“EL JEEPO” BACK IN SERVICE FOR ONE DAY

Four new citrus trees planted

For over seven years, “El Jeepo” has been my work horse at our Rainbow Shower ranch in Maui. Last September, I had him shipped to Arizona for a well-earned retirement. Since that time, I have only used him for occasional joy rides through the desert. Until yesterday.

A part of my backyard looked pretty bare for someone who has been used to taking care of a 7-acre jungle property spread around a Hawaiian gulch. So I decided to add some more greenery to it. I mounted El Jeepo, and we went to a local store to get four new citrus tree saplings – two kinds of oranges, one lime and one lemon.

Now here’s a difference between El Jeepo’s and my work in Hawaii vs. here in Arizona. I hired someone to plant the saplings. I Maui, I would have done the whole thing myself. Over the years, I had planted literally hundreds of trees of various kinds and sizes. But now that El Jeepo and I are officially in retirement from farming, I decided to be like Martha Stewart and point instead of digging myself. 🙂

Donald Trump would be pleased. One more American job saved. Or created, if you wish. 🙂

UPDATE MAR 28, 2017

A SPECTACULAR OCOTILLO IN FULL BLOOM

Two Majestic Arizona Desert Dwellers

This morning, Elizabeth and I went for a walk around our Grayhawk neighborhood. And we came across this huge 20-ft Ocotillo that took our breath away.
I have never seen one as spectacular and perfect in all respects as this one. Resembling bonfire flames with read flowers atop each green branch, it was the biggest and the most beautiful desert plant that we have seen in bloom this spring. Or maybe ever. My caption for this shot would be DESERT FLAME.

But don’t be fooled by these benign looking green branches. Like so many desert plants, they are actually full of vicious thorns. Let’s just say you would not want to pick one up with your bare hands.

By the way, Ocotillos have been used for centuries by the natives in the American Southwest for a variety of medicinal and non-medicinal purposes.

The photo on the right is that of another magnificent specimen of the Arizona desert – the world famous Saguaro. My caption for this sunset shot would be ARIZONA CHURCH. 🙂

Medicinal Uses:

A tincture made of fresh bark is useful for eliminating symptoms associated with inflammation of the pelvic region. Ocotillo can also be effective in alleviating hemorrhoids, benign prostate enlargements, and cervical varicosities.
The Cahuilla Indians prepared Ocotillo root in a tea to treat a harsh, moist cough observed in the elderly. The Apache Indians often used the reddish orange blossom, fresh or dried in a tea, which aided in the relief of soar and swollen muscles. The seeds and flowers were also eaten raw in various dishes.

Non-medicinal Uses:

The resin and wax collected from the bark is often used to condition leather. These lengthy stems of Ocotillo are also used as fence posts, if watered frequently they can re-root themselves and become a living fence post. Dried stems of the ocotillo can be used as a regular fence by layering them on top of one another and tying them together.
ALTZAR: I’ve seen those kinds of fences. They are formidable military defense barriers. The Indians used them to protect their villages from invaders including wild animals.
By the way, Ocotillo’s official botanical name is Fouquieria splendens. They have an average lifespan of 60 years, though some have been known to live 72 years.
 * * *

UPDATE APR 1, 2017

OUR MOVE FROM HAWAII IS NOW COMPLETE

On Thursday March 30 at 9 PM (yes, PM, no mistake there), a trucker delivered our Nissan Leaf after a long trans-oceanic journey from Hawaii.  And today, I took it to a car wash to give it a fresh gleaming start at its new desert home.

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The shipment of some our Rainbow Shower house contents also arrived the next day (March 31).  We had sold most of our possessions in Maui and have kept only some personal effects, artifacts and some antiques. Still the movers managed to break a few valuable pieces.

Like a  200-or-so-year old antique chair, or Elizabeth’s late Mom’s Don Quixote sculpture, or this Czech crystal bowl.

Oh well, that’s life, I suppose. You lose some, you create some. And you move on…

UPDATE APR 3, 2017

EAGLE’S NEST ART GALLERY – REINSTATED

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I made a feeble attempt this weekend at hanging some tapestries and other artifacts that arrived last week here from our Rainbow Shower home in Maui. After I had made a mess of just one of them in our dining room drywall – the easiest and the smallest of our tapestries – handyman I am not! 🙂 – I summoned a real handyman to complete the job today. In fact, you can still see his ladder and tools in some of the pictures.

