Caspar Institute logoitinerary   < 13 April Kipahulu, Maui   15 April Makawao, Maui >

Kipahulu, Maui 14 April 2013

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As promised, kalo cakes for breakfast. After steaming for about 40 minutes, our kalo corm is soft and grates easily. A cup of grated kalo and an egg, plus some seasoning, made into a patty, and then slowly fried to golden crispiness in butter and olive oil: delicious!

We take it slow in the morning, reading and watching the clouds play in the channel. Anya calls, and we get instructions about feeding the cats who have been importuning us every time they catch our eyes. 

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<p>Hawaiian staples: papaya, kalo,...

Hawaiian staples: papaya, kalo, and ulu

Kalo and ulu are among the "canoe plants," the essential crops brought to the Islands by the Polynesian settlers some 1,700 years ago.

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Oheo Pools

In the afternoon we made what was for me a sentimental journey to the Oheo Pools in the Kipahulu section of Haleakala National Park. Decades ago, when tourists forst came to Hana, these were called (by a haole flack working for the new hotel in Hana) the "Seven Sacred Pools," in the great American tradition of overselling. 

In 1981, Rochelle, Chad, Sienna, and Damiana made our voyage of discovery to the Hawaiian Islands, and this place is one of my most vivid memories of that trip. Relatively undiscovered at the time, as I recall (through possibly rose-tinted glasses) we had the pools to ourselves. Being natural scramblers, our three keikis made these pools their own.

Not everyone who comes to Maui braves the legendary road and the even more infamous continuation into Kipahulu, but that still brings several hundred a day to this place. The rocks are slippery with a patina of human traffic now, but the pools, even with a few dozen people in them, keep their magic. We did not scramble up to the upper pool, but if we had, we could have had it to ourselves. There is still enough magic here to survive the onslaught. 

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Oheo Gulch, the unpretty but official name for this streambed, is famously subject to powerful gouts of water from upcountry. At the top of the Kipahulu ahupua'a there's a rounded cirque called "the big bog" that has recently been identified as the rainiest place in the Islands, displacing Kauai's Mount Waialeale, previously thought to be the rainfall champ. Evidence of these gullywashers can be seen everywhere in the gulch, from the battered foliage to the scoured rocks in the streambed.

The pools stairstep up from a rocky beach where amazingly regular waves march in and hurl themselves against the lava headland. This regular pounding reduces the lava to rounded stones that visitors cannot resist stacking. 

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<p>From the trail back to the parking...

From the trail back to the parking area we could look down on the lower pool, and see the many people enjoying the water.

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Back up to the peaceful isolation of Anya's, where we enjoyed another meal based on kalo and ulu. Again, delicious, and satisfying.

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