Wednesday, February 29, 2012

All About the Journey: Road to Hana Part 5

First off, Happy Leap Day! It only comes around once every four years so enjoy it. An extra day! What will you do with it? I took a walk with Jackson the Wonder Dog and am researching enjoyable ways to make money. How 'bout that?

VW did not send the video--having technical difficulties. So we have that hilarious video to look forward to.

I would like to wrap up the Hana saga today with a free-for-all of photos and some final thoughts on the whole adventurous beauty-packed day on the Maui East Coast.

My obsession with trees was in full force on this day. Looking back, it's probably good that I broke my camera early because in the first hour of this journey, I had taken as many pictures as possible of every kind of leaf, bark, branch, vine, flower, piece of dirt, bird, bird egg, molecule, insect, insect egg, and tree I saw. I had definitely gone overboard. Sorting through those photos would have made me so frustrated. Using someone else's camera helped me to calm down a bit and actually enjoy the sites instead of trying to capture every little thing. I was like a nature paparazzi. 
Typical tree hugger picture. I am glowing I am so excited. 
I love the way the light illuminates the vine leaves like this. I think, but am not 100% positive , that this vine is called the Taro vine. Ancient beautiful tree.

Our first hike showed us this view. I thought the vegetation looked neat.  I was still in my photo overload mode.

Ahh! The first waterfall we saw. It is but just a speck from here but later we drove past it, and I was not able to react fast enough to get a good shot. But I got this one from up the mountain. That's good enough.

Driving along the coast. 

Oops, take it again. There's a little black sand beach. Better shot.

Take 1 of random pretty scenic driving. Water meets land, land meets water.

Take 2 of scenic coast shot. 

As a big plus, the radio had all kinds of good stations. It happened to be Bob Marley's birthday the day we rode the Hana Highway so one station filled us up with magical Marley reggae. I loved the Hawaiian station. That's the inside of the jeep that carried us to and fro. 

I would just get so excited and have to take a picture of what we were driving through randomly. I loved all the green. I couldn't get enough. I wanted to capture moments. 

Funky Dr. Seuss tree. This is my special tribute to Dr. Seuss.  

"Spin it like a helicopter!" More funky Dr. Seuss trees to the right. 

Funky Dr. Seuss trees holding hands, or branches. Siamese funky Dr. Seuss trees.  Funky Dr. Seuss trees joined at the hip. Funky Dr. Seuss trees joined together for eternity, or at least a few thousand years. 

Loco for the coco. We stopped for coconut ice cream, and I cried it was so good. It was vegan ice cream because it was made with real coconuts. And it was so good. Look how resourceful they were to use the pieces of the coconut as spoon. Although as greedy as I am, I thought I lost some ice cream in the wood there. It was so fine. 

Coconut Glen's sign. Happy little place with some great people.

Taking it all in. Enjoying the beauty. 

These last pics were taken on my Blackberry because I ran out of room on W's phone. That is some little deserted island with one palm tree on it. One little lone palm tree. I though that was peculiar. 

The black beach we thought was really neat. We want to try this beach out at some point. We were running out of time and getting hungry at this point. 

The Banyan Tree. The massive, hugely gigantic, ancient Banyan Tree we encountered on the way up the mountain to the big-time waterfall that acted as the grand finale. This was our last hike, but not our last adventure. 

As we finally ended our last trail of the day around 5:30 pm, we crawled up, panting and sweating and hungry and tired, and were immediately rejuvenated by this sight. I never got the exact number of how tall it is, and it does not rank in world records, but it was the biggest one we saw all day. And we saw a lot. After all we had seen beforehand, we prayed for a major climax. Ask and you shall receive. We got up under this waterfall, to drink and bathe and feel the cold. Lots of mist and cold water I didn't even hardly notice at the bottom of this. It was gorgeous, seriously breath-taking. We looked up to watch the waterfall come down above us. The 5-mile was worth it. Look at that beautiful rock too. 

To close it up, before my cell phone lost power, I took this of the setting sun as we drove toward the west along the coast back to our part of the island. I'm surprised I stopped to take a pic because I remember my back hurting because I was so worried about not being able to get home. You see, there were no other cars on this side of Hana, and the land we rode through was windy and deserted. This part of Maui was the last eruption of Haleakala so there was only one tiny town with no gas station or anything. Anyway, part of the road was not paved and much of it was extremely narrow around cliffs that hung over the Pacific. And I was driving. And for the first time all day, I was fearing for my safety.
But we made it! And got all those great pics with just our phones! I know I won't get any Scholastic awards, but I am pretty proud. And we survived. 

You can guess what I'm about to say, the goody tag line of the day, the little piece of cheese. The Road to Hana is not about getting to Hana. Hana is a cool little town, and we hope to stay there someday, but the attraction is the road trip. If I could take this wisdom of enjoying the ride with me every day, I would be an unabashedly joyful, present lady. 

I forget this every day. I think it's the most important lesson of life: Don't spend all your time trying to get somewhere as fast as you can. By all means, go somewhere. But every step you take is meant to be enjoyed. In short, it's all about the journey. One day, certainly, you will look back and know this without a doubt. 

Liza Jane

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