And what a job he did. Perfection all around. And what a job he did. Perfection all around. It took him 3 hours of laser-precision measurements (literally, he used a laser). And it was worth it.

Take a look at the newly reassembled Eagle’s Nest Art Gallery… (some of these tapestries had already hung on these very walls in the past – before our move to Maui in 2009).

 

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI

We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1.  For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area. Here are some shots of both…

First, my morning walk from our condo to the beach…

Our “final walkthrough” of the Rainbow shower taken midday…

And our late afternoon back at our Kamaole Sands beach.

UPDATE MAR 4, 2017

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 4

Mar 4, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
Here are some scenes from our morning walk along Kamaole Sands beach.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 5

Mar 5, 2017
On Saturday (Mar 4), we went on a whale watching sunset sailing cruise on the Gemini catamaran off the coast of Kaanapali. Alas, due to a technical glitch with my waterproof camera card reader, those pictures are still trapped on my camera memory card. I may have to wait to get to AZ to retrieve them.
On Sunday (Mar 5), Elizabeth made her final purchase at Kaahumanu Mall – a pair of Hawaiian earrings – which she asked me to record on camera. There was also a Hula show going on in the background.

And in the evening, we went to a lovely dinner party by our friend Rada Kovilic who has a condo in the same resort where we are now staying – Kamaole Sands. Her balcony provided a perfect vantage point for another beautiful Maui sunset.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 6

Mar 6, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
Here are some scenes from outside our condo and from our morning walk along the Kamaole Park shore. We discovered here what is probably Kihei’s best surfing spot, right next to the small boat harbor. It looked like a smaller version of Ho’okipa Point in our old neighborhood on the north shore of Maui.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 7

Mar 4, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
On Saturday, Mar 4, we went whale-watching aboard the catamaran “Gemini,” which we boarded on Kaanapali Beach in West Maui. Here are some pictures from that wonderful outing.

Elizabeth and I have gone sailing and whale watching many times before, but never, ever have we seen to many full breaches by these 20-ton (40,000-pound) giants as on Saturday afternoon. It felt as they the whales were waving their watery goodbyes to us.

Just to give you an idea of how bit the Humpback whales are, some of these guys you are seeing in the above pictures are as long as 7 African elephants standing next to each other.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 8

Mar 7, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
On Tuesday, Mar 7, Elizabeth and I drove up to the 10,000-ft Haleakala (volcano) summit for our final goodbye to Maui. We fly back to Arizona tomorrow (Mar 8).
The weather was perfect all the way up and during an hour or so we spent at the summit. And then just as we headed down the mountain, the clouds and rain moved it. They stayed with us all the way down till we got to lower Kula. We might as well have been driving through a soup, the fog was so thick.
We kept thanking God all the way down for this miracle – of holding off the bad weather until we had a chance to say our high level goodbyes.
By the way, Haleakala is the Fire vortex of Mother Earth and thus a very powerful masculine energy center. On Saturday, however, our wonderful sailing to see the whales and Watery goodbyes we received from them provided the counter balance – the feminine energy farewell.
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UPDATE MAR 8, 2017

OUR FINAL MAUI BEACH SHOT

 
I don’t know how we managed to do this, because it has been raining most of the day over most of Maui today, but if you look at our final farewell shot taken around noon at Kamaole beach in Kihei/Wailea, you would get the impression that there is nothing but sunshine and surf on this magical island.
 
Goodbye Maui! We love you.
Last Maui beach shot 3-8-17

ALL HOME REPAIRS COMPLETED

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UPDATE FEB 26, 2017

ALL HOME REPAIRS COMPLETED AT 894 E KUIAHA RD

Dear Martha,

Here’s an email invoice I received from my contractors for the home repairs completed at 894 E Kuiaha Rd – per our Feb 21, 2017 J-1 General Inspection of Property Notice. You can also see a separate invoice from the plumber who replaced the old water pressure regulator with a new one.

You should note that the Items 5. and 10. in the above contractor’s invoice (left) were NOT required per our Feb 21, 2017 agreement. I did these repairs voluntarily as a favor to Greg and Sophia even though their home inspector had evidently missed these problems. I have also repaired an additional spot on the deck close to the spa that inspector had also missed (see the photos below).

PHOTOS OF COMPLETED REPAIRS (in order of appearance in the Feb 21, 2017 J-1 General Inspection of Property Notice).

