Day 45 – Soaring in a Glider Plane

What a great day!


If unable to view video, click HERE.

I AM POSTING A 2nd VERSION OF MY VIDEO – EMI HAS BLOCKED VIEWING OF THE ABOVE VERSION IN OVER 200 COUNTRIES (due to my song selection). IF YOU CANNOT VIEW THE ABOVE VIDEO, CLICK ON THE ONE BELOW – Same song, different singer – Mahalo

If unable to view 2nd video, click HERE.

Wray with Hans Pieters - Skyview Soaring Hana

Wray with Hans Pieters – Skyview Soaring Hana

Steven’s lovely daughter, Kelle, gifted us the experience of gliding over Hana, via, Skyview Soaring with Hans Pieters.

We’ve been waiting for a sunny day and one finally appeared, so we jumped at the opportunity and called Hans; he had an opening so we trucked out to Hana before the weather changed.

What a great way to appreciate Hana and the island of Maui; the flight was smooth, Hans is very personable, which is a plus, since you are together in close quarters.

This is the Wai'anapanapa Coastal Trail that Rayne and I hiked on back in April.

This is the Wai’anapanapa Coastal Trail that Rayne and I hiked on back in April.

 

I especially loved it once the motor was turned off and we were gliding in the air like a bird 🙂

RedBch

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time I saw Red Sand Beach, which I’ll be going to with our friends from Germany this August.

Apparently there are two ways to get to the beach, climbing down the cliffs or by kayak; I’ll be scaling the cliffs 🙁

 

Great seeing Seven Sacred Pools from above…great seeing everything from above.

Two of the pools at Seven Sacred Pools.

Two of the pools at Seven Sacred Pools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When driving around the backside of the island, I’ve always found the lay of the land and terrain change interesting, but to see it from the air was spectacular.

Leaving Hana, heading to Kaupo; the island of Kahoolawe is in the distance.

Leaving Hana, heading to Kaupo; the island of Kahoolawe is in the distance.

Wall of clouds rapidly moving towards Kaupo.

Wall of clouds rapidly moving towards Kaupo.

The one and only negative of the flight was that as Hans and I were soaring above Kaupo, which is further east of Hana, the next storm was swiftly making its way to Maui, so Steven’s flight had to be postponed for another day.

I know he’s going to love it too!

 

 

 

To contact Hans, you can click HERE to get to his website, or if you are heading out to Hana, while on   the hwy, right after you see the sign to the Lava Tube, the next corner on your left you will see the Glider sign. Turn onto that road and follow it down to the Hana Airport, you can’t miss it! If it’s a last minute decision, don’t hesitate to give Hans a call (ph 808.248.7070), you never know, he may have an opening.

Hans Pieters, Skyview Soaring...what a job :)

Hans Pieters, Skyview Soaring…what a job 🙂

 

What an incredible experience!

Thank you to Hans, & THANK YOU KELLE!!! 

 

 

 

Click for more info about the Pi’ilanihale Heiau 

Pi`ilanihale Heiau - the largest ancient temple in the Hawaiian Islands

Pi`ilanihale Heiau – the largest ancient temple in the Hawaiian Islands

Since my “fun” days are numbered (7 left), and it’s still pretty rainy on this side of the island, I may have to surrender to going on a slip-sliding hike in the mud next week.

Don’t worry, if you are thinking about visiting Maui, don’t be scared off by all of our wet weather, there is plenty of sun on the southern and western shores. And I’m sure that any day now, summer will arrive to Haiku 🙂

By the way, if you are heading over to the Big Island of Hawaii, check out VOLCANO GARDEN ARTS, owned by artist Ira Ono. You’ll find a great selection of art, a veggie restaurant, even rental cottages…and if you’re thinking of purchasing a business in Hawaii, Volcano Garden Arts is for sale. Check it out, it really is a great spot to visit.

