Our morning started later than we had planned this day. We got a teary phone call from one of our daughters, not very happy, and somewhat depressed. She is trying to redo her resume to apply at some lawyers' offices, needing to get out of her current job at Save-on-Foods. She graduated last June from university, after four years of criminology courses, and stuck in a rut. I cheered her up by telling her about her dad's first hangover in his life while here, and getting drunk a second night as well and his antics. It did the trick and got her mind off her own dilemma.
So we finally got started for the Waihee Ridge Trail. I found out about this hike on here, the Maui forum. And the guy was right...it is AMAZING!!! We drove the 340 highway, and found the trail head and parking lot easily...although we did drive past it initially. HINT: When you see the Mendes Ranch right in front of you, you will be going around another curve to the left (the ranch will then be on your right). The road to go up to the parking lot is IMMEDIATELY around that corner to the left. I can not stress enough how close that turn is. Turn left, and drive up and up to the parking area. There were cars there already, and more coming in after us, so you probably won't be alone on this hike. Locals were here as well as fellow tourists.
We took one hour twenty minutes to get to the very top. One hour to come down. I really didn't think we were going to make it. We were conscious of the time of course, because of having to be at the airport later, but we did make it. I promised Dave we would turn around at 11 regardless of where we were on the trail. I had just given up on reaching the top, when some people coming down encouraged me to keep going as we were so close by then. So I dug into my reserve battery, and charged forward... and was so glad we did! There is a picnic table at the top, and I pulled out the sandwiches we had made that morning. It wasn't quite 11 yet, (three minutes to), so I did eat half a sandwich. After all, we had packed that darn cooler all the way up there, so I wanted to eat something out of it!. We started back down much sooner than I wanted to, but time was running out, and we still needed to go to Costco before arriving at the airport.
On the way down the ridge, we ran into a young couple on their way up that was turning around. No, I said, you are so close now, you can see the top...it's just another 5-10 minutes. You CAN do it! She thanked me and said that is just what she needed to keep her going. Seeing all my grey hair might have been part of it too...if she can do it, then so can I!!!
Anyway, we got back to the car at just before noon. It's a fantastic walk, and yes, I would do it again. You have to stop lots though to take in the amazing views. Most of the time you have to look down to check your footing. There are areas full of tree roots, others that have rocks. And at mile .5 sign, make sure you look to the right in another five or six steps and check out the rainbow eucalyptus trees. Not the vibrant colours you get on the RTH, but still pretty, blues and greens. I saw orchids on the way up and down as well, but not as plentiful as I thought they would be. Maybe I just missed them because of watching where I was going. There are parts of the trail that you are literally on the ridge. Three feet one way and you are falling down the cliff, three feet the other way, and the same thing. I would not want to be up there on a windy afternoon!
A quick trip into Costco, grabbed more eggs, mai tai mix, margarita mix, and a beautiful lei, and then straight to the airport. Dave dropped me off in the departure area (not sure what we were thinking???), and off he went to make a circle. I walked up to the arrival area, and there she was! Standing on the curbside, already out! WAY EARLY!!! I opened the lei carton and presented her with her lei. Not the same as when you first arrive, but oh well. There was a wheel chair on the curb, so we borrowed that and I got her comfortable while we waited for Dave. He had circled again and parked in front of departures again, but he eventually figured it out and found us.
Once we got Auntie Joan settled in the condo, we opened up the margarita bottle. One drink, and she was ready to jump in the ocean. This woman is very independent, and sometimes you can't tell her anything. I went with her of course, and grabbed two noodles as we went out the door. Of course, the ocean was pretty rough by then with the winds picking up, as they do every afternoon. Getting in was easy. Getting out, that's another story!
I shall have to continue this after... Auntie Joan is in her bathing suit again, ready for another swim in the ocean!