Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 12:59:44 -1000 From: "Dayle K. Turner" (firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: A Visit to the Valley Isle
I joined a group of 20 folks, mostly members of the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club, for a trip to the Valley Isle of Maui this past weekend. Making the trip were Pat Rorie, Carole Moon, Ralph Valentino, Judy Roy, Thomas Yoza, Grant Oka, Jay Feldman, Ken Suzuki, Georgina Oka, Bill Gorst, Naomi Nasu, Mabel Kekina, Joyce Tomlinson, June Miyasato, John Hall, Kim Roy, Deetsie Chave, Carol Wood, and my idol, the famous woman hiker (she prefers that her name not be mentioned).
==Day 1, Good Friday, April 10==
We departed on an Aloha Airlines flight from Honolulu at 7:30 a.m. bound for Kahului. Our contingent arrived on Maui under mostly cloudy skies. For transport, we rented a 15-passenger van and two cars. After quick supply stops at Pukalani Foodland and at Kamoda Bakery in Makawao, we were off for Waianapanapa (lit. "glistening water"), a state park where we had three cabins reserved for the weekend [translations from Hawaiian to English, if available, via *Place Names of Hawaii* by Pukui et al.].
Before proceeding further, let me try to provide a visual picture of Maui, for ease of following along. Imagine looking at the side view of a turtle, with its head to the left (west) and its shell/body to the right (east). Something like the rough drawing below:
North _ ____ West (_)=(____) East SouthKaanapali and Lahaina are on the face of the turtle (west), Kahului/Wailuku is located in the neck, Haleakala crater in the center of the body, and Hana, which is a few miles from Waianapanapa, at the tail (east). Hana Highway, the route we used to travel to our home away from home for the weekend, is on the north side of the body. Piilani Highway, the route we used on the final day to return via Kaupo to Kahului, is on the south side of the body.
To continue, after the pit stops, we traveled on route 365 through Kokomo and Ulumalu to Hana Highway eastbound for Waianapanapa. On the narrow, winding Hana Hwy., we crossed bridges over a number of streams, many which were gushing with an impressive flow of water. On the way, we passed beautiful Keanae (lit. "the mullet") peninsula on the left and a few miles later stopped for lunch at Pua'a ka'a (lit. "rolling pig") State Wayside, which had a couple picnic shelters overlooking a small pool and gentle stream.
After lunch, we continued toward Hana. About a mile or so east of Pua'a ka'a, we turned makai off of Hana Highway and followed a narrow paved road to Nahiku (lit. "the sevens"--in reference to the seven districts in the vicinity), where we followed a switchback trail to Makapipi Stream. This trail appeared to be an ancient Hawaiian route, perhaps part of the Hoapili Trail (aka King's trail) that once circumnavigated Maui. Whoever built it put some care into its construction, with impressive rock work done on the switchbacks we descended. It was a bit drizzly at this point but not bad at all.
Once at Makapipi Stream, we put on tabis and rock-hopped upstream for about 30 minutes until we reached the base of a roaring 200-foot waterfall (Makapipi Falls?). The water flow was so strong from this cascade that a cold wind blasted forth and small waves rolled across the surface of the plunge pool at its base. Magnificent.
After taking in the falls, we backtracked to our cars and headed to Waianapanapa, where we checked in to the three cabins we had reserved ($55 per night, six to a cabin, great deal!), unpacked, and got settled in. A couple of us tried some fishing, others did some short hikes along the wind-whipped shoreline, and others prepared the evening meal--pasta with mushroom or meat sauce. Ono.
==Day 2, Saturday, April 11==
We departed Waianapanapa at 8:30 and stopped at Red Sand Beach, a locale in Hana nude sunbathers have been known to frequent. To reach Red Sand Beach, we parked near the Hana Ballpark and walked for 10 minutes on a trail that contoured around the south base of Ka'uiki Head (lit. "the glimmer"). According to *Place Names of Hawaii*, Ka'uiki was the birthplace of the Hawaiian chiefess Ka'ahumanu and also the site of an ancient Hawaiian fortress used by Maui warriors in a battle against Big Island invaders. Alas, on this day, we found no remnants of the old fort nor did we spot any clothes-less beach-goers. We did tread past an old cemetery on the eroding hillside above the trail and it appears some graves have actually slumped into the sea, evidenced by several stone grave markers we saw strewn on the rocks below. The trail and Red Sand Beach look out to a bay called Kaihalulu (lit. "roaring sea"), which indeed was roaring with good-sized breakers at the time.
