Wow! Where to begin. I’ve been away from writing for a few weeks, but I have a really good reason. My husband gave me an opportunity to clear my schedule, drop everything, and fly away. I came home from an appointment on a Thursday to find out that he was being sent the follow Monday to Maui, Hawaii, to work for a month. Immediately, I wanted to go, and I got the green light. While I could not stay the full time, I did have a nice visit.
As discussed in Life with a 50+-Year-Old “Kid” (Vol 2), my husband’s propensity for renaming things continues in Maui. The first thing that I noticed while there with him was that he was already renaming the streets. “Puunene” is now “Puny,” for example. Wildlife has also been renamed. I’m not really sure of the bird’s true name, but a small bird with a greenish colored head and a brownish body is now “duck bird;” some rodent-like creature that we often saw running across the road is now a “squeasel” because it reminds him of a combination of a squirrel and a weasel. Finally, the unique trees that are everywhere on Maui will forever be to me “red dog, blue dog trees” because they remind my dear hubby of the trees shown in the popular children’s book Go Dog Go.
Speaking of roads, please be very careful, and reasonably afraid, of any roads going along the cliffs of Maui. Our first experience was with the Road to Hana, which goes along the coast down the southeast side of the island.
It is highly advertised, and tourist are warned of the challenge of driving the road. As we drove it, my husband said, “Highway 1 in California is child’s play compared to this.” The picture of the t-shirt I purchased tells you why. Now, after you read about the Road to Hana, please know that the cliff road on the northwest side of the island is much harder to drive, much more dangerous, and terribly frightening; we found out the hard way.
The day after we drove to Hana and on around so that we made a circle back to Kahului, we had plans in Lahaina, so we thought we’d drive a circle of that side of the island, too. We drove counter-clockwise, which we now know was a very, very bad choice. If Highway 1 in California is child’s play compared tothe Road to Hana, the Road to Hana is child’s play compared to this cliff-side drive. Poor hubby was driving, and I think we both were truly afraid for our lives at least once on this journey.
You see, most of the drive is a one-lane road with a rock wall on one side (the clockwise side) and a sheer drop off with no shoulder on the other side (the counter-clockwise direction). Add to that the curves and lush greenery makes it almost impossible to see who or what is coming until you meet. It was just after one of these curves as we were headed downhill toward another curve and a one way bridge that we found ourselves face to face with another vehicle. Before we could figure out how to maneuver so we could pass each other, more vehicles were behind each of us. Slowly backing up, Jim was trying to avoid scraping the car on the rock wall while also not backing my side of the car off the cliff. It was harrowing! Some how, some way – it all worked out, but here is a view of what we saw during the ordeal. (Please know that the mound of dirt and grass seen ahead on the right is NOT between me and the cliff where I am in the car making this picture.) Never have I been happier to see a two-lane road once we cleared this section of the drive!
Life with my husband Jim is certainly exciting!