Aloha ~ Wray

Day 44 – An unexpected game of miniature golf

Our side of the island is still pretty wet, so once again we put off plans to hike in the bamboo forest. Instead we had grand intentions of hiking the service trail on the front side of Haleakala Crater. We were all set with hiking boots, hats, snacks, etc and set off for our fun filled day, but as we approached Makawao we saw that the crater was socked in with clouds.

We opted to hike on a day when we wouldn't be in the clouds

We opted to hike on a day when we wouldn’t be in the clouds

Hopeful, we headed up to La Provence Restaurant in Kula, thinking the clouds might burn off while we had a bite to eat, but no luck.

Looking out towards the west and east coasts of Maui, which were sunny, we decided to drive over to Ma’alaea Bay and play miniature golf.

Maui Golf & Sports Park

Maui Golf & Sports Park

 

Now I have to tell you, I golf…miniature or otherwise, as well as I bowl, which means I’d probably do better if I were blindfolded.

In spite of the fact that I truly love bowling and mini golf, the last time I’d done either was over 5 years ago, which doesn’t help to improve my skills. (I use the word skills loosely.)

But actually, my pathetic abilities are exactly what make it so much fun.

HOLE-IN-ONE - Whoopee Unfortunately I was dressed for the crater which is 10,000' in elevation. Shorts would have been nice for down here at sea level.

HOLE-IN-ONE – Whoopee
Unfortunately I was dressed for the crater which is 10,000′ in elevation. Shorts would have been nice for down here at sea level.

 

To say the least we laughed a lot. As you can see from the photos (I opted not to have Steven video my stylish techniques), I did have a, hole-in-one. (I must have had my eyes closed.)

But the majority of my shots didn’t even stay on the green. Guess I’m a bit heavy handed.

ball

 

 

 

Fortunately we were oblivious to any “rules” to the game, so Steven only beat me by two points.

 

 

 

steve

 

 

Afterwards we went and saw the animated movie Brave. Mini golf & an animated movie; I call it our “tween” day.  

 

 

If you’re thinking of seeing the movie Brave, it was good but not great. Steven didn’t fall asleep, which is always a good sign, but you may want to wait and see it on DVD.

Two of the parks lovely helpers, Alyssa & Kira.

Two of the parks lovely helpers, Alyssa & Kira.

 

If you’re on island, I recommend you have a go at miniature golf. We really did have a good time.

The Maui Golf & Sports Park is located in Ma’alaea, by the Maui Ocean Center; for more info, click on their website.

 

 

Rock Climbing - think I'll try it next time.

Rock Climbing – think I’ll try it next time.

 

They also have Rock Climbing, Bumper Boats, and X-Treme Trampoline.

 

OH – a little follow up from last week. Good news, Kim at Maui Computer Care was able to retrieve all of the 9,000+ photos of Steven’s art that had vanished from my computer last week. Though apparently the ones of us snorkeling have vaporized forever.

 

 

Bumper Boats

Bumper Boats

 

8 days/weeks of fun left 🙂  More hiking is high on my list, as well as soaring in the sky.

Until next week – have fun!

Day 43 – La Perouse, Maui ~ Snorkeling

 

Snorkelers by Steven Lee Smeltzer

Like the heading on this post implies, we went snorkeling—but today appears to just be one of those days. I uploaded my blog photos onto my desktop computer and seconds later the system crashed. It is now at Maui Computer Care and my fingers, legs, and toes are crossed…I’m considering braiding my hair too, hoping that Kim will be able to save my all of our photos (especially of Steven’s art) in iphotos.

Maybe it’s due to the recent solar sun storms. Maybe it’s due to the upcoming Malware virus — in spite of the fact that I have a Mac, not a PC, and that the virus isn’t supposed to hit until Monday. Click HERE for a Malware article.

In lieu of photos of us snorkeling, I’ve opted to post a video I took of our friend Robert. I recorded it back in Sept 2011, when he and his family were visiting, and I was first starting on my yearlong journey of learning to have fun.

Click HERE if unable to view video.

The photos, as well as the video I have posted have nothing to do with this week’s day of “fun”, but they are some of the few items I had saved on my laptop.

