Upcountry Maui Fun

Aloha,


My grandson, Aukai, is visiting from the Big Island and we are having a great weekend exploring Maui. I try to get out and about often, but there is nothing like having family and friends here to really get my Exploring Energy fired up.

I have been meaning to get up to check out the new (three years old now in the new location!) Thompson Ranch, for some horseback riding. Yesterday was a bit chilly with lots of cool mountain mist rolling down the slopes of Haleakala, so we bundled up for our ride. Aukai rode Rascal, he was the lead horse after our guide. I rode Commander. Commander was a beautiful painted female, and somehow, her name did not fit for me.

We tackled the mountain slope, quite a climb up to 5,000 ft. Andy Thompson was our guide, and she was a pleasure to spend time with. The ranch is 1,400 acres of sloping Haleakala flanks boarding on the PoliPoli forest. I love this area of Maui so much. The neighborhood drive up to the ranch is a delight in flowering hedges and old stone walls surrounding emerald green pastures.


After our ride we stopped by the Ali'i Kula Lavender farm.

This lovely 10 acres estate, offers a serene setting for drinking in the vistas while strolling through exciting and well cared for gardens. We wandered on the "Peaceful Path" sipping our delicious lavender tea. Actually, I wandered, lagging behind while my grandson made double time on the trails. This family farm is well run, and a special treat to visit, offering beneficial lavender products, creams and lotions and food products to purchase. Aukai picked out a couple of great gifts for his family.


Our day was great, topped off by a visit to the skate park in Wailuku and ono pizza at Flatbread in Paia.

Wow, some fun! and we are still going. We plan to go the Maui Arts and Cultural Center this evening for a fantastic Ukulele fest with the famed Jake Shimubukuru.....yahoo!


Come visit Maui, and I will give you some great tips on special ways to spend your time.


Aloha for now, see you soon..

Cherie

4th of July

Hawaiian Women Dancers


Aloha Folks!

The 4th of July is almost here. Makawao is always the place to be on the 4th.

Our Hawaiian rodeo starts on Friday afternoon, and continues throughout the weekend.

Hawaiian Rodeo Baby!I often have rodeo contestants stay at the b&b for this holiday. Paniolo come from off island and the mainland to test their skills and try their luck.

The greatest Hawaiian-style parade, you have ever had the pleasure of seeing, starts Sat morning at 9 a.m. Parade festivities being with a stick-horse race up Baldwin Ave, for the keiki.

Seeing the horses with their beautiful lei and braided manes and tails prancing down the street is a highlight!

Girls riding horseback in Fourth of July Parade in Makawao, upcountry Maui HawaiiThe regal pa'u riders are always my favorite. Women of Old Hawaii preferred riding their mounts astride rather than side saddle. They wore long skirts (pa'u), crowned with beautiful flowers.

Everybody enjoys seeing these striking women ride into town.

pa'u riders Hawaiian women on horseback in Maui paradeAnother big crowd-pleaser is the Maui Isle Pipe Band. The soulful bagpipes can be heard from a few blocks away, and I always look forward to them.

The strong Celtic-Hawaiian connection is evident in the handsome kilted bagpipers.

I can do without all the smiley waving politicians riding in convertibles, however. They do as much for me as the smelly and loud semi trucks that dominate the end of the parade.

When they show up, I start the walk home.

Hawaiian Bagpipers in Maui paradeAll in all, the 4th is a good time, and I am looking forward to it. So, come on upcountry and have yourself a great weekend.

I am posting a few nice photos of previous parades. Enjoy.

Be sure to stop into the Viewpoints Gallery in Makawao to see all the amazing art from "Painting a Volcano from Crater to Coast." The show opens on the 4th of July after the Makawao "Quick Draw."

Aloha...see you upcountry!

