Monday, July 5, 2010

Visit to Maunawili Falls, Fourth of July dinner

Aloha from Hawaii!  I landed late on the evening of Saturday, July 3, made the now-traditional first stop at Zippy's for some local comfort food, chatted with Lauren's parents for as long as my eyes would stay open (about 10 minutes), and then shuffled off to bed.

On the 4th of July, Lauren remembered that we had never successfully made it to her favorite hiking destination, Maunawili Falls.  We had a bit of downtime on our hands, and she was very excited at the thought that today we could finally get out to the falls.

Excessive mud had stymied us on two previous attempts.  There turned out to be a ton of mud on this day of hiking as well, but the worst of it was hidden on the last quarter-mile of trail, far enough in that there was no way we were going to turn back!

When we reached the waterfall, I could see why Lauren was so shocked that I still hadn't seen it, and why she was so enthusiastic about taking me.

Let me be frank: I've been very lucky.  I think I've seen more amazing things than a person my age has a right to.  Even given that, Maunawili Falls stands out as one of the most remarkable places I've ever visited.

Get this:
  • 2-3 waterfalls flowing year-round.
  • Emptying into a pool >10 feet deep.
  • You can swim under the waterfalls.
  • There are rock outcroppings about 5 and 10 meters up on either side, from which daring locals jump.  (The pool is deep enough for this).
  • Oh, and this is a 1.25-mile hike from Lauren's back door.  (And even shorter if you take a questionably-legal shortcut).  What?!
Coming around and seeing the falls for the first time, you have one of those moments where you wonder if someone forgot to clean up their Hawaiian movie set or something.  Absolutely spectacular.

Here are some bonus pics of Lauren and me hiking to and from the falls:

We got home from the hike, hosed off the worst of the mud and showered off the rest.  And then we enjoyed a fantastic, home-BBQ'd meal with Lauren's parents and her grandma.  Still jetlagged and tired after a long, exciting day, we went to sleep early, and this year just listened to the fireworks rather than watching them.