Another Haleakala Bust
[Haleakala National Park / Makawao, HI, Nov 21, 2022]
Unfortunately, not only did the bad weather at the Haleakala summit hold, it got worse. At dinner last night, as I was refreshing the web cam yet again, I noticed a wind advisory for the summit pop up. 30 to 40 mile-per-hour winds with wind gusts up to 50 mph! Yikes!
It didn’t look good, but I decided to rely on the live cam to make a decision in the morning. So when I saw this in the a.m., I high-tailed it to the summit….
…only to encounter the conditions that the video below describes better than I ever could.
To my surprise, there were a handful of cars in the parking lot. I saw a group of people come out of a van in full hiking gear and I couldn’t help but approach them. They were all European and this was their only day for this hike, so they were going to try and brave the weather. I thought about it for a second, but then I realized hiking in this weather would be downright miserable and even dangerous. So off the mountain I went. And just like yesterday, I saw a rainbow on the way down.
Today, though, I was determined to get some sort of proper hike in, so I headed to Makawao Forest Reserve. Although the 2,000+ acres in the reserve have been protected since 1908, the trail system for mountain bikers and hikers just opened in 2015. At 4,000 ft above sea level, this reserve in the upcountry is perfect for escaping the heat at sea level. I enjoyed the 6-mile Kahakapao Loop trail, which had a pretty steady incline on the way up.
Towards the end of the hike, I went through an evergreen forest that almost made me feel like I was back in the Pacific Northwest.
The most fascinating part, however, was running into the same group of Europeans I had encountered at the Haleakala summit! They had shed half the clothing they were wearing in that crazy windstorm up there, so I almost didn’t recognize them. We had to take a pic together for posterity.
The nice thing about the reserve was that it was in the same area was I was staying in. It took me no time to get back to my AirBnB. I spent some time relaxing and planning what stops to make on the famous road to Hana, which I was going to drive the next day. I also did some laundry and finally managed to get this levitating bonsai pot back into levitation.
Mid-afternoon, I headed out to check out the cute area of downtown Makawao. I had driven by once or twice, but now enjoyed an easy stroll and ducked into whatever shop or gallery looked inviting. I picked up some local Hawaiian chocolate and almost got this amazing candle, which had Bulgarian rose in it.
From there, I drove up Olinda Rd, which was mentioned in my guidebook (yes, I still use hard-copy guidebooks!). It was raining pretty hard at times and I was greeted with yet another rainbow!
In the evening, Summer, my AirBnB host, invited me to go to a bachata class with her. Julia and Rizca teach a ladies’ styling class every Monday at the Maui Arts & Community Center. Check them out if you’re in the area, they are awesome!