Photo taken of me last Sept at Baldwin Beach

 

Though I have no photos to prove it, the other day, Steven and I headed over to the south side of the island early in the morning to go snorkeling at La Perouse Bay.

It has been quite some time since I’ve/we’ve gone snorkeling and it was a blast. Felt good to be in the ocean and there was a decent amount of fish to see…and be seen by. Didn’t spot any dolphins, so we may try our luck on another day.

 

 

A heads up for those of you that have never been to La Perouse; the road is narrow, there are no lifeguards, or toilets, and the shoreline is rocky. The place can get fairly crowded, especially on a nice day.

Snorkelers by Steven Lee Smeltzer

Couldn’t find any great sites about it to pass-on, but HERE is one, so you can see a few photos (& a map) of the area—since I haven’t any to share with you.

All for now. Hopefully I’ll have my desktop computer back before it’s time to blog next week. Meantime, if you have a PC you may want to read the above article on the Malware virus.

Have a great week!

 

 

 

Day 42 – Hana Caves

I did it! I finally went into a cave.

(If unable to view video, click HERE.)

I can hear you now, moaning about what a wimp I am.

Steven is a natural born cave dweller. How could he not be, he makes his living playing with clay.

And away I go...

And away I go…

I, on the other hand, am not. I stare up at the sky and think about stories to write.

Love this sign - but I think there should be one on the ground too, since that's where you are shining your light :)

Love this sign – but I think there should be one on the ground too, since that’s where you are shining your light 🙂

Climbing down into a cave is not something I’ve ever looked forward to doing, and I can’t guarantee that I’ll ever do it again.

But since Steven loves caves, and our “fun days” are for him too, I willing jumped at the opportunity :).

Our first stop was the HANA LAVA TUBE. The place is easy to find, there is a sign on Hana Hwy. Once you get there you connect with Jess to pay and get your flashlights. Since it’s nearly impossible to get good photos in a dark cave, you may want to check out their site for decent pictures.

Never thought something would be growing down there!

Never thought something would be growing down there!

I was told if ever I was going to go into a cave, the Hana Lava Tube was a great way to start…I guess it’s a beginners cave.

Fortunately they have recently added hand-railings, which helps you to remember you aren’t heading into a world of no return. And flashlights so you can find your way out and to read the plaques explaining what you can only see if you shine the flashlight on it.

Caroline & Terrie - under hole leading to surface, about 3/4's of the way into the cave

Caroline & Terrie – under hole leading to surface, about 3/4’s of the way into the cave

 

 

 

We did meet Caroline & Terri down in the cave, and while connecting with them I forgot about the fact that I was heading about a quarter mile into the earth.

Then some very young kids came frolicking along. Obviously, they’d been in a cave before, they weren’t the least bit afraid of having it come crashing down on them.

Steven said that I squealed, “RAPPELLING,” like Minnie Mouse on helium, when I read the sign that described the cave worms (see photo) that hang from the ceiling, stretching down 20 inches.

Rappel Planarian Flat Worms. They don't look so creepy on the ground. But I'm glad I didn't see any hanging from the ceiling

Rappel Planarian Flat Worms. They don’t look so creepy on the ground. But I’m glad I didn’t see any hanging from the ceiling

 

NOTE:  He also said he’s never heard me do that before. I just want to clarify that I am not normally a squealer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double click on the photo to read the write-up.

Double click on the photo to read the write-up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Hana Lava Tubes, we drove 5 minutes to the Wai’anapanapa State Park to check out the caves there.

The water was pretty funky at the first set of caves we came to.

The water was pretty funky at the first set of caves we came to.

 

Now these caves were a breeze; you never actually climb down into a dark hole in the earth; you can see the sky the entire time.

 

 

 

 

They are carved into the rock, and if you want to get back into the actual cave area you have to jump into the pools and swim under an over hang. We considered it, but a boy that jumped into the water said it was freezing….Steven and I declined. Maybe another time.

As you can see, at this one, the water was crystal clear.

As you can see, at this one, the water was crystal clear.