  • New Master Bedroom sliding screen door installed (Home Depot box and spare frame stored in shed). Screen door lock also replaced.
  • Garage door repaired inside and out
  • Missing or damaged rooftop shingles replaced, 15 leftover new shingles left in garage for new owners
  • Gutters and downspout cleaned and flushed, leaky joints repaired
  • Minor dry rot on the deck repaired, additional areas touched up and painted
  • Exterior GFCI switch under kitchen window replaced
  • Masking tape removed from one of the wall switches in the office (“right bedroom” per the report).

EXPLANATIONThere is nothing wrong with this switch. I put this tape on many years ago because the switch turns on and off the wall outlets to which our computers are plugged it.  I was tired of turning them off accidentally when I came into this room at night and then having to reboot them.  I had completely forgotten about it until I saw the inspector’s report. 

  • Water pressure regulator replaced, pressure turned down to 50-60 PSI
  • Kitchen and vanity sinks “voids” sealed with foam spray
  • Bottom portions of the master bedroom door pressboard casings replaced and repainted on both sides

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ADDITIONAL REPAIRS DONE WHICH WERE NOT PART OF J-1 General Inspection of Property Notice

  • Chipped wall in garage wall filled in with plaster and repainted (this was something we inherited the original owners)
  • Two interior electrical switches replaced in the family room (below left)
  • Minor dry rot spot repaired at the end of the deck next to the spa (above right)

PERSONAL NOTE TO BUYERS

Dear Greg and Sophia,

Hope enjoy your new home! I am turning over the care-taking duties of the Rainbow Shower to you with love and blessings.

May the Santa Tierras (land spirits, the fairies) be as kind and helpful to you in this enviable job as they were to me. It has been my honor and privilege to serve them and work with them for the past 8 years.

Bob

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Also see, RAINBOW SHOWER’S BEAUTIFUL OCEAN, MOUNTAIN VISTAS

https://www.facebook.com/rainbowshowersacred/

RUN/WALK FOR WHALES

A whale of a day! Or at least the start of it…

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RUN/WALK FOR WHALES

Just got back from a fundraising event – Run/Walk for Whales – at Maalaea Harbor. The start of the race, or walk – one’s choice – was at predawn. Yet probably more than a thousand people were already at the starting line.

I am not a morning person. So the hardest part for me was getting up before dawn and then driving half an hour to Maalaea. But it was worth it. Not just to help the whales. It was magnificent watching the sun break through the mist and rise over the Haleakala volcano during the event. I could not take my eyes off it.

No wonder the ancient Hawaiians named this volcano Home of the Sun (that’s what Haleakala means in Hawaiian).

Here are just some shots for now to whet your appetite.

I got to the START line at 7:20. Which is when my race/walk category was supposed to start. But most of the runners and walkers had already left. It was cold by Maui standards in the predawn hour. Only 58F. So I supposed people were anxious to get going.

But the cold did not discourage the youngest runners with whom I also started this race/walk – as a “caboose” in the adult category. 🙂

But it did not take me long to catch up. Stopping to take these pictures set me back again. And so it went, back and forth.

SCENES FROM THE COURSE

What was really neat about this event was seeing the people of all different ages and sizes hoofing around the course to help the whales. At the same time, they were helping themselves.

In the end, everybody got on the same page – back where we started.

Sun rising over its home

Notice the green orb hovering under my right hand?

SPLASH IN THE OCEAN

The organizers offered the participants a free breakfast. I did not bother checking to see what it was. The crowd was just too big for me. Instead, I jumped in my car and drove to the nearest beach for a splash in the ocean.

It was another first for me. I don’t think I ever got to the beach and into the ocean so early in the morning. But the place was bustling with activities – fishing, big (Hawaiian) canoe paddling, sailing …  an entirely different lifestyle from ours at the Rainbow Shower in Haiku.

Native Hawaiians have the proper words for it. The upcountry areas on the mountain where we live are called MAUKA. Those near the ocean are called MAKAI. Today, I got to experience both.

I also came home with this T-shirt which all participants in this event received from the Pacific Whale Foundation as a memento.

Also, while on the beach, I saw a bunch of shells discarded near the wooden guardrail. It reminded me of the many times Elizabeth had been hunting for shells in Hawaii, mostly unsuccessfully. So I took a picture of it for her.

