John & Anne Wiley

2017/08/10

Hāna Quick Tour

In the remaining few minutes before needing to return our rental plane for the next pilot, we delighted in a very quick tour of Hāna. On our honeymoon there long before my pilot license, the drive alone was enchanting. We’d lucked out with a convertible and stopped at nearly every waterfall. Often at every wide spot in the road since we wanted to let every car pass because we took turns standing up while the other drove slowly. So a quick tour was ok this time because we saw far more from the air. Like this mystical spot.

3541 Water World

3541 Water World

That deep cavern has to be awe inspiring inside, with the roar of water amid moist ancient lava stone. How few people ever get to visit this spot, or even see it briefly as we did? Daunting as the existing highway is for many visitors, it was interesting to see remnants of what is presumably an older road with bridges over magnificent waterfalls.

3549 Amazing Bridge

3549 Amazing Bridge

Even in this quick tour that was mostly above and uphill from the highway, the waterfalls passed too quickly to count. After a rainy season like the one that had prevented us flying here until our last day on Maui, it’s fun to imagine a more careful survey of that slope. Some falls are in close groups with calmer low cascades into soothing pools.

3556 Soothing Waters

3556 Soothing Waters

Some form into white fingers spreading to caress the rocks in leaps and trickles.

3567 Finger Falls

3567 Finger Falls

All too soon we passed the inviting Hāna airport and looked down over the town that seemed barely changed since our drive here some years ago.

3584 Hāna

3584 Hāna

I’ll spare you the slew of pix as we continued descending along the coast before turning back at the area we’d seen from near the crater rim only a day before. Instead here’s a sample of the beach falls we saw on our hasty return to OGG.

3650 Fresh Falls to Saltwater

3650 Fresh Falls to Saltwater

Even in the evening shadows this spot begs for a visit, offering solace amid a dynamic meeting of waters. Sea caves in the harder volcanic rock also beckon.

3676 Sea Cave

3676 Sea Cave

Some spots bring to mind a slow meandering climb up from the beach into a quiet jungle, where throbbing surf yields to the steady sound and mist of rain water returning in a tumble.

3695 Misty Canyon

3695 Misty Canyon

Splashes of red flowers inspire a deep breath as my heart imagines a refreshing dive into this pool, and a meditative moment on its shore.

3713 Touches of Red

3713 Touches of Red

Rounding a slope toward the sunset, the added light allowed our camera to better show what our eye had cherished all along this quick tour.

3726 Into Light, Into Memory

3726 Into Light, Into Memory

Minutes later our shadow joined the runway, ending our last GA magic carpet ride over these mystical islands.

3743 Shadow of Memory

3743 Shadow of Memory

From here we’d go for one last family gathering before climbing into a silver jet for magical transportation from this paradise back to the one we call Home.

2017/08/05

Flying MLM

Flying Moloka‘i, Lanai, Maui

Even the brief part of our flight starting out along the Maui coast was spectacular. But the towering falls of northeast Moloka‘i still took our breath away in this second aerial viewing, and hopefully this hazy pic conveys a tiny bit of that.

3326 Mountain Falls

3326 Mountain Falls

For perspective, each of those little green dots is a good-sized tree. I believe the one at the right in the pic Oloʻupena Falls, tallest in the U.S. (4th globally) at almost 3,000 feet. It’s eroded a groove in the cliff-face and can only be seen from the sea or by air.

As with this next one, the numerous falls often land on beaches or right in the water (especially at high tide).

3332 Beach Shower

3332 Beach Shower

I like to imagine swimming there, then having a refreshing shower in pure water. After that long zoom pic we began climbing even higher where we could see many waterfalls inland too.

3341 Higher View East

3341 Higher View East

Up on the cliff face for example, is this spot few if any people have ever been.

3353 Gathering Falls

3353 Gathering Falls

Soon we could see across Moloka‘i, with wisps of cloud clinging to the peaks.

3357 Misty Mountains

3357 Misty Mountains

Moments (and a million pix) later we reached the shore of Lānai, where this shipwreck hosts bountiful marine life. It was actually the YOGN-42 WWII concrete gasoline barge, intentionally beached here after the war.

3394 Last Port of Call

3394 Last Port of Call

Larry Ellison now owns 98% of Lānai, and wants it be a thriving 100 percent green community. It was sure green (on red earth) the day we flew part of the North edge with no time to land and explore.