 

If you are a die-hard spelunker, you may want to pass on both of these Hana cave sites. But, if you are a cave wimp like me, you should check them out next time you are in Hana.

I have to admit, we had fun!

Please, when driving to Hana, pull to the side and let cars pass if you are poking along. Mahalo

Please, when driving to Hana, pull to the side and let cars pass if you are poking along. Mahalo

 

DAY 41 – Hiking in Haiku

Happy Summer Solstice!

We were planning on going to the Father’s Day Classic Car show, but it was canceled this year. Then we were going to hike in the bamboo forest, but when we first headed-out the weather appeared to be threatening rain any minute and the winds were strong, so we opted to drive 6 minutes from our house and trespass onto private property and go for a hike. (Yeah, I know…not cool, but no one lives there.) Apparently Steven has dreamed of purchasing this land for sometime and wanted to check it out.

View heading up the hill we were hiking.

View heading up the hill we were hiking.

Starting from the gate, which is on Hana Hwy, the road goes up and up and up, starting at the 50-foot elevation, to about 800 feet. There are spots where you have great views of the ocean as well as Haleakala; but due to the high cloud cover, the sky and sea look pretty gray on the video. On our way back down the hill, the skies began to clear.

 

Round trip it took us 2.5 hours. Just the right amount of moving around for an otherwise lazy day. Yes, we had a lazy day! Now this is truly a miracle, and the prefect Father’s Day gift for Steven…and I got to enjoy the rest of the lackadaisical day too …yeah!

Hala Trees - a.k.a. Tourist Pineapple Trees (pineapples don't grow in trees) - a.k.a. Dr. Seuss Trees  - to learn more about these trees, click HERE

Hala Trees – a.k.a. Tourist Pineapple Trees (pineapples don’t grow in trees) – a.k.a. Dr. Seuss Trees – to learn more about these trees, click HERE

Afterwards we were planning on going to see the movie Men In Black, but I didn’t have the heart to wake Steven from his well deserved nap. Maybe on another day.

As far as Steven’s dream of someday purchasing the land. I really don’t think I’m ready to own 100 acres. After hiking it, I don’t think he is either.

To learn more about the Hala Tree, click on this link – HALA TREE INFO

Day 40 – Beach Day – long overdue

After two weeks of too much eating, I finally got moving, and as our parrot would say, OOU-EEE!

What a great day! Steven and I went to D.T. Fleming Beach over by the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua. In 2006 it was listed as one of the best beaches in America.

Steve took me there about 24 years ago, at the time we had a blast and he said he’d bring me back. And true to his word he did…. it just took him two decades. Well, better late than not at all!

D.T. Fleming Beach - Molokai Island in the distance.

D.T. Fleming Beach – Molokai Island in the distance.

 

I’m positive it won’t take us that long to return. To be fair to Steven, I rarely suggested it, and Fleming’s Beach is an hour from our house; taking the time has never fit into our creative flow. (And besides, there are great beaches 15 mins from our house that I rarely go to.)

 

 

 

Yulia, Wray & Dan. The view from the I'O Restaurant.

Yulia, Wray & Dan. The view from the I’O Restaurant.

But this week we had extra inspiration; along with needing to do some deliveries, our friends Yulia and Dan Merriam were still in town, so we met up with them for dinner at I’O Restaurant… yes, I did eat too much again. But at least I also got some exercise.

 

 

 

The I’O Restaurant is pricey, though it has an excellent and tasty selection of veggie and carnivore dishes. We sat on the patio with a lovely view of the sunset.

Steven & Dan

Steven & Dan

 

 

 

Me at Fleming's Beach

Me at Fleming’s Beach

 

Being in the ocean cleanses my mind and my spirit. It was a great way to prepare for another busy few months.

And, we will go back!

Just a little reminder, this Sunday is Father’s Day.

 

Aloha, Wray

Day 39 – Artist Gathering

Our lovely friends Yulia and Dan Merriam are visiting us from California this week. Dan is an amazing artist and I highly recommend that you go to his web site! Click HERE now.

