Long day. We got up at 5:30 and spent the day seeing things along the Hana Highway. It amazes me to think that over 50 years ago my dad was traveling along that road on a horse and on foot as a very young missionary, but that is another story.
Many amazing things we were able to see and enjoy, but I will just touch on two highlights.
The last time we were here, we learned that the spirits of the ancestors dwell in the lava rocks. Mike took a small lava rock from one of the black sand beaches so he would make sure to return to Maui and bring the spirit of this ancestor back. Then he planned on taking another rock so he would need to return again with that one. We visited that black sand beach today. It was unexpectedly moving for him to return the rock to its home, and then choose another that would live with us until we return. He will keep it in his office, and look at it when he needs a reminder of why he goes to work every day.
Our other unexpected highlight was on the 4 mile hike to see Waimoku Falls. This waterfall is 400 feet high, and is in one of the canyons on the east side of Haleakala Volcano. We started at the coast and ascended through different kinds of woods, crossing over the gorge with many smaller falls and pools. Then we were in a dense bamboo forest. It was as if there was only us and the rich, green plants. That bamboo forest scene in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" could have been filmed here. When there was a breeze, the trees would whisper above, and as the trunks bumped into each other, we were surrounded by the rich, deep percussion melody like giant bamboo chimes. It was beautifully haunting.
The waterfall was also stunning.
Tomorrow we get to dive some more. For now, we relish the unique beauty of this day.