3401 Lānai Green

3401 Lānai Green

In the hazy distance Lānai City was also green, with the airport tempting us beyond it. But snapping countless more pix we turned back across the water, soon crossing the coast of Maui just South of Lāhainā and slipping between mountain peaks toward Kahului.

3454 Cloud Shroud

3454 Cloud Shroud

Clinging clouds fell away from the steep jungle cliffs. From this height we could see that Hāna had happily cleared too! Nearly all the clouds that had turned us away on every previous flight, offered an invitation on this our last GA flight in this O.U. Adventure. With just enough time before needing to land, we went direct at full power in a slow descent. In no time we were rewarded with even more waterfalls. Some, like this first pic, were at nearly our level inviting a zoom pic as we began throttling back to savor the sights.

3530 Down to Hana

3530 Down to Hana

Now if you know anything about the Hāna Highway or the terrain both above and below it, you’re well aware that enchanting waterfalls abound along this flank of Haleakalā. So I’ll collect a “few” of our fave pix from that last leg of this magical round trip flight of fancy, for the next post.

2017/08/03

Pinnacle – First Falls

After family fun and a glorious flight over the highest point on Maui we had yet more warm times with family that evening and of course the next morning. The sky opened up this day so we took another opportunity to fly! 😀

This time we went even “higher” in a way, because the clouds were higher and had more openings. So after takeoff we turned toward Molokai to try for a closer look at the towering waterfalls on the northwest coast of that island. The air was still moist, so the thin haze made sunbeams over the Maui mountains perhaps similar to our beaming smiles.

3265 Maui Sunbeams

3265 Maui Sunbeams

Next we got another look at the northeast coast of Maui, closer than we’d seen it from the airliner when we first arrived here before our adventures down under the equator in New Zealand and Australia.

3268 Closer Look

3268 Closer Look

After all the recent rains, waterfalls were perhaps even more abundant and powerful than normal. Like this one as we neared the farthest point West that we’d reached by car from Lahaina a couple of days earlier.

3274 First Falls

3274 First Falls

Soon we were reaching the point where we began to climb for extra safety during our crossing to Molokai. Seeing landmarks like these rocks from the air that we’d seen during the drive, we were reminded once again how much a small plane adds to our experience of place.

3277 Getting to the Point

3277 Getting to the Point

After the time we passed the rocky point, we were high enough that this was a long zoom pic. There’s a popular blow hole there, but the calm seas and level of tide didn’t allow for any hint of spray as we’d climbed past.

3295 Rocky Point

3295 Rocky Point

We felt some familiarity looking back at Maui, having enjoyed so much time exploring there by air and ground with friends and family.

3296 Looking Back

3296 Looking Back

The northwest coast of Molokai boasts tall cliffs with magnificent waterfalls. But at this time of year and time of day it was almost completely in shadow, further obscured by misty air. So it was a delight to be greeted by this waterfall tumbling over rocks partly lit in the afternoon sun.

3316 First Molokai Falls

3316 First Molokai Falls

Now as you might guess, we have a lot of pix from this flight. So I’ll close for now and try to narrow down the total of 29 pix I’ve chosen for posting. This way, even if I don’t eliminate any of them at least you won’t get overwhelmed by the flood of memories I’d like to share. 🙂

2017/07/29

High Lights

This trip of a lifetime to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia brought countless highlights. Having finished our time in Queenstown, NZ we were headed toward the next peak experience: celebrating the New Year with my family back on Maui. Of course, for aviators like us another highlight would be the journey there.

141016 Into The Blue

141016 Into The Blue

Though forecasts said we’d see clouds on the short Auckland hop to catch our night flight to Maui, the airport looked like this. A few minutes after boarding we were looking through a blurry jet window back at Queenstown and all our new memories there.

141019 Queenstown Into Memory

141019 Queenstown Into Memory

Moments later we got this view of the area far across the other side of the lake, where we first spotted Queenstown from that small plane so long ago (a few days).

141021 Both Sides

141021 Both Sides

Soon after, we got a last look back at vanishing Queenstown now far at the end of the other arm of the massive lake.

144424 Looking Back

144424 Looking Back

Despite the gloomy forecast, Aoraki peeked out of the clouds gathering on our path to bid farewell.

