A special week has come to a close. Last week was spent hitting the trails on Maui with my active family visiting from the mainland.
After a couple of years of swimming for my main excersise, I have made a switch back to hiking and walking, and am very happy for it. So is my dog, Annie, as she loves running and sniffing and meeting other dogs on the trail.
Our first hike was one I call the Bushwhack Hike. This hike is challenging because it's an old fisherman's trail that is often overgrown and difficult to find. Without a machete or a sickle it's impossible to navigate when in the overgrown state. One needs to really remember the topography and landmarks when hiking this area. Someone has put a few markers on the trees recently and that helps when standing in deep brush. The trail finally opens up to a cliff requiring some careful maneuvering to get to the beach. This hike will whoop even the hardiest of hikers. We all survived, a bit scratched up, and I ended up carrying little Annie for a good portion as the underbrush was so thick and overgrown with vines. Floating in the pools at the ocean after all the work of getting there, is a wonderful reward.
After a day of beach time rest and recovery, we were ready for a Haleakala National Park hike. The young folks in my family took off for a little beach retreat while us older members laced up our boots and headed up the mountain. I did not have a full 11 mile crater hike in me, so we went for a stroll down switchbacks, Halemau'u trail at 8,000ft level . This really is an amazing hike that leads down to the Holua cabins. I would recommend good hiking shoes or boots as the rocks on the trail are uneven at best. It was mostly clear when we started, and then clouded up on the way back . It can get a bit damp because of the usual cloud cover. A rain jacket has come in handy here more than once. This trail is a mystical experience, native plants line the rocky path, and the vistas are definitely other worldly.
If you are not ready for a challenging hike, Haleakala National Park has many other options available. The trail walk at Hosmers Grove usually is dotted with birds for the bird watching folks. The top of Sliding Sands Trail will give you a magnificent view into the crater and walking a short ways down the trail still can be a bit challenging due to the altitude at the top. I happily share my knowledge and experience of Maui trails with my guests at Hale Ho'okipa Inn..
Maui offers many, many opportunities to enjoy nature on the trail, easy, or rugged. If I could hand everyone a script for a healthy, happy life, it would read :
" Walk Every Day that You Can"
Hope to see you Walking Maui, soon. With much Aloha,