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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Camp Trip Day 4- The Grand Finale

Sunrise from our camp site
Being as during this entire camping experience, I slept better than I have in awhile... I woke up again a little late, with just enough time to throw in my contacts, jump out of the van, and snap this sunrise shot.  A beautiful sight over the ocean... One I enjoy every time I spend the night in Kipahulu.  After sunrise, we headed up to do our solo hike on the Pipiwai trail.  It's always wondrous how we manage to be the only hikers at that hour, but to my advantage, because the 2 mile hike up the trail was incredibly peaceful and the scenery was "fairy tale" intense. 

This hike is perhaps my favorite hike of all.  Every 1/2 mile is something different.  First you start in the guava forest, (which felt like I was walking through an air strike, there were guavas pelting down from their branches so frequently).  Next comes the incredible banyan tree, with its towering limbs and scattered roots.
Onwards you hit one of the BEST bamboo forests I've ever seen, with stalks that can be well over 6 inches in diameter.  It is hovering so thick over the trail, it can seem as though you are walking in near pitch dark.  We crossed two streams, me taking extreme care not to slip and harm my camera... Lono on the other hand, splashing and swimming and drinking merrily without a care in the world.  The final destination we reached is Waimoku Falls.  It is a breathtaking sight and it is also Maui's largest waterfall, towering 400 ft. high, and a real struggle to get all in one frame.  It was there we ate our breakfast and sat in awe for a good thirty minutes undisturbed.  I picked some awapuhi ginger and squeezed it into my grimy hair, (it smells amazing and is the soapy consistency of shampoo).  It is believed to be the key ingredient in Paul Mitchell's hair care line, he himself has a farm of it on the Big Island.  Lono and I headed back slowly to gather fruit from the secret places Tommy and I had found from our first diversion trip off the trail over a year ago.  I packed my alpaca sack with lillikoi, guava, and coffee beans.  So many people walk right by coffee plants, not ever knowing what it is due to its red berry disguise. 

My scary experience for the day was the first hiker I came across on my way down.  He was rather close to the falls so I hoped to give him the joy in telling him that he had it all to himself.  The man old enough to be my Dad said to me, "Do you mean you?".  (*Shutters*)  I said, "No, the falls", and with one hand on my pocket knife and the other on my pepper spray, I made sure to walk past him as far away as I could.  Talk about creepy!  The rest of the hike was lovely, and I shared some of my fruit with a woman from Santa Barbara, California who was a real estate agent visiting Maui alone.  A very nice woman, but I felt awful when she took the lillikoi and tried to bite right into it's tough and bitter rhine. I stopped her in time to tell her to save it until she gets a knife and just eat the seeds on the inside. =]  For the rest of
the day, I was on a fun mission I had developed the night before.  I wanted to bring home Tommy a bunch of apple bananas, a taro kalo, and some coconuts, on top of my other fruit gatherings.  I knew it would impress him and he'd be delighted.  The apple bananas came easy enough, next came the coconuts at "Coconut Glen's" stand where I met the cutie pie doggy and his sister pictured down below.  A definite stop for divine vegan ice cream that will make your taste buds explode with delight.  I also met a very interesting man who has started, "Recycle Maui".  He showed me his incredible cigar box ukuleles. Both the bananas and coconuts I got for next to nothing, but made certain to throw in an "attitude of gratitude" tip.  The taro is seemingly impossible to get whole and not in the form of just leaf or mashed into poi. 
Awapuhi Ginger
In my search for it, I stopped in Kaenae and ended up hanging out with a HUGE local family that were having a cookout in remembrance of someone they had lost a year ago. They made endless phone calls on my behalf to their Uncle's and cousins,
trying to get me just a couple Kalo roots.  I tried to stop them, but their generosity was immense.  I left empty handed, but my heart was full and I made numerous nameless friends that I feel grateful for.  Back at Hanamanu Bay, I got reception and decided to do my check in call with Tommy.  He said our friends were having a get together... and after a brief conversation with him and our great friend Matt, it was determined I was to go home that night and be with the people I love so dear.  A quick shower, and then a great night of scrumptious food, music, and laughter.... This was indeed a camp trip I will never forget.  And so it goes, I think I've made an accidental tradition for myself.  Every year for my birthday in October, I can see no gift better than the gift of solitude and peace back in the heart of nature.  To, in fact, go into the "REAL" world, and leave this crazy, chaotic, concrete jungle for just a week.  It has made all the difference... 

Lono made friends at Coconut Glen's on the Hana Highway.

Cigar box ukulele's and  an upcoming project.

My fruit bounty I brought home with me.
The day after the camp trip ended, I took the day to unpack and roast the coffee I'd collected at home.  Next blog, I will show you my step by step process on how I do it.  Coming up still, I have some new pet shoots to share, as well as a BIG SURPRISE you are NOT going to want to miss!!!  Be sure to enter your email address into the box on the right to receive my blog posts via email.  I've been so busy that I didn't get a chance to blog about the MHS pet costume contest, but you can find the pictures of the cute contestants on my fan page on facebook.  Mahalo for reading! =]

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