UPDATE FEB 5, 2017

RETURN TO MAALAEA: A YIN-YANG EXPERIENCE

After finished some errands in town this afternoon, I was guided to go back to Maalaea, where yesterday we held the Maui Run/Walk for Whales fundraiser in the predawn hours.  Perhaps it was the strong winds we’ve been experiencing today.

Normally, we get trade winds from the northeast. Today, however, we are experiencing strong “anti-trade” winds from the southwest.

No, this is not a political anti-TPP statement. 🙂 But who knows, it could be. You never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.
 

In any event, Maalaea is on the west side of Maui, opposite from the north shore ocean scenery I normally share with you. Which means that today, these strong winds would be coming off there straight off the ocean with nothing in between.

So while millions in America were watching a gladiator sport event, this is what I kept my eyes peeled on.

I think that maybe that’s what I wanted to feel – the ocean spray hitting my face by these almost gale-force winds. And I got that. But what I did no bargain for are some beautiful ocean beach scenes.

It was the same beach on which I took a splash yesterday morning after the Whale event. It was a calm, serene, almost dreamy scene with the mist rising from the ocean. A true YIN.

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Today, the ocean was wild and woolly. And the strong wind made it feel like a real YANG experience, especially in parts where it was blowing the sand across the road like like gales off the Sahara dunes.

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Here are some pictures so you can judge it for yourself.

RAINBOW BOOKENDS, GREAT WHITE GIANTS RETURN TO MAUI

RAINBOW BOOKENDS REAPPEAR AT THE RAINBOW SHOWER, MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN EVER

Clear sky rainbows in the morning, first ever post-sunset rainbow in the evening

Also, TOPSY-TURVY WEATHER IN MAUI, EXTRAORDINARY CLOUD

It happened again today. Just like it did three days ago – on Sunday, Jan 22. Both ends of this day at the Rainbow Shower were bracketed by rainbows. Only this time, they were even more beautiful.

The first ones this morning were rare clear sky rainbows. The mist and sun kept dancing with each all day. By late afternoon, more rainbows started to appear. And this evening, I witnessed something quite remarkable, possibly for the first time.

The sun had already set. The Rainbow Shower house and lawn were already enveloped in darkness as you can see from the first two photos. Yet the sun’s rays were still reaching up high and the sky and setting the clouds on fire as well as the rainbow.

It was an awe-inspiring, amazing sight. Feeling blessed? You betcha.

So I ran into the house get the camera and share it with you. Enjoy!

MAUI’S GREAT WHITE GIANTS ARE BACK (select photos)

Today I had to run some errands in town. On my way, I could not resist and had to stop at Ho’okipa Point for another look at Maui’s Great White Giants that are pounding against the lava rocks at one of the world’s most famous surfing spots – Ho’okipa Point. But with the waves at about 25 to 30 feet, no one was crazy enough to try to surf on them.

MAUI’S GREAT WHITE GIANTS ARE BACK – a 1-min video by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – Jan 25, 2017

Here’s a 1-min video consisting of 25 “live shots” – with my background music – Banana Boat from the Caribbean. 🙂

https://youtu.be/7-QshdLAJyU [Youtube version]

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HOOKIPA PHOTO ALBUM

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UPDATE JAN 27, 2017

A 1-min video by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – Jan 27, 2017 – filmed around 4PM

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Just got back from a quick outing to Paia. Stopped at Ho’okipa Point on my way. Beautiful afternoon. What attracted me most of all was the scent of the ocean. Love it. So pure and healing especially with light trade breezes like today’s.

The surf is now “surfable” – about 6-10 ft waves. And there were lots of surfers starting their weekend on water.

Check it out…

Direct

Youtube link: https://youtu.be/XhrQqixcbdI

PHOTO ALBUM

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UPDATE FEB 5, 2017

TOPSY-TURVY WEATHER IN MAUI

Normally, we get trade winds blowing from the northeast. Today, however, we are experiencing strong “anti-trade” winds from the southwest.

No, this is not a political anti-TPP statement. 🙂 But who knows, it could be. You never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.

How strong are the winds?

Not very. according to the official Weather.com. Only 22 mph right now. But the gusts must be much stronger. Because for the first time ever (!), they have literally opened my bedroom sliding screen door. Twice!

