The Less Traveled Road

Our recent travels took us to Maui. Before we left, we asked several who had been to give us some recommendations of what to see and do while we were there. The suggestions were as varied as a Ryan’s Buffet. Some suggested restaurants, others gave us sights that we shouldn’t miss. Nearly every list had one item on it, take the Road to Hana.

So, we did. We may be strangely wired, but I must say, it wasn’t for us. The eight-hour drive had a few beautiful views, the Garden of Eden was nice, and there were some scenic waterfalls, but overall, we were not impressed. Mary was not overwhelmed with the “best banana bread ever”, most of the stops were crowded to see much about nothing, there were long lines to cross one lane bridges, and the drive through the foliage got old after a while. And just so you know, the best part of the going to Hana is the journey, not Hana itself. After taking the Road to Hana I can now say “we’ve been there and done that, but we don’t have to do it again.”

That evening, after returning from our journey to Hana, we got a late text from someone with a final submission. It said, grab a sweet tea from McDonalds in Kaanapali, it’s like some you’ve never tasted. Take the western road, go North to Kapalua, and then continue to Kahului. The next day we grabbed breakfast, hit a few souvenir shops, and then Mary suggested we try the trip recommended in the text. Up to this point some suggestions had been singles, some strike outs, but this was a grand slam. First, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, the McDonald’s tea was amazing. I don’t know what was in it, but we went back for more before we left.

The road to Kahului was stunning! Some of the most incredible and amazing views we have ever seen. Around nearly every turn, and there were many, was another breathe-taking view. Indescribable views of the South Pacific, amazing hues of blue waters, beautiful mountains, small villages tucked in small valleys, scenic bays, and a breath-taking rock at Kahakuloa Bay. It was an incredible journey.

What our friend did not tell us was two things. First, the road was not for the faint of heart, and if I knew what I know after taking the road, I probably would not have done it. Many one lane bridges, but also several areas where there was only room for one car. More than once we had to back down the road, find a wide spot in the mountain, so the oncoming traffic could pass. It also worked the other way, several times other vehicles had to back up to where there was a wide spot so we could get through.

The second thing that we weren’t aware of until later was that by going on certain parts of the road, we were violating our car rental policy, there was a red box area that said, “do not travel.” Thankfully we made it, got to see some astonishing views, and have a story to tell. If you are thinking about taking the chance, cover your own insurance and make sure you take the north to east route and not the west to south. You definitely want to be on the inside lane and not the outside!

My life lessons from our trip to Maui? There were several. First, like the Road to Hana, the roads advertised and promoted by others are not always the best roads. Too many times the bright lights and shiny packages turn out to be pandora’s boxes. Second, though difficult, sometimes life’s greatest moments are often found on obscure roads that few are willing to take. Finally, if you want to experience the awesome and incredible you have to be willing to take chances and go where few are willing to go. Take the road less traveled.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *