Thursday, July 7, 2011
When most people think of Haleakala National Park, they think of a beautiful sunrise at the top of a dormant 10,000 foot volcano. There is, however, another less visited section of the park known as Kipahulu. It is on the windward side of the island twelve miles past Hana town. Kipahulu features one of the best hikes on Maui, the four mile Pipiwai Trail.
Despite being at the very top of our Maui “to do” list, we almost aborted our plans to take this hike due to the effects of the previous day’s bee attack. Neither Lewis nor I had slept well the night before and we both felt an overwhelming sense of malaise that made even walking out to the rental car seem like an insurmountable obstacle. When we finally arrived at Kipahulu, the two of us ended up languishing in the car for an hour while Darla explored the visitor center on her own. When she returned to the car, I decided we should at least try to do the hike. This turned out to be a good decision although we had our doubts at first; we thought we were going to die during the initial climb. After a long break at the Banyan tree featured in last week’s blog post, we eventually started to feel better. By the end of the hike Lewis and I were much improved. We were all glad we did it.
Although the Pipiwai Trail leads to an impressive waterfall, the best part of the hike was the bamboo forest one must hike through to reach it. I had never been in a bamboo forest before. It reminded me of being lost in the middle of a corn field—if the corn grew randomly instead of in planted rows, and if the corn was thicker, five times taller, and blocked out the sun. It was amazing. I was glad I had chosen to lug my tripod along. It would have been too dark to handhold the camera for any of the bamboo images.
After exiting the bamboo it was still a short walk to Waimoku Falls. There were two swiftly moving streams along the way that lacked an easy, dry way across, something that struck me as odd given the extensive boardwalk that had been built through the bamboo forest. Some people simply removed their shoes and waded through the water. This was the easiest solution but left them with wet, muddy feet on the other side. Others chose to cross the two streams with shoes on, hopping from questionable slippery rock to questionable slippery rock. This approach resulted in varying degrees of success; most shoes arrived on the other side wetter than when they started but with mud on the outside of their shoes, where it belonged. A walking stick or, in my case, a tripod came in very handy in this situation.
Our final destination, 400 foot high Waimoku Falls, was magnificent. The final image in this set does not begin to do it justice. The east side of Maui had been deluged with heavy rains overnight resulting in a massive flow of water over the falls and into the air. It was all I could do to get a shot off before my lens became covered with water drops. Still, one can get a sense of the scene.
[Click on a thumbnail to view the entire image.]
©2011 Timothy Linn. All Rights Reserved.