We had quite an adventure today. Since we decided to visit the volcano tomorrow, due to the forecast, the plan for the day was pretty open. Z wanted to go to a couple places way up north on the northwest part of the island that she saw on a YouTube video earlier in the year so that is what we decided to do. Little did we know how interesting that would turn out to be.
Due to the fact that we drove the west coastline yesterday, we opted to drive the alternate route today, which was a narrow highway with twists and turns up through rainforest along the coast. The road was pretty fun actually and I didn’t have nearly the anxiety about it as I did with one I drove in Utah last year. Then the highway ended and it became a single lane road. The distance to our destination was relatively short, but the drive seemed long. We got to about 4 miles from the Nakalele Blowhole and ran right into a “road closed sign”. It was completely shut down with no way to get through. There was a cliff with drops to the ocean on one side, and solid rock wall on the other. There was nowhere to go but back the way we came.. and so we did.
However, just like everything else in life, I can’t be told “no” about anything without putting my foot down and saying “oh really, just watch me”. So we drove all the way back to the part of the main juncture of the island and proceeded to travel up the entire west coast.
When we arrived at the spot, we parked the car by the side of the highway and got out. We walked a short distance to a precipice that overlooked the entire scene. To the right of me, I could see the giant land formation which was the very same one I saw two hours before. We had been so damn close. We took a few pictures and then started our decent to the water below. It was fun climbing down the rocks, sort of racing to see who could find the best way down. The position of the sun caused our shadows to be cast on the ground below which was worthy of a pause to take a pic but it wasn’t long before we were down at sea level.
We wandered around a bit, being a little leery of getting too close to the hole because there were several warning signs about the danger of getting pulled into the ocean.
As I stood on the black, rocky volcanic ground and looked out at the waves crashing on the coastline to the right and to the left of me, I began to cry. It was such a fantastic view. I couldn’t believe how far I had come, both literally and figuratively. I watched my children from a brief distance and became overwhelmed with joy.
Z was sitting, patiently waiting for the next big eruption of water through the hole, her phone, perfectly positioned and ready to take a picture of the action. C had a small stick and was poking at tiny crabs that were in the of water that had collected in pools on the ground around us. We were all in our happy places.
We’re happy and healthy and getting to experience the most amazing things on this trip. It may be years before they truly appreciate it, or recognize how wonderful all of this is, but right then, in that moment, I did. I felt it like the ocean waves crashing on the rocks next to me. I felt how powerful nature can be and how powerful life is. And it wasn’t just about that moment, it was about the road we travelled to get there.
We drove the entire circle around Northwest Maui, save the estimated 4 or 5 miles of road that were closed just to get to a blowhole where the ocean waves crash up like a geyser. We had traveled across half of the United States and part of the Pacific Ocean to get to where we are today. Like life, the journey is long, but it is totally worth it.
And just like today, one can run into roadblocks in life and have to go the long way around, but if you keep going, you eventually make it to wherever it is you wanted to go. I’ve had quite a detour in my life these past couple of years, but I am still traveling and now quite positive I am on the right track.
We never made it to the second stop on the agenda, which was the Olivine pools. There are supposed to be crystal pools, again, formed out of the lave flow but containing crystal clear water you can swim in. The guidebook had really sketchy instructions on how to get there and we were pretty sure we were in the right spot, but because of our two hour delay it was much later in the day than I intended and the sun was going down. There was nobody around and we would have had to hike down through the woods to get there and it was definitely no the place you want to get lost in the dark alone. So we headed back.
Driving back down the west coast I finally got to see the sunset. We stopped the car along the side of the road and waked down to a little rocky area. I’ve concluded that we can’t go anywhere near the ocean without C wanting to get in it. 😃 It’s OK though, I want to take my time through each and every one of these moments that I can. Before too long, they will be grown and gone and I know I’m going to look back and wish I slowed down more often. I let him play a little while I did a thing I’ve always liked to do, which is hunt for pretty rocks.
We had a good day despite the “detour”. Now we are back at Ken’s house and just doing a bit of relaxing before bed. I’ve got lots more driving the next 3 days so I’m going to need all the rest I can get.