Friday, March 18, 2011

West Maui Hiking

Last weekend, the day after the Tsunami struck Maui, we decided to do a little hiking around West Maui - playing things safe and staying away from the beaches for at least another day! A good friend of my parents, Wayne (who I remember fondly from childhood vacations on Maui), was on island and decided to join us. Even at 70 yrs old Wayne is an avid hiker and we thoroughly enjoyed his company. Wayne lives in New Jersey, somewhere near Joel's grandparents, so he and Joel bonded over that and we made plans to get together with him next time we're back in that area.

So anyway, Saturday morning Joel, Dean and I headed out with my Mom and Wayne and 2 of Wayne's friends to do some hiking. We ended up doing a lot more than we had originally planned - probably hiking for a total of about 4+ miles. Dean did awesome though - walking almost the entire time except for the very beginning of the first hike where it was extremely steep and right on a cliff edge so Joel carried him (for safety reasons) and a little at the very end when we (the grown-ups) were mostly just tired of the slow pace. I'm continually amazed at what a great little hiker Dean is at 4 yrs old. We're contemplating taking him on his first overnight trip into the crater next month, which would involve a little over 5 miles of hiking down switchbacks to get to the cabin inside the crater, camping overnight where it gets very cold (but inside a cabin), and then hiking back out UP those same 5 miles of switchbacks the next day. We'll see.

But anyway, our hiking adventures last weekend were super fun! We did 13 Crossings (one of our favorites with Dean) as well as another shorter hike that's a bit more strenuous below the highway near the same area (you park in the same spot). It was a beautiful day and I took TONS of pictures, so here ya go...

The first part of the trail (this is the one below the highway heading down a gulch towards the ocean) was the really steep part where Dean had to be carried. But once we got past that scary part, Dean was good and had so much fun! He found a bunch of moss to "pet", the trail followed a stream so he got to throw rocks into water and check out some pools and little waterfalls, he played "Tarzan" by swinging from a tree on a vine, he got to hide in a banyan tree, etc.
At the end of this trail (well, as far we went anyway) there is this big Banyan tree growing right on the edge of a rock face. Joel and Wayne (remember, 70 yrs old!) used the roots of the Banyan tree to climb down the rock face and check out a good sized waterfall and pool. You could keep going a ways, but because we had Dean with us, this is where we turned around and headed back to the road.
When we got back to the car, we decided since we were already in the area we might as well go ahead and do 13 Crossings too - it was a beautiful day and Dean was having a blast, so we went for it! There's so much cool stuff on the 13 Crossings hike - boulder hopping across the stream (13 times), the jungle, wild strawberries growing along the trail that Dean loved picking and eating, a bamboo forest, and lots of really cool trees to check out.
(Eating a wild strawberry)
And finally, at the end of the trail is a really cool waterfall. Dean wanted to swim in the waterfall SO bad, but he didn't have his swim trunks on. Next thing I knew, he was stripping down and headed into the pool naked! I figured what the hell - he's only got a few more years that he can get away with it, so why not? That water was COLD, but he would not be deterred - he was swimming in the waterfall with Wayne and the ladies! Fortunately, Joel was willing to get in with him (and was wearing swim trunks) because I certainly wasn't going in!!
Another kind of cool thing was when we finished the hike and got back to the road we ran into 3 people at the trailhead who were talking to us about some different hikes on Maui. They looked at Joel and Dean and I and were like "you look familiar. Do you guys have a blog?". It turns out they had done a Google search about hiking on Maui and our blog was one of the first on the list (meaning it gets a lot of hits) and they recognized us from our blog posts. So yeah, we're cool like that. {waving to random people who found us through Google}. So I'm sure Dean will one day love that I posted his bare ass on the internet for the whole world to see! ha!

No comments: