Maui 2005

We met our friends (from Cedaredge Colorado) in Los Angeles and flew directly to Maui.  We stayed in a condo in the Lahaina area.  The weather wasn't the greatest, so there was no swimming time, but lots of exploration time.  Each day, we picked a direction and a goal, starting with the north end of the island - that's Molokai island in the background.

Every turn in the road had spectacular scenery!  Note the size of the people by the blowhole - it went WAY up.  We went to a little mission church and decided to go home the way we came - and a good thing too since a mudslide had closed the alternate route.

We had scheduled (and paid for) a helicopter ride around the island, but the weather was bad enough that the tour company cancelled the flight.  I leave it to your imagination as to the weather conditions that would cause a tour company to cancel a pre-paid flight and return the money!  So we did more drive-around exploring.

One area we visited was Haleakala National Park.  This is where the tour companies truck people and their bicycles to the top of the volcano and let them coast back down about 25 miles.  Of course, the people we saw were wearing their rain slickers.  And on the west side of the hill, we visited two botanical gardens - lots of bright large flower varieties.

During our trip down the west side of the island, we stopped at the Grand Wailea Hotel, toured the grounds, and had some great food. 

We had made reservations for the dinner run of the Sugar Cane Train, but when it pulled into the station, the conductor informed us that the dinner run had been cancelled - no reason given.  Since the dinner train only runs once a week, we'll just have to go back another time to ride the train.

We spent an evening attending a theater performance of native material, and were left with more memories of a very acrobatic drummer than of the other material.  And then the obligatory exploration of all of the touristy gift shops.
For our last full day, we decided to drive to the far east end of the island to the town of Hana.  It wasn't that many miles, but we averaged less than 20 MPH.  The road reminded me of East Mercer Way on Mercer Island, except that the road to Hana was not nearly that straight.  Tall hills on one side and steep drops on the other.  Many sections of road were one lane (not each way, just one lane) and most bridges were single lane.  And for almost every bridge, there was a waterfall, and with the recent wet weather, they were running quite heavilly.

And then we got to Hana Bay.  We used the public rest rooms (there were no other facilities).  We went back the way we came.  Dave nearly got car sick from the twisty road since I was trying to get back to the multi-lane section before it got dark - just got there at dusk - Dave survived.

After a much needed time to relax and a good night's sleep (except for the garbage trucks picking up trash on the street at 6:00 AM), we packed, headed to the airport.  While in the waiting area, Dave took a walk to stretch his legs.  Later, I too took a walk.  While passing the parking lot, I saw a ticket jacket blowing across.  When I picked it up, to my surprise, it was Dave's!  It must have fallen out of his pocket during his walk.  This was obviously going to be our lucky day.  So off to the Big Island on a turbo-prop.

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