Saturday, February 14, 2009

Maui Day 3: Lahaina Run, Haleakela, and the Kahana Cough

I awoke with a cough this morning, sounding a bit like Golem actually, from all the dust in the air. It has been fiercely windy over the past couple of days, and though the winds have abated somewhat this afternoon they are still strong enough for serious windsurfing and, judging from what I see out my window this evening, some not-so-serious windsurfing. It is not just me that has this cough. I am hearing it everywhere. Sleeping last night was difficult from all the noise and I found myself imagining what a hurricane might sound like. I would like to go on record as being so thankful that the two drunk women who were Fresh of the Plane seemed NOT to be our neighbors (either that or they passed out from too many Mai Tai's).

A pretty stunning day and we are both collapsed in exhausted heaps with more fun on tap for tomorrow. 

Lahaina Run

As you know, I am sick of running the road by the condo. It is noisy, gritty, and crowded but it is also fairly pretty in spots too. This morning M and I decided to get up early and go run an orientation run around Lahaina Town. A very easy three mile circuit of the town in a kind of run/walk configuration, good for M who is restarting running after quite some time and good for old beat-up me. 

It is always interesting to experience places as they wake up from the previous day and evenings activities (or debaucheries as the case may be). Restaurant deliveries are going on, garbage is being removed, a few hardy souls are walking their dogs (foggily in some cases with cups of coffee in hand), and then there are the early-bird tourists checking in for their various ocean excursions cluttering the dock area looking quite like they are not sure exactly what or where they should be (I know about this having experienced it yesterday). We found free parking next to the main clinic and set off on a brisk walk .25, run .5, walk .5, run 1.5 things that M wanted to do. It was warm and not at all windy (thankfully) and I felt my legs warm up nicely. Things would have been spectacular had it not been for the Kahana Cough. 

Yesterday evening M wondered aloud where all the people who work in the hotels and in the area live and I think we might have found some of that out towards the South Eastern part of town, along Shaw Street going towards Wainee Street. Gone were the clean resorts and updated buildings of long ago. Instead there were old broken down shacks and cabins, all seemed cosily asleep, and the Salvation Army Depot. Turning Northwest on Wainee Street we passed all kinds of churches, temples, and grave yards stopping on Prison Street to see the reconstructed prison walls (built by the WPA no less) and to wake up a dog inside there who, in the course of warning of the approach of two ghosts, deeply annoyed its master. 

Not much else to tell about this run except that it was nice to get beyond the gilded resorts and the showiness of Front Street.

Tomorrow I'll attempt a run from the condo up towards the mountains, probably up Akahele Street. We'll see as this will be in the afternoon, AFTER a full day of activities AND it is totally uphill. 


I am not sure that words can really describe Haleakela. Simply amazing comes to mind. 

It took about 2 hours to drive out and up the mountain, not including stops at the various visitors centers. Once we headed towards the volcano the drive became stunning, just stunning. In my mind I was comparing the driving and the scenery to similar drives I have done in the past and even that does not do it justice. It began a little like driving in Big Sur, then changed to the kind of twisting and turning on Figeroa Mountain behind Santa Barbara, and it finished sort of like the Beartooth Highway, complete with lowering clouds and mist. The temperature dropped a couple of degrees with every 1000 feet we climbed and the wind picked up too (the forecast called for 20-30 mph sustained with gusts of 50). 

The higher we went the more stark the scenery and the lush sugarcane fields so far below looked soft and inviting. The occasional Silver Sword popped up as did some green leafy plan I cannot find the name of (yet). 

The summit was very windy and very cold. We didn't bring food with us (stupid mistake) and so a hike down was not in the cards for us. We did do a short hike that took us higher up and it was on this walk that I realized I was in no shape to run a long run down through the crater, even if it was downhill. My HR was a bit up and I was a bit light-headed. Let me let my pictures speak for themselves.

Cows! Yes, there were cows all over the place, lounging in the sun, and occasionally carefully crossing the road as this crew did. They look both ways before crossing. The last pair over were a mother and calf and M who started playing (M was able to get the last shot). 

The descent went much faster and we stopped to eat at a general store midway down the mountain. I was so hungry and inhaled a piece of pizza, half a veggie wrap, some potato chips, and some cheese cake before we headed the rest of the way down. 

Our next stop was to be the Maui Ocean Center which is reputed to have a wonderful aquarium but it was $25 a head to get in and we didn't feel like paying that. I did, however, reserve a snorkel trip at 8:00 AM tomorrow morning out to Lanai to see dolphins and other kinds of interesting things. 

Both of us are tired and feeling a bit under the weather this evening and are spending it in eating fresh papaya and pineapple. I read a bit by the pool but it was a bit uncomfortable as the clouds were obscuring the sun. I think I am finally tanned. :-)

Tomorrow, our last full day on the island, awaits!

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