Monday, 14 October 2013

Hanging around upcountry

You can't spend every day on Maui on the beach. Well, you could, but you would get sunstroke and sunburn pretty quickly if you're a "white guy" from a less sunnier clime like me. 

At least at the beginning of our time here, every few days we take a break from the beach and head upcountry, to at least the 1,000 - 2,000 m altitude mark. A lot of folks live at the low end of that, there's are some nice parks, and pretty views beneath the omnipresent clouds.

On the Sunday of the Columbus Day weekend, there were also lots of locals out having fun. One park we like to picnic at was packed with folks tobogganing. Yes, I said riding toboggans. Or in their case, sheets of cardboard.
Some up, some down 
Face first 
The line up at the top of the hill 
Three at once
Which begs the question: do Albertans toboggan on grass hills in the summer? Or do they strictly reserve tobogganing for winter?

There were even kids riding skateboards on the grass hills.
One standing, two sitting
There were a LOT of people near Rice Park. Across the road, the Kula Country Market had a corn maze and pumpkin party going on.
Pumpkin picking 
The main reason for us to go upcountry is to go find native birds in what's left of the native forests, and for that it was a jackpot day. We must have seen over 20 'Apapane in the blooming ohi'a trees. The trees were great, the birds having a riot in the blooms.
Close up of the blossoms
The upcountry forest was it usual misty weird self.
The clouds swirl
Clouds arriving
Normally, we walk the whole Waiakoa Loop trail, but today, we just did a 5.5 km out and return to see the birds. I don't think I've ever seen so many ohi'a trees with so many blooms, and lots of baby ohi'as are starting to grow in the pine forest.

It was 91° F when we left Kihei, but only 63° F on the trail, where we peaked out at 1,950 m altitude -- kind of the same altitude I hike to in my neighbourhood at home. It did not feel cold at all, and surprisingly, there was no snow...

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