Return from Maui and you’re sure to remember red dirt. It’s ever present. Add a little water and voila, you have red mud. Either way, you’ll be reminded long after you leave. For some reason, washing with soap and water ‘sorta’ works. Scrub a dub on the hands and feet and you’ll remove most of it, but not all of it. Rub a little red dirt on your clothing and you’ll be presented with a new challenge.
Ok – enough about the difficulties of red dirt removal.
When hiking back country of Hawai’i, I look forward to long hikes along red dirt roads. I love the smell, the color and contrast it creates with anything nearby.
Red dirt speaks aloha.
The nearly 2,774-acre Kamakou Preserve on the slopes Kamakou, the island’s highest mountain, is striking when viewed from Maui. Before you venture, plan ahead because the weather can and will affect your visit to the Preserve. When there, you can see more than 250 rare Hawaiian plants, 219 of which can be found nowhere else in the world, hear the song of the olomao, or what is called the Molokai thrush, and the kawawahie – commonly called the “Molokai creeper.” Both of these birds are near extinction. The best hike is along the three-mile (round-trip) narrow Kamakou boardwalk that takes you through unspoiled rain forest. The Nature Conservancy offers a monthly tour of this unique preserve, which is unlike any other on earth.
Early morning beach time is really special on Maui. Most tourists avoid early bird beach adventure. And the ones that show up are quietly enjoying a morning walk, run or combing. Seeking a ‘no foot prints in the sand’ photo can be challenging on all Hawaiian islands — so arrive early. It’s the calm before crowds get crazy loud at the beach.
What a beautiful plant – and oh so rare. I captured this “in the wild” beneath the peak of Haleakala. Its texture is like foam and it’s soft to the touch. The plant blooms once in its lifetime – at 40 or 50 years of age … then dies.