Check out this box of candy that Yulia and Dan brought to us, from Chocolatier BLUE in Berkeley, California. Really, they are just too beautiful to eat.

Check out this box of candy that Yulia and Dan brought to us, from Chocolatier BLUE in Berkeley, California. Really, they are just too beautiful to eat.

Jan Kasprzycki - Wendy Hudson - Daniel Merriam

Jan Kasprzycki – Wendy Hudson – Daniel Merriam

Back when Yulia and Dan lived on Maui, several times a year we’d have artist gatherings, so this week a few of us met up. I realize everyone reading this may not be into art as much as we are, but if you have a moment you may enjoy checking out the different websites. They are all accomplished artists in their different mediums.

Again, here is Dan’s site, http://www.danielmerriam.com/

Le Petit Trianon                        by Daniel Merriam

Unfortunately, Jan’s beautiful wife, Kathy, was out of town this week. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve seen her photo posted on several of my hikes.                         Jan Kasprzycki’s site, http://www.kasprzycki.com/

 

 

 

One of Jan's paintings, in process, at his studio.

One of Jan’s paintings, in process, at his studio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan's painting completed.

Jan’s painting completed.

 

 

 

Tom Faught was on the mainland, but his wife Wendy Hudson was at the gathering.

Unknown-1

Tom Fought with one of his vessels

Dario Campanile & Yulia Merriam

Dario Campanile & Yulia Merriam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dario Campanile’s site, http://campanilefineart.com/

Dario Campanile Iris Viola

Iris Viola, by Dario Campanile

 

Walter Bissett & Bernard Tristan Foong

Walter Bissett & Bernard Tristan Foong

 

Bernard Foong is a fashion designer and is currently         writing his memoirs; http://bernardfoong.com

 

 

 

Ingling, by Steven Lee Smeltzer

Ingling, by Steven Lee Smeltzer

 

And of course my favorite artist, Steven Lee Smeltzer www.stevenleesmeltzer.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so last week I went to the production of ‘Ulalena and then dined at Mala Ocean Tavern, and now this week I ate my way through an evening of good food while visiting with friends at our house; I am ready for some exercise this coming week!!!!

Ready for the gathering

Ready for the gathering

 Less food – More play – I’ll do my best!

Day 38 – ‘Ulalena, Maui’s version of Cirque Du Soleil

‘Ulalena – A Story of Hawai’i’s People

As you can tell by the quality of this video, I did not create it; I merely uploaded it via YouTube. It was originally uploaded to YouTube by ‘Ulalena Theater on March 2, 2009. For more info about the show click HERE.

This week my friend Theresa invited me to the show ‘Ulalena. Since its opening in 1999, this was the 5th time I attended the show, and as before, I enjoyed it; though five times is probably enough.

For me, it is an hour and a half, Cirque Du Soleil style, history lesson of Maui. I highly recommend that you read the brochure before the show starts, or you may feel a bit lost. Reading it will give you a better understanding of the shows interpretation of Hawaiian lore.

I realize the tickets are pricey (Theresa & my tickets were comped), so take that into consideration before jumping into my recommendation. No, it is not on par with a Broadway show; it is not a full on Cirque Du Soleil production (only 2 acts feature aerial acrobats), but it is an enchanting and entertaining way to learn about Hawaiian history and mythology.

It was a fun evening…girls night out in Lahaina. Headed over to Mala Ocean Tavern for a bite to eat afterwards. Excellent food – veggie and carnivore friendly. We ate inside and it was pretty noisy; out on the deck would have been nicer (next time).

As for my lessons in “learning to have fun”, I have 14 days/weeks left to go. Still looking forward to hiking to the Honomanu waterfall, flying in a glider plane, and a full moon crater hike. I appreciate this beautiful island more and more each week. Wherever you live, I hope this blog has inspired you to take the time to enjoy your surroundings. For me, a lot of my inspiration comes via my cousin Lou Ann, and her significant other, Steve; through their example, I have remained enthusiastic about my journey, and I’d like to thank them for that.