After Red Sand Beach, we made the obligatory stop at Hasegawa General Store, where we picked up drinks and munchies and browsed through the place made famous by song.
After the short stop at Hasegawa's, we continued south on Hana Hwy. to Oheo Gulch also known as the locale of the Seven Pools. This area is part of Haleakala National Park. After prepping for the hike, we crossed the highway and hit the trail, mauka-bound for Waimoku Falls. The 2-mile route to the falls was well-traveled, dry, and even included two fiberglass bridges and a boardwalk section. At several points on the way to the Falls, we stopped to check out pools and the water level of the stream in the gulch. The volume of H20 in the stream was sizable and a map review shows why. The stream emptying into the ocean from Oheo Gulch is actually a combination of two streams--Pipiwai, which leads to Waimoku Falls and beyond; and Palikea, which originates at the 8,000 foot level in Kipahulu Valley where over 350 inches of rain falls a year. We followed the trail along Pipiwai to Waimoku Falls, a towering 400-foot cascade.
Although awe-inspiring, Waimoku Falls wasn't the best place to swim since the pool at its base was small, shallow, and rockey. So we backtracked down Pipiwai for a hundred yards and veered right up a small feeder stream to a smaller yet almost as impressive waterfall with a nice pool for swimming. For lack of a name reference on the map I have, I'll dub this waterfall Waimoku Iki (lit. "little Waimoku"). A bunch of us took a dip in the plunge pool at the base of Waimoku Iki (icy colde water!) and we ate lunch (fruit, sandwiches, trail mix) there on the rocks overlooking the pool.
Having completed our lunch and swim session, we headed back down the trail until we reached a junction just past a gated fenceline. From there, we followed a trail left to the stream. At the stream was a small, inviting, deep pool at the top of a 150~-foot waterfall. A couple of us jumped into this small pool, making sure not to get too close to the water rushing over the edge. Meanwhile, many others went upstream, hiking/wading/swimming a quarter mile to a strong-flowing 60~-foot cascade. Great fun!
After Oheo Gulch, we headed back to Waianapanapa and on the way stopped to check out yet another swimming spot. This place has been dubbed Venus Pool (another nudist spot?). The trailhead is located a couple miles south of Hana town, next to a bridge over Waiohonu Stream. To get to the pool, we had to hop over a fence and walk about a quarter mile on a well-worn trail on the edge of an open, grassy field. Venus Pool, easily the size of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, features some nice ledges for diving/jumping. Pat and Ralph took the plunge off the highest jump ledge, probably 40-50 feet above the water surface, while many others jumped/dove off lower ledges. An awesome swimming spot!
Our day of hiking and swimming done, we continued toward Waianapanapa , making a short stop at the Hana pier for a brief session of leg-stretching, fresh air, and a close-up view of wind-whipped Hana Bay. From there we returned to the cabins at Waianapanapa to get cleaned up, relax, explore the area, or prepare the evening meal (BBQ chicken and beef). Mahalo to Grant for serving as grillmaster.
==Day 3, Easter Sunday, April 12==
After a 7 a.m breakfast, we packed up and bid farewell to Waianapanapa by 8:15. Our first destination of the day was a place called Blue Pool. To get there, we drove west (toward Keanae) for a mile on Hana Hwy. and then followed a narrow road for 3~ miles to the ocean. Initially, the road was paved but after a mile or so it became dirt/gravel. Despite the less than ideal conditions, our cars and van had no problem negotiating the road. On the way, we passed Kahanu Gardens, also the locale of Pi'ilanihale (lit. "the house of Pi'ilani," a famous Maui chief). Pi'ilanihale is reputedly the largest heiau in the Hawaiian islands. Unfortunately, access is currently by appointment only, so since we were sans-appointment and didn't want to trespass, we missed out on seeing this ancient Hawaiian site. Hopefully, we'll have another chance.