At first, I did not believe it was the wind. I thought I had forgotten to close it. But when it happened the second time…

So now I propped it up a little – using my university crest as a door stopper. 🙂 No offense meant. It’s just that I needed something narrow to wedge on the track behind it.

The wind is almost never an event unto its own. Like an advance scout, it precedes the arrival of the main army. Tomorrow, we are expecting rain. So it goes…

FINALLY, AN OFFICIAL WIND ALERT

Better late than never?

Now they tell us… after the wind opened this door for a third time, and blew off the (heavy) top of my spa. And it also knocked down my wheel barrow. Here’s a weather update I just got:
“SOUTHWEST WINDS WILL INCREASE… REACHING 25 TO 35 MPH IN SOME SPOTS… WITH LOCALIZED GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH…. A STRONG AND FAST MOVING COLD FRONT WILL APPROACH THE ISLANDS TONIGHT… WITH INCREASING SOUTHWEST WINDS EXPECTED AHEAD OF THE FRONT.”
Talk about closing the barn door after the horse is gone, I could have told them this morning the winds were stronger than the 22 mph the Weather,com said.
I just hope and pray that we don’t lose power or internet. Knock on wood, so far so good (rhyme intended) 🙂
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UPDATE FEB 6, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY CLOUD HOVERS OVER RAINBOW SHOWER FOR ALMOST 2 HOURS IN GALE FORCE WINDS

I have never seen anything like it before. Last night, an enormous cloud that took up 2/3 of the sky, shaped like a giant whale or a blimp, hovered above my house for nearly two hours.

The head was pointing to the west. The tail was in the east. The light you see which looks like the whale’s eye is actually the moon trying to shine through.

I snapped this picture when I first saw it a little after 10 PM without expecting much. I had never taken a shot before with my new iPhone camera in complete darkness. Then I went back to watch the rest of a movie. When I came back out about an hour-and-a-half later, the cloud was still there.

What made this phenomenon so extraordinary is that at the same time we were (and still are) buffeted by gale force winds that blew off the top of my spa and opened the sliding screen door – 3 times! Eventually, I had to tape it down to the frame using masking tape.

Yet the giant cloud was still there, like a massive immovable object impervious to gale force winds. Amazing! Wonder what it meant?

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 * * *

UPDATE FEB 7, 2017

LITTLE BLONDE “CRABS” PLAYING ON LAVA ROCKS

This morning, thanks to a real estate showing of my property, I did three things on a spur of a moment that I don’t usually do.

First, before I even cleaned up, I spent an hour raking and mowing the debris from the strong winds in the last two days have brought down on the lawn.

Second, I had breakfast. Well, I mean – a real breakfast, a veggie omelette at Colleen’s in Haiku town center – not my usual, a few grapes and half a banana.

Third, I drove down to Ho’okipa Point to watch the surfers on this beautifully clear morning. The forecast was rain, by the way. 🙂

You can see for yourself now how great the weather is this morning. It is rare that one can see the West Maui Mountains. Usually they are enveloped in clouds. The surf was about 10-15 ft with an occasional 20-footer.

 

 HAPPY FAMILY SCENE

But the most interesting scene was watching this family down on the rocks. Their two kids, a toddler and a baby still in diapers, played on the lava rocks like two little blonde crabs. 🙂

But one or both of the parents kept a close eye on them. The mother eventually took both kids into that little basin which the ocean had carved out in the lava rocks like a bathtub. Of course, she took off the diaper first. Not her own. 🙂

AN EXTRAORDINARY SUNDAY

STRONG WINDS CAUSE STATEWIDE INTERNET FAILURES, FIRST EVER FIRE AT HOME, JAPANESE SILKWORM ART,MAUI POPS BROADWAY CONCERT, RAINBOW BOOKENDS

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea how eventful this day would end up being. It had everything – man-created and God-made events. And all of that was bracketed as if by bookends by this pair of beautiful rainbows – one in the morning, and one in the evening.

INTERNET AND POWER OUTAGE

Strong winds which started during the night brought down the internet today for almost 18 hours. Not just at the Rainbow Shower. Or even Maui. This was a STATEWIDE outage by Time Warner Oceanic Cable, according to their posted message.

The power had also failed at one point during the night. All of my electric clocks were blinking unhappily when I woke up. But at least they were on.

