A brief lesson on obstacles you may encounter when running in Maui.
1. Don’t step on that squashed mango; you could slip on the sticky pit!
2. Adopt a modest stride so you don’t kick the curious myna birds, they aren’t eager to get out of your way, ever!
3. Don’t get distracted by the beautiful view of the ocean and jog into a telephone pole (I’ve had a few close calls, but this hasn’t happened yet).
Despite these hidden dangers, I did need to get out and move today. I opted for only a mile since my abs and arms were still hurting from my aerial class. The running warm up to my day did help me loosen up and feel better. So good in fact that Greg and I decided to go on a hike this morning. I’ve been eager to see where the path from Kapalua Bay leads. You may remember I ran to Kapalua Bay for one of my long runs, but I didn’t get to follow the path past there. So this morning we took the bus to Napili Kai, which gets us just a few minutes from Kapalua Bay. From there we took the path through fancy condos, a rocky path that took us by a bird sanctuary, cliffs of black rocks, tide pools and gorgeous views.
The path led us through the back 40 of the Ritz resort, oo la la! D. T. Fleming beach was our destination, not because it was a particularly impressive beach but it did have bathrooms and some water to drink. This is one of the few beaches we’ve seen with a life guard on duty but only a handful of folks were chasing waves and lounging in the shade of a few trees here during the 9 o’clock hour.
Just about ready to head back we saw a cute old tiny church and near its gate saw a map/ sign that noted the start of another trail. The start of the Mahana ridge trail began right next to this cute little church and immediately curved up into shady trees, interesting vegetation, and a very jungle-like humid feel. Fascinated by the birdcalls and beautiful plants, I trudged ahead with that determined bouncy walk that I get when I’m exploring a piece of wilderness that excites me.
That impetus took us across an access road, under a bridge and up a hillside. Greg had to be the voice of reason, we were sweating a lot and not carrying water, it would be a good idea to turn around and head back to D.T. Fleming where there was water. As usual, Greg was right, if we had continued around one more bend and just one more as my sense of exploration urged me to, we would needed to travel nearly another 6 miles to get to the end of Mahana ridge trail which apparently dead ends into an arboretum. Even though we trimmed the ridge trail section short, this hike will be tough to beat. After Greg and I did our10 mile hike in Yosemite this June, we decided to make a date to go on hike each month. In July, we joined some friends in Claremont to hike the Wilderness Trail (which is a 5 minute drive from our house and offers 5 miles of hiking, this will probably be our go-to hike for the fall!) So we can check our June, July and August hiking dates off our to do list. We got some water back a Fleming then we found a vacant hammock on the edge of the Ritz property and couldn’t resist lounging for a few minutes. Then back on the path. We paused at Kapalua Bay and watched the snorkelers; we could see 4 of them encountering a honu from our spot on the raised path, that is how clear the water was. All said it was a 4-mile hike that we took just under 2 hours to complete.
Back on the bus, our next stop was the fish market so we could buy fish tacos for lunch. After all that fresh air, exercise, then food a nap was in order. A refreshing way to shake off a tropical nap is to jump in the ocean with the boogie board. Greg was all showered up so he watched me from the shore. There were some big waves rolling in, so I was keeping my eyes on the horizon, but I occasionally glanced down to make sure I wasn’t hovering over any rocks or coral I might inadvertently kick. At one point I looked down to see a huge turtle, practically the size of my boogie board, swimming right beneath me. My first thought was, I need to get away from him, I’m way closer than 10 feet but I was afraid to kick for fear of my flippers frightening or tapping him on the shell. So I just floated and watched him check me out. The curious turtle tired of me after a minute or two and went on his way. Every encounter with these creatures is thrilling, though we’ve seen them either in the water or from the shore most every day of our stay in Maui, they remain magical!
It was my turn to clean up after my swim so we could head into Lahaina to see Howard play with his band one last time at LuLu’s. The band was very enthusiastic and had an encouraging crowd tonight. Howard called Greg up during his break to play a few songs. We stayed past the last bus since Alan, the base player, offered us a ride home again. Now to bed, I’m hoping for some snorkeling tomorrow! But for now, I'll settle for reliving that beautiful hike from this morning in my dreams.