Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Road to Hana

It's hard to find a place in this house to see my screen without the reflection of palm trees and blue sky. Or me, because I'm all lit up with the sunshine. Lucky me.
I'm on Maui.
Not sorry.
When I'm not on Maui, I live frugally to be able to afford a cheap plane ticket here. While on Maui, I stay with a friend, work when I'm here, and can totally justify these excursions for lots of reasons. Here's one:
I write books that are set on Maui. I NEED to be here to put food on the table.
Yup, that's what I'll go with this week.

Yesterday was our day to drive to Hana, and if you've ever done that excursion, you know it's as gorgeous as it is twisty and challenging. Two of the three of us get car sick, so pills were taken for motion sickness, a picnic was packed, and off we went at 8:30 hoping to get ahead of the pack on the road. The stretch of narrow, twisty miles from Paia to Hana is well known to be a driving challenge. With 600 curves and over 50 one-car only bridges, it's slow going. I have not done the road for maybe 15 years but was eager to re-live the good times I've shared with Lynn on trips to Hana in the 80's and 90's. I knew the road would be busy. Maui is about 5 times busier than it was when I lived here. Maybe more.
We took it slow, bypassing all the waterfall pullouts and only stopped along the way for banana bread with chocolate chips and mac nuts once we got close to Hana. Without anyone in front or behind us on the road, it was a beautiful drive of stark jungle greenery and rain forest vegetation until reaching Waianapanapa Park where we hoped to swim off the black sand beach and walk through the caves. After a picnic of veggies, chicken, cheeses, avocado and banana bread, we found the caves closed due to falling rock and the black sand beach being pummeled with waves.

High surf advisory.
No matter. Continuing on to the town's business district (somewhat of a joke because the town is 5 buildings) we stopped at Hasegawa's General Store--a packed to the rafters landmark--to send postcards to our children back home. Miles later, at Oheo Gulch where I used to swim in the seven pools under the waterfalls, we discovered that they are closed to swimmers now. Flash floods, liability and all that. Luckily we didn't pay to enter (something new) because Lynn has a park pass.

Stuffing our disappointment way down deep, we walked the loop to see the now tired-looking, muddy pools, and reflected on how debilitatingly humid it was. We could hardly breathe. Even the dog was panting and voted to not hike.
At a roadside stand, we bought coconuts, had a hole machete'ed out, and with a bamboo straw, drank our cocowater.

Note: You cannot drive and drink from a coconut, especially on a bumpy road. You must stop the car and finish your drink, then continue on.
Driving the back side of Maui to Ulupalakua, was beautiful and without traffic.
Maui Winery looked like fun until we realized we couldn't wine taste with a dog, the driver couldn't wine taste (me-the most avid wine drinker) and we were more hungry than thirsty.

The car found the road through Kula, Kahului, Maaleaa, Lahaina, Kaanapali and home.
Back at the house, we baked a lasagna picked up at Costco and ate on the deck by candlelight, tired from being awake moon-viewing the night before.

Today is writing and working on my first lesson for Screenwriter University.

(As I type this, the tsunami warning is going off and I'm trying to explain to Cresty that it's the first of the month and that's normal.)

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