John & Anne Wiley

2017/01/24

Maui Memories

Seems to me Maui is not an island, it’s a mellow scenic state of mind. Our first extended stay there on this trip began with dear friends who introduced scenes like this.

7528 Mauna Kahalawai

7528 Mauna Kahalawai

Sitting in another outdoor restaurant gazing at this, quiet conversation with Paula, another long-time friend, included plans to take a hike. We also invited Jim & Jori with whom we enjoyed many delights like breakfast on this screened balcony.

115149 Greeting New Days

115149 Greeting New Days

So one of our days included going to the Waihe’e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge for a custom hike led by Paula, who leads larger hiking groups to her favorite Maui marvels.

152747 Wandering Waihe'e

152747 Wandering Waihe’e

Anne and I also explored some via car, pondering whether we’d see the volcano on the other side of the valley.

7534 Haleakalā

7534 Haleakalā

So we drove back to the airport for my “check ride” with the flight training, tour, and Cessna rental company Maui Aviators at OGG, hoping they’d be better than Moore at HNL. After 15 minutes aloft their lead instructor said, “You’re good.” For other pilots wanting to rent or anyone looking for a relatively inexpensive private aerial tour of the islands, I’ve posted our summary of the two HI companies we used. We dropped the instructor off at the airport and went for a short tour back across the valley including the short water crossing to this view of the small islet where snorkeling tour boats go.

7764 Molokini

7764 Molokini

The Molokini sanctuary is beautiful from the air, and offers wonderful experiences on and in the water. Flying back wearing big smiles, we again passed these smokestacks that are a landmark used by air traffic. Driving “home” for another evening with J&J we snapped this view of it shaded by one of the many clouds that would obscure peaks and shower on us for most of our Maui days.

7547 Cane Plant

7547 Cane Plant

We’d heard from our friends and others that sugar production was about to end there bringing joy to environmentalists and many residents, and unemployment to others. Hopefully there will be new jobs as the economy adapts. After our days of delights we felt both excitement and sadness to take another airline back to HNL for our flight to New Zealand. We got this fresh look at Molokai.

150212 Molokai High

150212 Molokai High

This high altitude perspective had me wondering if we’d manage to get back there in a GA rental plane. While lovely, this view only served to further whet my appetite. In minutes we said Aloha again to Waikiki.

151926 Aloha Tower

151926 Aloha Tower

Having been to the top of Aloha Tower it was surprising I couldn’t spot that tall landmark as we zipped by. Only now looking at the pic can I make it out (arrow) among skyscrapers that loom behind it. The next day dawned clear and bright. The airliner taxi for takeoff kindled hope that such calm air with few clouds would expand our GA flying options upon return to Maui in late December.

100043 HNL Taxi

100043 HNL Taxi

As now familiar HNL slipped beneath our wings and disappeared from our expanding view, thoughts of Auckland turned our attention forward.

100233 Farewell HNL

100233 Farewell HNL

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