Thursday, August 01, 2002

Maui Day 4

Well, well, well, my little munchkins, you probably thought that I would just blow off finishing my Maui story, but I am a firm believer in finishing what I start, and I've actually been getting some positive feedback on my little running travelogue, so, here you go.

For those that haven't read the first three THRILLING and WILD and OUTRAGEOUS editions of the Pennyworth Maui trip, well, I could send you searching through the archives, but I am much too gracious a host for that, so here you go:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Ok, now where was I, oh yeah day 4. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, there was some crazy lady with a butcher knife screaming at me about vive la revolucion, oh, wait, that was the French revolution.

Maui. That's the ticket. OK let me turn on my super memory…..

Well day 4, which was Saturday, 4th of July weekend, was probably our mellowest day. You know how every trip there's that one day where you sleep in, kind of take it easy, and see what happens. That was day 4. So after wandering around Lahaina for a little while in the morning, we hopped in the temporary pennyworth-mobile and headed towards Kihei. Our plan was to just drive south down the coast that runs along the southwest side of the island until the road ended and see what we bumped into.

After about twenty minutes, we were at the junction where the highway from Lahaina hits the highway heading over towards Kihei. Here they have one of those 76 gas stations slash Carl's Jr. setups. Now you may have heard me rant in this space before about my disturbance at the trend of combining different franchises into one spot, like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. That one bothers me. For some reason however, I like the 76/Carls Jr. matchup. Call me crazy but gas and burgers sounds right to me. Especially the Bacon Western Cheeseburger, so I rounded up one of those puppies with some onion rings, some fried zucchini for Mrs. P, filled up the Kia (damn that thing SIPS gas, super economical) and we were on the road again, just like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid, except we weren't running from the law, and we were a married couple, and, uh, I don't know, leave me alone, I'm rambling alright??

So we start driving through Kihei and it's a pretty cool area, nice beaches all the way down the road, Kihei is a pretty good size city, lots of strip malls and restaurants. We stopped at one pretty nice beach and walked around for a while. As we were walking, all these trucks start driving down the road. One after another after another, big rig trucks, must have been 100 at least pass by, and they were honking, and people were waving, it was a like a truck parade. So like a little kid I go up to the road and start pumping my arms so they'll pull the horn, and of course they do. Loved that when I was a kid on long road trips, once you were sick of the alphabet game (finding the letters on road signs or cars from A-Z) you could always entertain yourself by getting the truckers to honk at you.

Anyway so that was kind of trippy. I wonder if the truckers union was striking? Or if it was Maui trucker day or what. Never did figure that out. So whatever. We keep driving, more awesome beaches, stopped for some ice cream, kept on cruising down the road, stopping here and there to take in the scenery. The road down this coast is basically one long beach, so there's plenty of places to stop and just jump in the water and cool off and hang out.

After a little while we were getting into Wailea, which is a resort district past Kihei. We stopped at one beach around here which was really chill, and went for a dip and hung out for a while. It was hot as hell this day I remember, so we got back on the road.

So after cruising through Wailea, we kept heading south and found a turn-out for Makena beach. There was a lot of people in the parking lot, so we stopped to check it out. Beautiful spot. It's called Big Beach, and we didn't figure out until later why. It's a huge beach, with a killer view of Kahoolawe. Kahoolawe is a very small Hawaiian island that until recently was used by the military as target practice for all their bombs and other weapons of destruction. The environmentalists are now working on cleaning it up, which means going out there and sniffing out all the bombs that may or may not have gone off already. Anyway, killer view from this beach. Really crowded, lots of hippies, burnouts, tourists, locals, all kinds of people, cool scene. So as I mentioned, we found later it's called Big Beach because if you hike over this ridge that's on the far right side of the beach, there's another, little beach, over there. I saw people hiking up there, but I was too lazy and tired and chilled out to bother with it. But later we saw a postcard with the other little beach, and it looks kind of cool.

So back on the road. There didn't seem to be much more, but we kept going, and pretty soon, we were driving through the lava flow. Even though the big island of Hawaii is the only island with current volcanic activity, Maui was the most recent one before that, so there is a large section of the south part of the island that is covered by the dried lava. I mean, technically, the whole island is old lava, but this is just more recent, and hasn't broken down into fertile soil and all that good stuff yet. So we drove through the old lave flow until the road totally went to shit, and there's a little rocky beach at the end of the paved road, where we chilled out and took in the view and that was about it.

Then it was back in the car for the drive back up the coast. We stopped at a few beaches we hadn't hit on the way down. Did a little more swimming and splashing, and then headed back to Lahaina for a chilled out evening.

Next: Day 5 - Upcountry Maui and the flight home