Along the 64-mile stretch of road connecting Kahului to Hana in Maui there are about 620 hairpin turns, and they say you get waterfall fatigue from looking at so many beautiful waterfalls as you travel (unless you’re too motion-sick to notice). However, the gorgeous waterfalls flowing down from the lush, tropical mountain sides are only the beginning of wonders. After several hours of selecting my favorite photos, it occurs to me that I have more than could fit in 4 posts. Have you ever wondered why I spend so much time sharing pictures? Well, it’s because I am totally enthralled with the beauty God has created around the world, and because I often have the opportunity to visit unusual places. Therefore, I’m eager to share with others as a way of giving back a little of what I’ve received. Truly, Earth is a masterpiece expressing God’s creativity and glory, and I want others, who might not have similar opportunities, to be able to enter into the same wonder and awe that I feel. (Lava tube cave opening to ocean) Also, what I’ve experienced (standing over the top of a gushing waterfall) sometimes introduces possibilities for people who are researching on a particular area, such as one of my girl friends, who today or tomorrow will likely be traversing the Heavenly Hana Highway! To really stop, hike, and look at all the gorgeous sights would take days, and we just had one, so we started as the sun was rising behind Mt. Haleakala and returned as the sun was setting over the West Maui Mountains. I wanted to make a circle tour, going all the way around the backside of Haleakala, but Alan preferred another 3+ hours of road rally along the coastal highway, and (as we say in our family) “you can’t lose”… because on the return trip your eyes are more naturally drawn to coastal vistas, capturing different artistic impressions of the valleys filled with gorgeous Royal Poinciana flowering trees and roads overhung with trailing vines. Before I finish, I want to give you a few tips before you go..or need to go. Fresh water and restrooms are hard to come by, so if you see one, use one! On to dining: for breakfast, Aunty Sandy sells so much banana bread that it’s always warm and incredibly wonderful. You have to take a short side trip down to the coast out onto the Ke’anae Peninsula, but it’s near the beginning (mile marker 15-16) & well worth the stop. The Nahiku Market Place sells awesome fish tacos for lunch, and they’re famous for their Kalua pig sandwiches (which is an island specialty). If you want an afternoon pick-me-up, Coconut Glen’s serves some killer ice creams made from coconut milk. I’ve heard the banana fudge is to die for, but our macadamia nut, lillikoi iced coconut milk was pretty much to die for too! By the time you’ve visited the Seven Sacred Pools and are ready to go home, Brudda Hutts BBQ near Hana makes a good place to refuel. Speaking of fuel, prices are high and gas stations non-existent along the road, so make sure you gas up before you leave! Finally, a few places not to miss, like the volcanic black sands at Pia’loa. Beach, or the Wailua Valley Wayside just before mile marker 19 (you’ll go by before you see it if you’re not looking, because it’s just after a sharp turn). It’s well worth the climb to look out at the mountains surrounding Ko’olau Gap and down to the taro fields stretching out toward the great Pacific Ocean. At mile marker 23 is a 140-foot lava tube cave that’s totally unmarked but fun. If you bring a flashlight and take a few minutes to walk through, it will lead you to an exit beneath an ethereal tangle of banyan tree roots. At Waikani Falls, take the ladder at the southwest side of the bridge and go down for a short tropical hike and some truly spectacular views of the falls! Lastly, on your way home, save a little time to stop at Ho’okipa Beach Park to watch the incredible waves pounding the North Shore while agile surfers ride the waves.
So, that’s the best of what little I know about the highway to “Heavenly Hana,” which isn’t much! I used Andrew Doughty’s book, Maui Revealed as a guide, read it cover to cover in preparation for our trip, and referred to it constantly as we traveled, reading historical tidbits and gleaning from Andy’s many years of experience living in the Hawaiian Islands to maximize our experience. I do the same with the Bible as I travel along the road of life toward the heavenly city, the “New Jerusalem,” reading it cover-to-cover and referring to it constantly as I try to navigate my way. I hope you’ve enjoyed this vicarious adventure with me to Hana, and I hope you’re also engaged in your own journey to heaven, studying the words of Jesus, who has been a resident of heaven from eternity past and can tell us everything we need to know about how to get there and what we need to do in order to maximize our experience along the way!
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).”