The Maui Excursion Dec 2018

Ok, so Maui... Does a scooter qualify as an adventure bike? I say yes! But how did I end up on a scooter in Maui.  Well, I started communicating with a lady who will remain nameless, who happens to spend months in Maui at a time, and she said why don't I come, do some hiking, see the Island.  At the time however I was recovering from a sprained ankle, and the possibility that I could go hiking on it was next to zero.  But as December neared the ankle started feeling better and I said why not?! 

Let's start with some pics...

This was my day trip.. actually took longer than shown but I'll get to that.

The pic is somewhere between Kapalua and Kahakulua (did you know the Hawaiian alphabet has only 17 letters.. they need to borrow some consonants from the Germans).

How did I end up on a scooter? Well, I'm not going to fly my bike to Maui for two weeks, and to rent an "adventure" bike there was a cool $200/day. The scooter... $75. Scooter wins! But, I went all out and got the 200cc Kymco (So I wouldn't end up in the bicycle lanes with the other 50cc scooters). It could do 60 mph on the flats "depending on conditions", as it said in the papers. Alright then, and it actually did. Even comes with a trunk and a cigarette lighter to keep my cell phone charged. Pfffftttt! Only problem was it was so small that I literally had to sit on the back seat up against the trunk/top-box to not feel totally ridiculous. But if I sat at the front and ducked down I literally could not see the handlebars or the front wheel any more. It was like flying! Ha! I only had the scooter for one day, but there are some amazing roads on Maui. Covered some of them on the scooter others in the rent-a-van.

Anyway, on the road to Haleakala. That pic is at 6000 ft on the way to the Haleakala Volcano Crater, which is at 10k ft, which on Maui is generally above cloud level, makes for some amazing views down to sea level. I heard if you get to the top of Haleakala at like 2:00 am, you can see the sunrise?

I was getting about 35/40 mph max out of the scooter, but some of the turns are like 15 mph switchbacks, and the limit is only 25. So it worked... until it didn't. At about 2000 ft at full throttle the scooter just starts slowing down and dies. Push it to the shoulder, try to start it again, no go. Great. I thought about calling the rental place, but then I'm like, I'll just coast down. There was enough of an incline! So, coasting I go down the mountain, no problem maintaining the limit. Got to a pulloff tried her again and she starts! Now what? Figure I won't push my luck and I'll just take it back to the rental place. But she's running good and as I get to the bottom, I'm like f it. Going back up! Got to 4000 ft, it dies... really. So, I wait a few minutes, and it starts again! I get to 6000 ft and it dies again. Wait a few minutes and it starts again. I get to 8000 ft it dies again... Ok, three strikes I'm out! I start it and take my ass back down the mountain and to the rental place. So, that was the end of the scooter adventure. Just as well, got there half hour before they closed. But over 170 miles on the scooter in one day! That's an adventure.

Oh, yeah, scooter... no foot controls... front break on right, rear brake on left. Sucks if you forget it's not a clutch. Ha! That took a few stops to get used to. And do not trail break the front into corners, cause it seriously wants to stand up. Get your breaking done early, trail in with the rear if you want. Just saying.

The road to Hana... well, it goes to Hana and takes you all the way around the East side of the island also. As you get past Hana, going clockwise, there are some seriously potholed sections (not for scooters, 4x4 only it says), some sections I would describe as an asphalt quilt because there were some many potholes it's all been repaired (poorly at that), and some 1.5 car wide sections, and some 1 car wide sections right on the cliff. That's fun when 2 cars meet, but there are enough wider sections to minimize the need for KY Jelly on your car door and driving in the weeds. Good reason to have a motorcycle or scooter. Why go clockwise on the road to Hana? Because you don't want to be the guy on the cliff side of the road. There's one section on the road to Hana, just past Kaupo which on the island map says driving here will void you rental car agreement. Yes, I took my Dodge Minivan Rental on that... and washed it afterward. Here's a few pics along that road.

If you notice, all my trips start at Olowalu camp ground on the West side of the Island. That's where I camped for 12 of the 14 days I was there. Right next to the beach, sheltered by the mountains, $20/night. Temps in the high 60's to low 80's, breezy, rained only one night I was there, though there are places on the island, the Road to Hana on the North being one, that get pretty consistent rain. Camping is definitely the way to go, unless you have gobs of money, cause a room anywhere will cost you upwards of $130/night. There are some hostels, but more expensive than camping by a long shot. And you don't need bug repellent cause there's no bugs! Talk about Paradise!

The bay by the camp site actually had a ton of corral, shallow hundreds of yards out. Rented a paddleboard for 24 hours, some snorkeling gear, and went out there to see the fishies.. Those pics aren't developed yet (undewater film camera). Also, took a 4 hour boat ride out to the Corral Gardens one day where I shot the rest of that roll.

It was also whale season, so spent a few hours on different days looking out between Olowalu and Maalaea looking for whales. Actually saw one jump out of the water and make a splash, like slow motion. Also saw a lot of spouts and tails here and there. Supposedly January is the high season for Migration of the Humpbacks to the area.

Also, did a couple hikes while I was there. One was hiking up in the Haleakala Crater. It's nothing short of amazing. It's like you landed on Mars. 12 mile hike, cost me some blisters on my toes. You go from an area that is just totally barren, the volcano crater, and then through a section more like a tropical mountainside.

The last place I went on the Island was the road to Polipoli. If you read the comments on the net, people say the road makes you sick... Meh... Yes, lots of switchbacks and beautiful scenery, but the pavement ends about 4 miles from Polipoli state park. That section is 4x4 only and the park rangers will give you a ticket if they see you there without one. But the government was closed! So...

About half way up there is an open grassy section, lots of paragliding. I considered doing it, but it's not cheap. Figure I can do it for less somewhere else in the world, like when I get to Brazil.

So, that's it for Maui. The weeks between the 17th and the 31'st are supposedly the busiest weeks on the island. Given that, it wasn't too bad. Gas is expensive (Close to $4/gallon) and food is expensive. The best food store on the island is Mana foods in Paia. Good local grown food, bulk nuts and such, and everything else you'd want at good prices... Paia also has a cool beach where I started and ended my trip and found something in a store window that kind of summed it up.

I'm back in Colorado, where it was -2 degrees at the Denver airport when my plane came in. Still got some prep work to do on the bike, but I'm getting there. Going to install my 6.6 gallon fuel tank that came in, lube a few things, and I should be good. Next stop in a few months. Mexico.