Yesterday, my email was also down most of the day. That was my bad – a man-made problem. I was transferring four of my older websites to a cheaper hosting company. So it was to be expected that some disruptions would happen. Guess today God decided to give me another day off the net by blowing in this storm. 🙂

FIRST FIRE EVER

The strong winds also brought in colder weather. I know, some of you folks in the northeast, midwest or Alaska would laugh at what we consider cold in Hawaii. The temperature inside the house was about 65 at noon.

Our climate here is such that most homes don’t have either a heating or A/C system. When it gets “cold” like this, we just put on an extra layer of clothing (like my cardigan – see below). And still keep the windows open.

Well today, for the first time ever, I decided to light a fire in our fireplace. Until now, this has been merely a piece of decorative furniture. It did not generate much heat. It was just newspapers and kindling. But it looked pretty.

Elizabeth texted me that she wished she were here.  Guess Arizona is also having a cold spell. But at least the folks there have proper heating and A/C in most homes.

INTERESTING DRIVE TO KAHULUI

I like seeing Broadway musicals live in New York. But I am not so crazy about concerts just the hits from musical.  So it was only late last night that I finally decided to buy a ticket and go to today’s Maui Pops matinee concert at the MACC (Maui Arts and Cultural Center).

“Why not?” I said to myself. It’s not like I have some other pressing engagements on a Sunday afternoon.

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On my drive to Kahului, I was amazed to see a couple of windsurfers braving these strong winds over about 10 foot waves at Ho’okipa Point, one of the world’s most famous surfing spots. There were no other “regular” surfers today. Guess most of them had more sense than that.

Sun, strong winds, mist and tourists undaunted by weather challenges were also all present at the same time in Paia. I just shook my head.

“Guess I am becoming a wimp living in Hawaii,” I mused.  When I was doing my shamanic rites of passage for ordinations in Peru we camped at 15,000 ft elevations in the High Andes and even swam in icy lakes. So icy, in fact, that surface ice cut the skin on my shins as I was walking into the lake.

AMAZING JAPANESE ARTIST’S SILKWORM ART

An unexpected pleasure, and actually the highlight of my visit to MACC, was an exhibit which just opened at the Shaeffer Gallery. Which is right next to the concert venue. Akihiko Izukura, a Japanese master of dyeing and weaving, works primarily in silk by transforming thread into “wind-like” fabrics. He hand-dyes silk with subtle colors made only from natural materials following a process that is over 2,000 years old.

Take a look at some of these amazing creations…

You can find out more about this artist if you click here…. http://mauiarts.org/exhibit-detail.php.

MAUI POPS BROADWAY CONCERT

The concert featured two award winning Broadway stars – Christiane Noll and Doug LcBrecque, along with the award-winning composer and producer – Jason Howland, who conducted the Maui Pops orchestra.

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The music was good and the singers excellent. But as I said, not exactly my cup of tea when it comes to music. So I left during the intermission.

EVENING RAINBOW COMPLETES BOOKENDS

When I came back home, I was greeted by an evening rainbow.

“Oh, so today, God is gracing us with rainbow bookends,” I thought as I grabbed the camera to capture this memory.

I was about to get in my car and drive to Pukalani Starbucks where I was hoping to connect to the internet. I had already disconnected and packed my laptop. But something made me go back to the office to double check on the status.

Bingo! The internet was back. Which is why you are now able to read these lines and see these pictures.

But the wind is still battering the windows which face the northeast. So who knows, maybe we are not out of the woods yet. But thank God for small mercies. Aloha!

 

 

AN EXCITING DRIVE AROUND WEST MAUI

AN EXCITING DRIVE AROUND WEST MAUI

Nail-biting return home

The trade winds have returned to Maui this morning. After more than a week of VOG (volcanic emissions), the sky was clear once again.

So I decided to try to kill two birds with one stone: Test the endurance and range of my Leaf (electric car) and enjoy some beautiful sights around the wild and woolly West Maui.

In the past, Elizabeth and I have driven around the West Maui mountains’ twisty single lane roads a number of times – in El Jeepo or some of our other gasoline-powered cars. But never in a Leaf.

Why not?

Because even if everything went according to plant, the round trip would be about 100 miles. Which equals the rated range of the Leaf under normal conditions.

Alas, conditions are never normal on a volcanic island like Maui. There are hills and valleys, headwinds and tailwinds, light and dark. So I realized I was taking a chance when I set out on this journey a little after noon today.