Cherie

Horseback riding in Hana Hawaii

Cherie and her son Rocket at the Waikamoi Falls near Hana, Maui, Hawaii
Aloha,

My son, Rocket and I had a great time together while he was home recently. We drove out the "back side" of the island to Hana. This is one of my favorite drives on Maui. The Kaupo Gap at sunset is breathtaking. Gazing at the deep crevices and shadows of the Haleakala slopes is something I could do for hours. I want to bring my watercolors and camera out to this amazing scenery and spend the day watching the shadows grow.

Our destination was Maui Stables in the lush area of Kipahulu Valley. We arrived at the stable on a sunny morning knowing full well it could be raining within the hour. The weather changes in Hana throughout the day. You can see the squalls coming in off the ocean.Hana Maui Hawaii horseback riding guide Keoni

Our guide, Keoni, was the best guide on any organized adventure I have ever experienced. He was a delight in his cultural pride, commitment and dedication. Keoni shared many of his stories from small kid days growing up in Hana. He began our ride with a chant, and shared another chant with us when we arrived at the overlook of the waterfall. He knows many plants and their traditional medicinal uses. He was entertaining and sincere, and I really enjoyed "talking story" with Keoni.

Keoni explained that the correct pronunciation for Hana is to put more emphasis on the first Ha....this translation means "alert." The people of Hana in ancient times had to remain alert against warring neighbors from the Big Island.Horseback riding in Hawaii with Maui Stables in Hana

The horses of Maui Stables were beautiful and in excellent condition. They seemed sure footed on the trail up to the waterfall overlook. Even though I don't spend much time around horses, I do enjoy a great ride now and then, and this really was a fantastic experience for my son and I. Look these folks up while on Maui, you'll be glad you did!

Mahalo Maui Stables, we had a blast!

Aloha for now,
Cherie

Hawaiian Paniolo Maui Team Roping Championship


Aloha y'all,

Last week I had guests from Australia who were here for the US Team Roping Championship. Darby McMartin placed third in the section 8 team roping event. Check out his beautiful new buckle, a cowboy's pride. Interestingly enough, they told me that wearing these beautiful buckles is not that well accepted in Australia.

The event took place at Piiholo Ranch. The McMartins were the only participants from Australia. This was a qualifying event for the big bucks "Shoot Out" in Oklahoma next year.

I am not a cowgirl, nor have I ever been into horses. I enjoy a great horseback ride, but have to admit, that the closest I have been to the rodeo is the wonderful 4th of July parade. I really enjoy seeing the horses and riders all decked out in their beautiful leis and finest clothes. The horses are so well groomed, and the colorful riders show obvious pride. It is an awesome site.

This week I learned about the roping event from the McMartins. I was told that roping cattle is how they catch the cattle to inoculate them, treat them for different ailments or to "pull a calf." So, it is important to be able to do it well.

Besides the mainland cowboys, many local paniolos also participated in the event. Darby roped with two local partners, one from Kauai, and another paniolo from the Big Island.

The Hawaiian Paniolo has a colorful past, and still stands out while working or playing hard today. Many of the paniolo traditions , such as rope making, horse training, shoeing, feather lei making, lauhala weaving, and saddle making continue on.

In 1793, 5 longhorn cattle were gifted to King Kamehameha by Captain Vancouver. The king placed a "kapu" (keep out, hands off, etc.) so the Hawaiians left the cattle alone to flourish.

By 1819, the cattle population had exploded. Kamehameha III sent a high chief to California, which was still part of Mexico at that time, to invite Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) to come to Hawaii.

Paniola came from the word Espanola for the Mexican cowboys who came and taught the Hawaiians how to ride horses and rope the "pipi" (cattle)....this word later evolved to paniolo.

The paniolos carry a deep love and respect for their beloved Hawaii. Hawaiian cowboys also have a rich history of hard work on the rugged slopes and open plains of our islands.

In the last couple of years, some wonderful pictorial stories and photo journals have been published on the Hawaiian Paniolo.

Makawao is the place to be during rodeo time, so make your plans for next year's 4 of July celebration.

A hui ho, until the next time...

Cherie