Just like Venus Pool, Blue Pool was wonderful. Although smaller and without the jumping ledges of Venus Pool, Blue Pool lived up to its name, with tranquil blue water beckoning one to take the plunge (and most of us did). Getting there involved a short 10-minute hike along a rocky shoreline. The pool is fed by spring water that cascades at least 100 feet over a sea cliff. One can sit under an overhanging shelf with the water from the falls spilling like a curtain in front. Beautiful. Blue Pool is yet another excellent swimming spot. I even spotted prawns there!
From Blue Pool, we motored back to Hana Highway and headed left toward Kaupo. The original plan was to head right and backtrack to Kahului the way we had come on Friday. However, most folks voted to complete the loop of the turtle's body (recall my earlier visual reference and makeshift map) by heading back via Pi'ilani Highway through Kaupo.
We made a short stop at the lookout cross at the pu'u that overlooked Hotel Hana Maui and a good deal of the Hana coast. The cross was a memorial to a haole dude whose name I can't recall, probably the founder of Hana Ranch.
We stopped at visitor's center at Oheo Gulch for a lua/rest break and recommenced our trek along the turtle's belly toward Kaupo. The road beyond Kipahulu turned rough and unpaved, but the vehicles had no problem on it. The scenery was magnificent, with the road cut into the side of the steep pali at times.
Just past a black rock beach, we stopped along Piilani Hwy. just beyond Alelele Stream. After unboarding, we hiked on a trail upstream, passing several nice campsites beneath a canopy of kukui trees. We crossed the stream once and in less than 10 minutes were at the base of another strongly surging waterfall (Alelele Falls?) of about 100~ feet. A map review indicates that this stream was born miles away on the south-facing slopes of Haleakala. Further down the Piilani Hwy. past Kaupo, we looked back at the upper slopes of Haleakala and saw huge waterfalls plunging down the mountainside. One of these, it appears, fed Alelele Stream.
Because of rain, we decided not to linger at Alelele Falls. Instead, we hiked back to our vehicles and continued on to Kaupo. Kaupo is an isolated, desolate spot and the surrounding area is dry and sparsely populated. We had intended to stop at Kaupo Store but it was closed. Not far past the store, we stopped in front of St. Joseph Church to snap photos of the waterfalls I mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
About 3.5 miles past Kaupo, we ate lunch (sandwiches and fruits) under the shade of a cluster of roadside kiawe trees. From there, we hiked down a jeep road to Nu'u Bay, on the way passing Nu'u Salt Pond, a bird sanctuary. The Bay is picturesque and nice for sailboarding. In fact, a guy was doing just that when we arrived there.
While at Nu'u Bay, several of us explored a trail system that wound along the coast. We speculated that this system may have been part of the ancient Hoapili Trail (aka King's Trail). If not, then perhaps the trail was made/used by local fishermen and opihi pickers. During the time I hiked and explored, I spotted opihi on the rocks below and many excellent fishing spots with 10-foot ledges that sat above deep, blue water. Ulua grounds, no doubt.
From Nu'u Bay, we continued along the coast toward Ulupalakua. This stretch is arid and we passed numerous wiliwili trees along the way. The southern flank of Haleakala loomed to our right and several of us wondered if we'd ever have the gumption to climb ridges we saw to the crater rim. Also along this segment, Kaho'olawe is visible offshore. Eventually we stopped at Tedeschi Vineyard to stretch our legs, sample some wine, and use the lua.
From Tedeschi, we were bound for Wailuku and Iao Valley. Most of us took the short hike around the paved trails at the state park at the end of the road. The lookout at the top offered a nice view of Iao Needle (elev. 2,250). There was talk of doing some exploring beyond the lookout and perhaps even climbing the Needle, but time was against us since it was around 5 p.m. and we had a 7 p.m flight back to Honolulu to catch.
To sum up, we didn't do a whole bunch of hiking on the trip, with the emphasis being on quality rather than quantity. The emphasis was also on swimming spots, and we visited a goodly number of these, all far better than any other places I've visited in Hawaii. And of course, another emphasis was on spending time with friends, with the stories and laughs always readily abundant. I was glad to have taken part in all of this and look forward to future trips with "da gang."