For, now let’s just say that the Leaf and I returned home around six this evening on a single charge. That’s 105 miles!

There was a bit of nail-biting toward the end, but we made it home on a single bar (there are 12 bars when the car is fully charged).

PHOTO ALBUM

Departure

It is rare that one can see so clearly the West Maui Mountains while driving from my home into Kahului. Normally, most Hawaiian volcano peaks are enveloped in clouds.

I took the first picture while driving past Ho’okipa Point, a famous surfing spot. The other two shots were taken from Kahului harbor. When the “Pride of America” cruise ship is in town (every Sunday and Monday), it instantly becomes the tallest structure in Kahului. 🙂

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Here’s also a view of it from across the Kahului harbor.

Maui’s “Rock of Gibraltar

Ever since we returned from our May 2014 trip to Europe, which included a visit to Gibraltar, I have been calling this rock on the northeast side of Maui as our “Rock of Gibraltar.”

The height of the overlook north of the “Rock of Gibraltar” offers wonderful views of the coastline to the north.

Blowhole Overlook

A few miles north of the “Rock of Gibraltar” is another popular tourist attraction – a Blowhole. I did not bother going down to the ocean to see it, but I did take in the wonderful ocean and coastline vista from the high overlook above the Blowhole.

img_0714View from the Blowhole overlook, northeast coast of West Maui

Enchanted forest at Honolua Bay

My next stop was Honolua Bay. I have never been here before today even though Honolua Bay is close to Kapalua, the first first spot on Maui where I landed for the first time in 1986.

Well today, I walked through this forest of huge trees and giant vines before reaching Honolua Bay. Take a look…

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Here are also some still shots from the enchanted forest and the Honolua Bay beach…

 D.T Fleming Beach Park

My next stop was another first – the D.T. Fleming Beach Park. The place is on the doorstep of Kapalua. Yet I have never been there before, either. The sign in the parking lot proudly announces it as “America’s Beast Beach of 2006.”

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Well, it is a nice beach. But America’s best beach? That sounds a bit too self-aggrandizing.

Who was D.T. Fleming? That’s what I was also wondering. So after some effort, I found out today that he was one of the early settlers here.  And he left behind a record of his experiences, “The Fleming Journals: West Maui Land Records and Family History 1905-1910”, which is now in Lahaina Library.

Kapalua Beach

Next was my longtime favorite – Kapalua Beach. That’s where I stayed when I first came to Maui in 1986.  The beach is still the same, and the views are beautiful. But there are a lot of condos now in place where there used to be just green lawns.

“Progress?” Not in my books.

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Kaanapali Beach

This is where I was hoping to recharge my Leaf’s battery. Alas, all charging stations were out of order. But I still had 6 out of 12 bars left in my battery.  So I was hoping I might make it back home on a single charge.

If so, that would be about 105 miles – 5 more than the rated range of my electric car. That’s because I had not charged the Leaf at home before I left this mornbbinbg. I did it the day before at Pukalani while I was doing laps in the swimming pool. So I figured, it would be touch-and-go driving home.

But, it is what it is. I figured God and my spirit guides know that they are doing.  So I shrugged and  I went to the Kaanapali Beach where I actually had my first and only swim of the day. It was already close to 4PM and the sun was getting low over the island of Lanai.

Visit to Lahaina

No trip around West Maui would be complete without a visit to Lahaina. So I parked at our usual spot in front of Starbucks, and then walked the length of Front Street all the way to the big Banyan tree and the Lahaina harbor. That’s where I took these pictures.

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By the time I headed back to my car, it was already almost 5PM.

“Ah, rush hour,” I thought.

There is only one road in and out of Lahaina. And at the end of the business day one is almost certain to end up in stop and go traffic. And so I did. We crawled all the way from Lahaina to Maalea Harbor where the road widens. Probably just as well as it helped save my car battery’s life.

I smiled when I realized that. “God knows indeed what He is doing.”‘

Drive Home: Winging It

When I got to about the Target store in Kahului, I was down to 3 bars in my car battery. That’s when I had to make a decision – do I go to Kaahumanu Mall and recharge, or risk it go for it – straight home.  I decided on the latter.

“God, now I need your help to get me home,” I said out loud.

I was thinking maybe those charging stations in Kaanapali were out for a reason – to test my faith and trust in spirit guidance.

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I got home comfortably with one bar in my car battery still left. Whew! 🙂