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. 🙂

2017/08/02

Higher

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,O U Adventure — John @ 07:18

January second brought us a first: flying a small plane over Haleakalā. It began with another “explore” day for the family, with people going off in assorted groups of varying sizes to do different things. As you might imagine, our choice of activity was flying so we decided on a flight to Hana. Moments after takeoff, that plan changed.

3041 Soft Wall

3041 Soft Wall

While much of Maui had clear blue skies, starting at about Ako Point there was a low cloud layer to the East. Hana would almost certainly be under it, and I didn’t want to fly low over ocean or dense jungle. So began our climb to see if by some fluke the Hana area was clear so we could nip out for a look. A couple of minutes later it was clear that the cloud extended well out East over the ocean.

3073 Hana Veil Dance

3073 Hana Veil Dance

Already having some altitude and being near it, Haleakalā was the obvious Plan B. So after this glance at the last visible Hana Road waterfalls we turned southeast climbing at full power.

3081 Tinted Moonscape

3081 Tinted Moonscape

Soon varied colors and textures in a crater moonscape was capped by the observatory.

3099 Up The Rim

3099 Up The Rim

It’s vast and of course our panorama was striking in every direction well beyond what the camera can capture, but here’s another angle revealing hints of green as we crossed toward the East coast.

3109 Touch of Green

3109 Touches of Green

Flying past the caldera’s East rim, Hana again tempted us with this slice of Kipahulu Point, site of Charles Lindbergh’s grave. Of course Hana itself (and its airport) was off to the left under that cloud so we kept on climbing.

3140 Riot of Green

3140 Riot of Green

In the hazy distance, the snow-capped big island of Hawaii also tempted us but the trip we planned from home had already been modified by persistent cloud and rain. Flying all the islands and having time on each is a great excuse to go back.

3143 Near Yet Far

3143 Near Yet Far

So before turning back we took a long look at the eastern side of Maui while anticipating a flight that includes Hana next time.

3160 Last Glance

3160 Last Glance

Out across the caldera from here offered better light with less haze to dim the colors.

3178 Shades of Caldera

3178 Shades of Caldera

Past the observatory near the road are some interesting small craters that get you pondering how active this volcano might still be, even above that caldera we’d crossed minutes before.

3203 Little Craters

3203 Little Craters

Looking back along that ridge past those craters we took a last look at the observatory.

3212 Over the Top

3212 Over the Top

Easing off the throttle to cool the engine gradually, we began descent back to the airport (OGG). In minutes we were preparing to land, with a good view of the big sugar mill in its process of shutting down for good.

3248 Sweet Ride

3248 Sweet Ride

In well under an hour we’d sated our souls with food for dreams.

2017/07/31

Aloha

We slept perhaps three hours between us on that long NZ-HI flight, so when Honolulu lights appeared we got to watch.

061813 Honolulu Lights

061813 Honolulu Lights

We sleepily enjoyed our first day back in the U.S. despite a canceled flight from HNL to Maui, and our third phone failure including the expensive new one from Sydney. Yet our spirits soared when we finally did lift off, giving us yet another aerial look at Oahu and now familiar Waikiki, Molokai, Lanai, and even distant Hawaii.

162900 Waikiki

162900 Waikiki

Needless to say, we have quite a few pix of that crossing even though they’re from a phone (with at least a working camera) looking through an airliner window. One of the clearest pix in the set is this one on final approach to OGG at Kahului, Maui.

165752 Kahului

165752 Kahului

With our schedule for the day now completely random, we had the great good fortune to connect with sweet friend Paula. She too was exhausted, so after some warm conversation we turned in early for an especially delicious sleep. After a morning walk with more deep dialog we began the family phase of this epic journey. We met up with our daughter, husband and grand daughter at a traditional Hawaiian location.

120954 Ancient Ritual

120954 Ancient Ritual

Yes, that’s Costco. With so many family members about to arrive, we needed to get supplies. Our precious little one had acquired blisters on her feet so I carried her around the store to our mutual delight. Then we drove in two cars to the magnificent vacation home gifted to all of us by my amazing sister. It was her gift that had prompted our extension of the trip to include all the wonders of NZ & AU. So it was no surprise to see this rainbow over the house as we arrived.

165147 Rainbow Greeting

165147 Rainbow Greeting

Soon our bundle of delight joined us exploring while everyone else trickled in and her perfect parents continued setting up for the stay.

171430 Memories with Grammy

171430 Memories with Grammy

Much of our next day was taken up by my sudden intense sore throat. We were all terrified it was contagious, but in the end it may have been an extreme allergic reaction. I was well enough the next night to join the family for an authentic luau meal and performance.

194514 Luau

194514 Luau

Also performing were the kids, after having watched the show intently.

200548 Apprentice Dancers

200548 Apprentice Dancers

By the next morning I was feeling nearly normal, and once the pix from our last day of 2016 are ready to post here you can come along on our driving tour and join us celebrating an especially Happy New Year.

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