LABOR DAY 2016: FROM MAUKA (mountain) TO MAKAI (beach) OF MAUI

Our Labor Day 2016 started in beautiful sunshine. The threat of twin hurricanes behind us, and with the trade breezes back to cool the air, the morning of September 5, 2016 was about as perfect as they come at our Yin home – the Rainbow Shower in Maui.  It didn’t get much better than later on, either.

So in early afternoon, at Elizabeth’s suggestion, we went out for a holiday drive – from Mauka (Hawaiian for mountain) to Makai (beach).

The outing was her idea. Which is unusual. And then I realized, this will possibly be our last Labor Day on Maui.  So she wanted us to play tourists on our own island and take some pictures to remember it by.

“I may also want to paint some of these scenes,” she later explained.

Our impromptu route took us from our Rainbow Shower home at elevation 900 ft, through Kula (elev 3,000 to 3,500 ft), to Maui’s only winery at Ulupalakua Ranch at about 2,000 ft above the ocean. And then all the way down to the ocean to the Baby Beach, where our Maui adventure started in 2009.


The winery as well as the ranch general store were closed. But along the way to and fro,, we enjoyed some breathtaking views of West Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokini (all Hawaiian island names). Like this panorama shot….


Here are also some photos of the Ulupalakua Ranch winery and general store.

The ranch was founded in 1841 when King Kamehameha leased over 2,000 acres of pristine mountain pastures, along with a sugar mill, to L.L. Torbert for $800 per year on a 6-year contract. The current winery has been in business since 1974.

On our way back, Elizabeth wanted me to take this photo of an old shed as a possible painting idea. But I did more than that, including a panorama shot of the West Maui mountains behind it (pink frame). So now there are two competing ideas for a an old shed painting.



On our way back down the mountain (“mauka”), Elizabeth showed her rare initiative again. She suggested we go to our Baby Beach, the northern end of of Maui’s most popular north shore “makai” – the Baldwin Beach. And so we did.

Here’s first a panorama shot of the West Maui Mountains (Puu Kukui), as seen from Baby Beach:IMG_6574

Here’s also a view of Baldwin Beach in the opposite direction – to the south:

Baldwin Beach panorama 9-05-16

And a picture of Elizabeth taking pictures of the lava rocks for her future paintings:


And now, some closeups from the Baby Beach – Elizabeth taking pictures of the rocks she wants to paint, and of a Native Hawaiian fisherman crabbing.

Notice the red molten lava and how it engulfed the rocks as it cooled till they looked like cracked eggs? This brought back some old memories…

Baby Beach Memories

It has been years since Elizabeth and I were last at the Baby Beach part of the Baldwin Beach. And yet, that’s where our Maui adventure started in 2009. 

I was the first to arrive in March 2009.  Knowing that Elizabeth was not a strong swimmer, I looked for a smaller, shallower beach, protected by a coral wall from the high surf, where (I thought) we would enjoy our time on the beach in Maui. That’s how I found the Baby Beach. And I brought Elizabeth to it.

The day before, back home at the Rainbow Shower, we witnessed this magnificent pink sunset. I don’t remember seeing sunsets like that in the last few years.

As it turned out, Elizabeth and I never used the Baby Beach for swimming and frolicking on Maui in the last eight years. In fact, we hardly used any beaches. That’s how busy we have been creating our Garden of Eden, the Rainbow Shower in Maui, and taking care of it so that it stays that way. For, jungle has a way of reclaiming its territory. You give it an inch, it will take an arm.

And so now, on this Labor Day 2016, having been high and low, we return to our “pacarina” (place of emergence – in Quechua, the Inca language), from whence we had emerged.

 * * *


Elizabeth and I just got back from a “Pink Martini” concert at the Castle Theatre of the Maui Arts and Culture Center (MACC).

At dusk before the concert, the clouds, which always seem to obscure the Iao Valley and the Puu Kukui (volcano), had parted revealing Maui’s feminine volcano for all to see. At the same time, a crescent moon was about to set. It was an unusual and yet a beautiful setting.

So we used the opportunity to file enter these shots into our MACC memorial scrapbook.

Pink Martini concert – March 2010

This was not the first time we heard the “Pink Martini” band play. The first time was on March 4, 2010, also at the Castle Theater in Maui. And they opened tonight’s concert with the very song that remained in my musical memory since 6.5 years ago.

In fact, it came back to me again at Easter in 2014 and I recorded it myself at the time.
See Jamming with the “Pink Martini”

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