Sunday, September 21, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I needed a mini vacation and finally took one. Since I'm already living in Hawaii, a vacation destination, I decided to go out and explore some parts of Maui I hadn't seen yet. There are so many beaches, rain forests, sacred sites, and mountain vistas here it will probably take me a year to see them all. Adventure for me is more than just about the excitement of writing and publishing fiction. It's also about getting back to nature. One of my favorite things to do when not working is to go hiking and exploring new places. Here are some photos of two hiking trips I took last week with my good friend Greg "Magick" Bernstein.
That's Magick in the hat. He's a retreat leader here on Maui and knows about many of the sacred places to explore. First, we went hiking the Waihe'e Valley, a rain forest region located on the northwest side of Maui, just a short drive from Kahului.
The sky was an azure blue that day.
A very wise and ancient banyan tree watches over the trail.
We crossed several streams like this.
Two of the streams have swinging bridges.
The trail ends at waterfalls that flow into a swimming hole.
It's a great place to picnic and swim.
On September 2nd, the day my novel released, I celebrated with my buddy Magick by hiking Haleakala volcano. If you've been to Maui, you probably know about Haleakala. It's the peak where tourists go up to the top and watch the sunrise then ride bikes down to the bottom. The volcano is dormant, so there's no lava flow. That's only on the Big Island. At the top of Haleakala there's a vast wilderness with 27 miles of trails for hiking and riding horseback.
At the entrance to the Halemu'u trail
we were greeted by two Hawaiian Geese called "Nene."
The Nene is Hawaii's state bird.
The crater has a barren desert side and a lush green side with lots of ferns. On this particular day, Magick and I hiked the lush green side. The first mile gradually descends to the valley.
There were plenty of breathtaking views.
We spent a good five hours hiking and had lunch overlooking the valley. At one point we watched an owl fly along the cliffs. It was a magical day.
When we got back to the car, the Nene were still there to bid us farewell.
If you find yourself feeling stressed-out about working long hours, I highly recommend a mini-vacation in your area. Explore the outdoors, get back to nature. I feel recharged and ready to get back to writing my next novel.