I really wanted to see Maui not only from the ocean perspective, but to explore the countryside. So we got up early one morning and made a day doing just that. I had heard of the Iao Needle, but to see it in person was amazing. It was a tad chilly and windy...can ya tell??
It looked like something out of a King Kong movie...kind of mystical and mysterious. As you are driving to it, it kind of sneaks up on you. One minute you are in a little town, the next you are standing in a tropical rain forest...complete with mist and magic.
The needle is an erosion remnant of rock that juts up 2, 250 feet. There were a couple of paved paths to walk on and some koi ponds. Nothing to take too much time, but I can see how it would have been a fun place to hike or take a picnic.
We found some beautiful streams. I wish that I could put sound to these pictures. It was so beautiful and relaxing. I could have sat there for hours. The cover of the trees was cool. It smelled like earth. Oh to bottle it all up:)
That's the ocean in the distance. Isn't it just beautiful??
This was just the first part of our day. After we spent the morning oohing and ahhing at the Needle, we drove North a bit and discovered this little piece of paradise.
This is the lookout at the Mendes Ranch...where we went HORSEBACK RIDING. Yippee!!!
My girls have been on pony rides before at fairs and such, but never horseback riding. I was so excited about sharing this with them:) Here's Little chick "practicing" in the Barn.
The ranch itself was charming. All kinds of critters running around. I LOVE animals. And you know I love a spry rooster or two. How cool to get a rooster and a peacock in the same shot!
We were all a tad bit nervous. I've been horseback riding several times, but I'm by no means an experienced rider. The ranch hand said to me..."you can handle one that gallops right?" I was like ummm sure:) Bring it on!
Just in case you wanted to know...she's lived there her whole life. She is the bread winner:o Her husband stays home with their daughter. She doesn't do ocean stuff and had never been to the crater. She never gets tired of the view...she loves her job for that reason. She went to California once when she was a little girl. And as far as the cost of living...she doesn't know anything else! So there you have it...Holly's life story in a nutshell. What can I say?? I'm inquisitive/nosy by nature:)
We all seemed to get the horse that we needed. Honey's horse had an attitude. Fred didn't like the other horses (he was a little antisocial) and kept turning his head to nip at Honey's shoes. It was so funny. My horse Bailey was his girlfriend and he even got irritated with her...go figure;)
Big Chick got a hungry horse that kept stopping to eat the grass. She had to really pull on the reigns and kick to get him back on course. She loves to mother, so that was a good fit for her:)
That waterfall in the distance was the fall that the helicopter flew by in the movie Jurassic Park. Isn't that cool?
When we got to the top we figured it was almost over. Noooo...we still had a lot of riding left.
They took us down to the most breathtaking spot. I couldn't believe my eyes. I forget what this place is called. I do remember something about a cave and SHARKS. Apparently this is the spot that the tiger sharks migrate from or mate or something. So you won't see divers here:o It's also one of the best spots on the island for lobster.
Can you believe that this is real? I never wanted to leave. I almost felt panicky inside. I couldn't believe my eyes and I just wanted to take it all in. I mean how many times in your life are you going to see something this unbelievable??
What an absolutely amazing day. Needless to say we fell in bed slightly exhausted. Honey and I had really sore bottoms and rubber knees. The girls...not so much. What's up with that?
The most fun part of the whole day was the very last leg of the trip. They let our horses run with us. I laughed my head off the entire time. I seriously couldn't stop laughing. Oh to get tickled and not be able to stop...gotta love that!