Have a great day, Wray

 

Day 37 – Bicycling the Paia-Kanaha Bike Trail

To me bicycling is like skiing, but without the uncomfortable boots.

If you cannot view the video, click HERE

Maui Cyclery - where we rented our bikes - Mahalo to Donnie Arnoult

Maui Cyclery – where we rented our bikes – Mahalo to Donnie Arnoult

WHAT A FUN DAY! It was great to be on a bike again. Last time Steven and I rode was in 2002 when we were working on a project in Florida; learned that Florida is way to hot for cycling.

But here on Maui, not only was this a beautiful and sunny day, the trade winds, which give Maui the title Wind Surfing Capital of the World, were down to a gentle breeze; so we weren’t bucking the headwinds.

Jessie at Maui Cyclery, setting Steven up with a bike.

Jessie at Maui Cyclery, setting Steven up with a bike.

We started in Paia, at Donnie Arnoult’s shop, Maui Cyclery. It made more since for us to rent bikes, than to take the time and have ours repaired due to lack of use.

The Northshore Greenway, what I refer to as the Paia-Kanaha Bike Trail, is a lovely fourteen mile round-trip ride for novices (at least when the trade winds aren’t happening, otherwise the ride back can be challenging), because it is flat and there is only a short stretch of about a quarter of a mile where you are on the highway; after that you can cut through the subdivision along the golf course until you hook back up on the actual trail. Parts of the trail are in the shade, but the majority of it is in the sun, so wear sun block.

The first part of the trail takes you to Baldwin Beach, which is always stunning! Then you get a rather uninspiring view of the backside of the Maui Airport.

Back of Maui Airport

Back of Maui Airport

 

After a smooth 30+- minutes of riding you’ll end up at Kanaha Beach Park, which is known for windsurfing and kite sailing. But today, since the winds were calm, none were to be found.

 

Lae`Ula O Kai Canoe Club - Kanaha Beach

Lae`Ula O Kai Canoe Club – Kanaha Beach

 

Instead, the Lae`ula O Kai Canoe Club was having a fund raising regatta.

 

 

 

Bumped into my friend Holly - she is a member of the canoe club

Bumped into my friend Holly – she is a member of the canoe club

 

Kanaha Beach is very family friendly with windsurfing, kite sailing, canoeing, and volleyball. It is also a short bike ride, about 2 miles from there to Kahului; if you want to make a quick stop at Alive N Well, Down to Earth, or Whole Foods, for a snack…yes, there are junk food restaurants too, but I just can’t get myself to mention their names.

 

 

So, bicycling is high on my list of fun things to do! It was a great way to spend the morning. By the end of the ride we were both invigorated and enthusiastic about going out again.

Kahana Beach & West Maui Mountains

Kahana Beach & West Maui Mountains

Please remember to LIKE me. Mahalo.

Day 36 – Makawao Forest Reserve


Click HERE if unable to view video.

Mark & Rayne

Mark & Rayne

Had been planning on hiking through the bamboo forest to several waterfalls, but the weather wasn’t cooperating, so we followed the sun upcountry to the Makawao Forest Reserve to hike the Kahakapao West Loop Trail (approx 6 miles), with our friends Rayne & Mark.

 

 

Trails are very well marked

Trails are very well marked

This is the first time I’ve ever hiked in the reserve; though, last fall, this is where I went horseback riding– on the East Loop, with my friend Karin.arrowCU

 

 

 

 

It’s a beautiful place to hike; a slow steady climb up; Eucalyptus, Tropical Ash and Cook Pine trees surround you. Very peaceful.

 

 

 

vista

Only one area with a view, and even that you have to walk off the trail to enjoy.

We headed up in the late afternoon, so the temperature was perfect.

 

Hmmm, they said they were having fun

Hmmm, they said they were having fun

On the way back to rainy Haiku, we were greeted by a magnificent rainbow—from the photo I took, you couldn’t tell how dynamic it was, & I opted not to post it; so you’ll have to use your imagination.

If all goes well, next week I’ll be riding a bike…. yeah, it’s been years!

For more info on the Forest Reserve, click HERE