150214 Mount Cook

150214 Aoraki (Mount Cook)

Also departing it seemed, were the dwindling glaciers flanking the peak.

150303 Glacier Remnants

150303 Glacier Remnants

Soon we crossed from South Island to North Island and were treated to a cloudless view of distant Ruapehu at the zoom limits of a cell camera through jet plexi.

154608 Ruapehu

154608 Ruapehu

Beneath that solid cloud deck Auckland was inviting in muted colors, with the bustling city tower barely visible in the far distance beyond a quiet cemetery.

160000 Muted Auckland

160000 Muted Auckland

Making our wait for the connecting flight a delight, we were joined by our new friend we’d shared that glorious Ardmore GA flight with. He’d made a special trip to see us off and chat about our hopes of him coming to the U.S.

175636 Hero John

175636 Hero John

So many wonderful people we’d met in our New Zealand travels, and John is an exemplar. He capped our last moments here, and before long we rode new wings into the night reaching toward the high lights of sparkling stars. Soon memories of our times in this enchanted land faded into the realm of dreams.

213548 Dream Trip

213548 Dream Trip

2017/04/15

Peaks & Lakes

Many majestic views of lakes and peaks awaited on the last leg of the last GA flight of our NZ adventure. Strolling the serene ramp at TEU we had no idea that so much delight was minutes away. [Note: click here to read in sequence from the start of this “Over Under” Big Adventure]

2231 TEU to Mountains

2231 TEU to Mountains

Soon after takeoff we turned away from Lake Manapouri for a quick closer look at tiny Lake Henry and Te Anau on the shore of massive Lake Te Anau.

2256 Te Anau

2256 Te Anau

Climbing back toward Wanaka, we saw this silhouette of a person’s head facing left. It’s comical that amid so much spectacular beauty, this shape formed by the North end of South Mavora Lake stood out somehow.

2268 Cartoon Shape

2268 Cartoon Shape

Maybe the human spirit tends toward adaptation to beauty when overwhelmed by such sustained exposure to it. Still, this view along the Von River to Lake Wakatipu found us in silent enjoyment.

2288 Von River

2288 Von River

The rapids next to the lake are thrilling from the air, especially when they evoke the experience of whitewater sports down in that gorge.

2301 Rapids

2301 Rapids

As we continued out onto the bend in Lake Wakatipu, at the North end Glenorchy sheltered among the towering mountains.

2327 Distant Glenorchy

2327 Distant Glenorchy

Across the lake toward the East, colorful scenery continued the amazement that flooded our senses.

2341 Across the Bend

2341 Across the Bend

All along the lake as in every moment of every GA flight, our souls overflowed with the beauty of this land. Of course we have many more pix than can be shared, so how are these few chosen? Why choose this one of rapids among many along our mountainous route up Rees River and Invincible Creek and back East toward Wanaka?

2353 Inexplicable Rapids

2353 Inexplicable Rapids

As if the many stunning peaks like Mt. Aspiring we’d already visited weren’t enough, the grizzled heads of these peaks added to our overwhelm.

2362 Grizzled Peaks

2362 Grizzled Peaks

As always, the pix we share here aren’t just a small fraction of our total but also a tiny slice of the view we swam in. Here’s a larger one.

2387 Bigger Slice

2387 Bigger Slice

Now a few more pix and fewer of the words that pale and fail.

2412 More Peaks 1

2412 Peaks Aplenty 1

2431 Peaks Aplenty 2

2431 Peaks Aplenty 2

2442 Peaks Aplenty 3

2442 Peaks Aplenty 3

Like the U.S. and Canadian Rockies, each of the peaks in this vast expanse of mountains majesty kindles a deep emotional response in the human heart.

Another deep breath comes as we descend back into the green of New Zealand.

2545 Down Into Green

2545 Down Into Green

Even minutes from the end of this amazing flight, Glendhu Bay offered yet another stunning vista.

2571 Glendhu Bay

2571 Glendhu Bay

Continuing our descent across the South end of Lake Wanaka the shallows were reminiscent of our Bahamas flights.

2578 Colorful Shallows

2578 Colorful Shallows

But now Wanaka sprawled toward the airport where we’d begin the scenic drive to Queenstown for yet more memorable moments in this thrill-packed day.

2587 Wanaka Approach

2587 Wanaka Approach

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