(Click to enlarge)
On my recent trip to Maui, my wife and I “found” a road that unexpectedly turned out to be one of my favorite adventures of the trip. We were looking to get back to a certain part of the island and the GPS kept taking us back through what looked like the long way. Going the ‘short’ way was never shown as an option…I thought “hmmm, well now I just have to see for myself if there is a road this way, because it just looks closer on the map.” That and I like exploring, so this intrigued me. I soon found out why the GPS never gave this route as an option.
This was a fantastically scenic route, but it was also a fantastically SCARY route! The road quickly turned into a two-way road, but with barely enough room for one car… for miles and miles. Luckily, not many people were on this road, either from all the mainlanders blindly following the GPS’ instructions or because they have taken it once before and swore to never voluntarily take it again! However, there were a few cars on the road and these few were enough to really make me sweat. [The video below is a short clip showing the moment where we faced oncoming vehicles on a very narrow road, rocky cliff side on the right and a straight drop on the left.] Luckily I found a small indentation in the mountainside and backed my perfectly pint-sized Nissan Versa into it, allowing for barely enough room for a couple of cars to squeak by. Mind you that the trusty Versa was not my first car choice, nor my second. Or third. In fact, I literally told the rental car attendant when she came back with my keys and told me my choice that “I hate that car.” Little did I know that it would take me almost 800 miles in a week and through the edge of insanity, above the clouds to the top of a volcano, and miles into “4×4 only” country to see a Hawaiian Red Wood forest. By the end of the trip, I had a deep respect for that little car!
But I digress.
When it was all said and done, I would definitely take this wild road again. There was a spot at the top that just seemed magical. Isolated on the top of a Hawaiian cliff with the ocean and valley surrounding each side of me, along with rolling grassy hills and the best tropical winds you can imagine. All at dusk. Does it get any better? I will save you the guessing, it doesn’t. I think the crazy road allowed for this place to stay special and isolated. The shot above (best viewed large) was taken at this spot as my wife took a moment to take in the scenery. This little spot will stay with me for some time for two reason: It felt totally tranquil, serene even. And almost dying for 2 hours straight has had a strange effect of burning the experience deep into my psyche!!
If you get a chance, take the road less travelled. You
might will be glad you did.
This picture below is when we successfully returned from our experimental off-road journey to the Red Wood forest! Notice the sign…but more importantly notice the thumbs-up!