Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dirt Road

While perusing The Googles, this title from ABC News caught my eye:

Men Survive 100 Foot Cliff Plunge In Maui

Instantly, I knew where this was.

It had to be the same cliff side road we got stuck on back in 2008.

Before you tell me it's just the Road To Hana and it's not that bad, guess what? It's not the Road To Hana. This is something out of Indiana Jones.

This stretch of lethal dirt is on the opposite side of Maui, and runs along the North Shore.

Hubby, Daughter and I started off in Lahaina, and figured we'd take a nice leisurely drive along the coast. Beautiful day, gorgeous view of the ocean.

After passing all the resorts, we kept driving. We'll just see where the road goes. How could that possibly go wrong, right?

Most of this road is two lanes and nicely paved. It starts out as the Honoapiilani Highway, running along a perfectly safe looking coastal view. Then there's a sign that says “highway ends”, the road winds to the right, and then a more sinister sign that reads “Narrow Road”.

This is where the Kahekili “Highway” begins.

For us though, it will always be known as “Dirt Road”.

At this point, there is no way to turn around, so you have to keep going and hope the car doesn't slide off the cliff (there is NO guardrail for most of it), and pray no one is coming in the other direction.

We found out later that if someone IS coming in the other direction, the local etiquette is that the person going uphill has to back down to the bottom of the hill. There's usually some kind of widening of the road there, making it possible to pass.

It wasn't until we got a few miles in, that I checked the map the car rental agency gave us. There was our road, highlighted in bright red, with the notice “driving on this road may invalidate your car rental agreement”.

Well, yay.

Finally the road opened up with a small area to pull off and take in the view. There was also a shave ice stand inside an old school bus. I used the opportunity to get some fresh air and kiss mother Earth.

Then we turned around and cautiously made our way back.

By the way, the Kahekili Highway is named after the Hawaiian Chief Kahekili, who was such a badass that he built houses from the skulls of his enemies. Which seems to suit that road perfectly.

 Don't believe me? There's dozens of videos on YouTube if you search for “Kahekili Maui”.

Here's the best one, because it's short, and begins almost exactly where the it turns into “Dirt Road”. I laughed out loud the first time I watched it because the couple in this video are having the exact same conversation Hubby and I did.

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