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Day #6: Maui R2H & Beyond

This morning we woke up early to drive  the Road to Hana (R2H), which is a narrow, curving, single-lane bridge festooned roadway to (unsurprisingly) the town of Hana on the lush, windward side of the island. I sort of vaguely remembered it from childhood (having not paid especially close attention to driving conditions as a kid), but I figured that I was either brave or stupid enough to just go with it as an adult.

The drive and environment really is spectacular. Neither words nor pictures can do it justice. It must be experienced firsthand to really appreciate it. There’s also a lot to do along the way; thus, we were a bit forced to make decisions about what to do and what not to do. We opted from the Garden of Eden Arboretum (totally worth the proverbial and literal “price of admission”), the (not so) Secret Falls, and the Wai’anapanapa State Park (for lunch, seaside lava caves and blow hole, and black sand beach). 


View from Garden of Eden


Wai’anapanapa State Park

After lunch, we arrived in the small town of Hana and faced a decision: return via the route we’d come or press on to “The Beyond” (which I’ve heard might not even be approved for rental cars to traverse). Having managed the R2H without any white knuckle moments, we opted to press on and make the full circle. 

The scenery–though less lush–was as or more spectacular. The road–about a lane and a half at its widest, unpaved or poorly paved in parts, and blocked occasionally by cows–might have been a bit too much for some, but I didn’t mind the drive. Our Buick SUV handled it fairly well (though a smaller car would’ve been nice).

Driving “The Beyond” in Maui

After completing this lap, we drove up the mountain we’d been circling for the better part of the day: the 10,000 ft volcano called Haleakalā, which means “House of the Sun.” This too is a spectacular drive, especially on a day like today with a cloud layer between the base and the peak that you get to drive through on the ascent. 


Into the clouds…


Above the clouds…

Amazing! It’s like driving your car to heaven. 

The summit is pretty amazing too. The crater of the volcano looks more like the surface of the moon. This, of course, is even more spectacular when juxtaposed with the tropical lushness and sun-baked brush that we’d see but a few hours prior on different sides of the same mountain. 

View from the summit…

Libby and Emerson at the top!

For dinner, we ate at a local Mexican place called Amigo’s. It was surprisingly good and all the more so after a long day!

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