyrics

One of the great things about Erin’s frequent work trips is that sometimes she goes to places like Denver, Portland, San Francisco, etc. And, sometimes she has to travel to places like Minot, North Dakota. Anyway, she accumulates a ton of Southwest, Hilton and Hertz points, so when she travels somewhere awesome and I have some free time, I tag along.

This is a really long-winded way of saying this year I went with Ernie C. on a work trip to Maui. How could I not? With points and everything accrued, I think it came to about $400 because I had to buy a ticket from Hawaiian Airlines.

At first I didn’t like him he came asking for a loan.

Monday. My first hike was the Waihe’e Ridge Trail (5 miles). This ridgeline hike is definitely more typical as far as tropical Hawaii trails go. Oftentimes muddy and slick, though not the muddiest or slickest of my hikes. The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is a challenging hike with breathtaking views on clear days, but as you can see it was far from clear. Still, it was magnificent and moody views and I had the trail to myself.

I got nervous when he came into view.

Tuesday. I had my heart set on the Sliding Sands Trail (8 miles) located in Haleakalā National Park, but I reconsidered once I checked the elevation and learned that “sliding sands” is a literal description of the type of hike. So I rented some snorkel gear from Snorkel Bob’s and tooled around Wailea Bay, saw turtles, tourists, etc.

On an overdose of vitamins trying to explain something that I already knew.

Wednesday was a wash as I came down with the worst of colds.

Thursday back at it. Kahekeli/Honoapiilani Highway around Lahaina. I took the wrong way probably up/down a sketchy one lane road. Luckily there wasn’t a lot of traffic. I did get pulled over in a school zone early on. The police officer said, “Oh, you’re a rental,” and gave me a warning. I checked out the Olivine Pools. Definitely not the easiest scramble down and up, but the views were great. The suggestion about high tides is probably a good one. Having the waves crash just a few feet away was really cool, but you definitely do not want to get caught by one. After Olivine I hit the Ohai Trail Loop. Easy hike. Views of the ocean but you have that almost everywhere in Hawaii. Not the most exciting hike. As I continued my way around Lahaina, I stopped for an impromptu snorkel a a little cove called Smuggler’s Bay. Time to pick up Erin.

He said help me stay afloat and get back to Hawaii.

Erin was off on Friday and of course the weekend. We took advantage of our time together and snorkeled at Molokini Crater. On this excursion we saw dolphins, turtles, a shark. Erin did something called snuba, which is a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving. The tanks are attached to a raft on the surface, and your air hose (tube?) maxes out at 15 feet. She took right to it. A pro. Back on land, we hit up Napili Bay for a little more swimming and then found the Cliff Dive Bar. I don’t know what I expected from the Cliff Dive. Sure, there was a kind of cliff where people jumped off as part of the evening’s entertainment. And I think I had it in my head the word “dive” indicated a type of setting. Either way, it was a whole scene. Kind of a show at a resort. After sunset, we drove back to our side of the island.

All the paintings and the sketches lay scattered on the sand and the condominium was close at hand.

Saturday we made our way counter-clockwise on the road to Hana. We hit the Kaupo General Store, Grandma’s Coffee House, Huakini Bay, Lindbergh’s Grave (we just said hello kind of driving past), Kipahulu Point Light Station, Waimoku Falls and then. THEN. Pipiwai Trail (4 miles). Muddiest of hikes. Five stars. This rather remote section of the Haleakalā National Park lead us through tropical forest and bamboo groves that culminated in marvelous waterfall views. Again, muddy. Ernie blew out a flip-flop. We did not discuss the silliness of wearing flip-flops while hiking. Afterward we grabbed some local beers, ate poke at the hotel and packed. 

He said I think we better talk there’s something you don’t understand about Hawaii.

Best memory. One evening after work, Erin’s client and his wife invited us to a local beach to drink local beer, eat fresh poke, do some fishing and watch the sunset. We stayed well into the dark talking about being a local, politics, family, cost of living and so on. It was incredible. Dan and Cathy (sp?). I liked them very much. I did the thing where I said I’m going to send those guys a nice care package when I get home, things that are too expensive to pick up in Maui, a kind of thank you for the hospitality. I never did.

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