Thursday, February 26, 2009

Maui--Monday, February 23, 2009

We woke up again to the sound of tropical birds, while gazing out of our massive picture window that looks out over pastures, to the mountains of West Maui and the beaches on both sides of the isthmus.

While enjoying coffee, breakfast, and a great music CD that we found in the CD player, Jean noticed a giant mushroom cloud ascending from the valley below. Hmmmm…. We didn’t hear any explosions, and there were no sirens in the background, so we just sat and watched. Shortly thereafter, there was a second but larger mushroom cloud. We later found out that this is part of the local’s way of burning off cane fields.

Once we were fairly certain that a nuclear war hadn’t commenced, we loaded the bikes up and headed for West Maui for some road riding. Along the way, we stopped at a scenic overlook to watch humpback whales frolic. Yeah, that was kind of cool.

We found a great grocery store with fresh sandwiches and soups for lunch, and while I was in negotiating an exchange, a local tried some pick-up lines on Jean. She replied with the “my husband will be right back…,” which apparently stumped the would-be Casanova.

Anyway, after lunch, we made our way to West Maui Bike for a little info, some air, and a “Y” tool (which I should have packed). Finally, it was time to ride.

My Maui County Bike Map recommended Rt 30—and even the local at the shop said it was an epic ride—especially when done in its entirety (about 60 miles with 4,000ft of climbing). Our plan was for about 20 miles, just to get the legs moving. Well, it was 20 miles of head winds (How does it always work out that way?). There was a good shoulder to ride on, but it was almost like riding in the breakdown lane on a highway. Cars were flying by.

We rode past all of the huge resorts that most people associate with Maui and I’m so glad we didn’t stay there. I love the cottage we stayed in. The Kapalua resort, which ironically triggered the idea behind this trip because of a full page article in Men’s Journal that extolling the thousands of acres for mountain biking (doesn’t really exist), was a super-swank resort with a Ritz-Carlton. I was so close to booking our stay there, but the thought of hanging out in a resort with people whose idea of adventure is playing the back nine without a golf cart really skeeved me out. I used the Kapalua resort as our turn-around point, and after checking out the “Adventure Shop” we made our way back to Lahaina by a slightly different route.

The way back was much less crowded and made for an enjoyable ride. Once back in Lahaina, I even found a wallet with $42 in cash in it. It also had some identification so I brought it all (cash included) to the local police station. It appears the owner was traveling from Switzerland, so I hope she gets it back.

As our schedule often revolves around our bellies (and how empty they feel), it was time to think about dinner. We actually made our way back to Kapalua to the Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar for some of the best sushi we’ve ever had. Mmmmm… mmmm….mmm.

No comments: