Tag Archives: Hiking

Hiking the Twin Falls Trail on Maui

On our recent vacation to Hawaii one of our stops was the island of Maui. Maui was kind of frustrating. We signed up for a couple of excursions and neither one of them turned out the way we planned. We signed up for a snorkeling excursion that was scrubbed because of fuel pump problems with the boat that was supposed to take us but that may have been a good thing the locals told us because swells were kind of high and it would not have been a pleasant boat ride. So, okay plus we booked the excursion through the ship so they refunded everything 100%. I think we may have dodged a bullet, more to come on that in a later post.

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Brave smiles in the rain waiting for the hike to start.

The other excursion, we didn’t go through the ship, we signed up online through “Hike Maui” a local Maui outfit that does excursions independent of the ship but that coordinates the timing of some of their excursions with the schedule of the ship’s coming and goings. Well we signed up way ahead of time and the way it is that there are no refunds. The trouble was that after we signed up, Logan badly sprained his ankle and had to wear a big ole “boot.” A medieval torture contraption updated with hard plastic and numerous velcro straps.

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Pineapple growing wild. I thought indeed that was wild.

So anyway we thought we would go to the pickup spot at the designated time and talk to the guide. He looked pretty hesitant and talked about how muddy it would be and the rocks, boulders, and roots we would encounter and that we would have to walk through water a lot and climb and that we need to think of this as more of an adventure hike because it definitely a walk through a city park. Of course the more he talked about how tough it is the more I wanted to go. He capped it off by saying that if it were him, he would not go. Oh. So Heather said, Alan you go, we’ll stay here. I was reluctant but I got on the van.

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I forget what kind of berries these are but loved the color.

And then the guide went and talked to Heather and Logan some more then next thing I knew they got on the van also. The plan was that the guide thought there would be a couple of waterfalls that they could go to without going the rest of the trip. So off we went

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Heather and Logan going through the gate. The last I saw of them for hours and hours.

It seemed it was about a half hour drive or so to the parking lot through a lot of interesting landscape. Lots of cane sugar fields and other things to see. Our guide a very engaging young man gave us a running commentary of everything we saw. He talked about the heavy environmental cost of cane sugar growing and a lot of the natural history of area and good restaurants and bars to try. He was definitely environmentally minded and had a lot of insights.

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Did I mention that it was raining. Raining a lot.

We got to the parking lot and it started raining. Not too hard but pretty steady, the kind of steady that tells you that is not going to quit any time soon. We got out of the van and he passed out the lunches for later and off we went. He stopped quite often to point out a tree a tree, bush, or plant and explain what it was, whether it was indigenous to the island or where it came from.  He was a walking encyclopedia of plants. Many of them were edible and we’d try them. After a short while he pointed Heather and Logan to a gate and said that where they needed to go was that way.

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Old guys don’t bend down very well. This was a head bumper for me.

Right after Heather and Logan split off we entered the above kind of obstacle. There is no way that Logan could have done that with his bum ankle. I started worrying right away about them two because we were going to be gone for about three more hours and that is a long time to wait in the rain.

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But as we pressed on ahead we rain into a canal. Maui’s extensive canal system was installed starting in the 1870’s by the sugar can growers of the central valley to move water from the windward side of Maui where there is lots of rain to the valley where it is arid. It is an engineering marvel but very controversial locally. It was basically built by hand. It is known as the “East Maui Irrigation System.” I thought the whole thing is fascinating. The sugar industry dominated Hawaii for over a 100 years but no longer with the rise of international business and corn syrup sugar cane is a dying industry.

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See those rocks? They are pretty darn slick.

Anyways we journeyed on sometimes walking on two track roads or single track paths and often up streams like this. Those dang rocks were often pretty slippery and again I was glad Logan was along because that would not have worked out.  Our hike took us to five waterfalls and they were all beautiful. In some the water was deep enough for people to dive in. The scene was all very exotic for this guy from Oklahoma.

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We walked right up the stream for some of the way. It was not a sandy bottom either. It was those darned slick rocks.

The owners of the land leave the trails open to public which is exceedingly generous. There are no signs though and the trails are maze. I wouldn’t attempt to hike this without a guide unless I knew where I was going because it would be easy to get lost. Besides our guide kept up a walking commentary on everything we saw.

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Fallen trees and roots. I liked them better than the rocks.

More of the trails. It was a lot of hard work. Somewhere along here, or actually before this I lost my eyeglasses. That’s right I suddenly noticed they were gone and even though I backtracked a ways I couldn’t find them. Oh well.

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Hiking along the canal system. The sporting people got in the canal and went through the tunnel walking in the canal. I took the path the left around the tunnel.

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Another one of the waterfalls and pools. These are such a treasure and again very generous of the landowners to allow people to see them. No admission charge or anything.

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Another waterfall. I don’t think that it was this one but at one of them, a girl in another group showed up with one of those thong or g-string bikinis with her butt just out there for everybody to see, women, men, children everybody got a view whether they wanted to or not. I guess she was proud of it or something. Generally at these pools there was a lot of talking going on but everybody stopped talking while she paraded around. Our guide had a look of “seriously girl” on his face. I generally feel free to take a picture of everything I see in a public place but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m not a prude but “seriously girl?” is my attitude also. Of course maybe I am a prude. Later on in the trip on the island of Kauai I saw mothers of young children wearing the same type suit. Or lack of suit.

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And this was the next to last pool of the day, Twin Falls right by the road. By this time I was really concerned about Heather and Logan because the rain was still falling and there wasn’t any shelter. Still no bars on the cell phone, and no sign of them and this was where they were supposed to be hanging out.

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So I walked around and around and talked to people. Suddenly my cell phone found a bar up popped a some text’s. They were already back at the ship. With the rocks and stuff Logan could’t get down to the pond he supposed to go to so they went back to the parking lot and got a ride home from the same guide service but a different guide. I should have known that Heather was resourceful.

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Again, no idea what it is except that it is colorful.

So I was able to relax a little bit.

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The last pool of the day. The guide was talking about how almost everybody misses it even though it is right by the parking lot. Like I said, one can hike these trails by themselves but you will miss a lot. The trails are a maze and it is easy to get turned around. While I was looking for my crew some lady stopped me in the parking lot and told me should couldn’t find any of the falls even though she could hear the river. I pointed her down the trail to this pool. I hope that she made it.

All in all it was quite an adventure we had a great guide that paced things to make sure that everybody was keeping up, pointed out a lot of the local natural history to us and made things very interesting. I would recommend Hike Maui to anybody except I would say that this particular hike is a lot more strenuous than what they put on their web site. If I were to do it over again I would bring along some sturdy hiking sandals or something that could get soaked and muddy and cleaned off as well along with some tech clothes to wear in the rain because cotton is not what is needed.

Or if you want to go hike it yourself here is a map. Just look for the Twin Falls fruit stand on the road to Hana about thirty minutes or so east of Kahului, the major town in Maui.

Nature Notes – The Woods of Woolaroc

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Sunday the family journeyed from Tulsa north to Woolaroc, a museum and wildlife preserve that used to be Frank Phillips‘ Ranch (like in Phillips Petroleum). We toured the museum and the barn and looked at the critters but the best part was hiking through the woods. Everything was very green and fresh and magical.

Linking with Nature Notes

Tulsa’s Redbud Valley Nature Preserve

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We recently ventured out to Tulsa Redbud Nature Preserve for a family outing recently. The preserve is in east Tulsa and you drive past trucking yard and pipe coating mills to get to it and it is worth the drive. It is a fairly small preserve but important and was acquired by the Nature Conservancy before it was transferred to the City of Tulsa because it has plant and animal species found nowhere else in northeastern Oklahoma. Since the emphasis is on preservation and not recreation they have restricted hours and allow only foot traffic. Leave your bicycles and horses home. Check the link above for the hours. They are generally open from eight to five and are currently closed on Monday and Tuesday.

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They have about 2.5 miles of hiking trails. Much of it is along a cliff face that contains caves and springs and requires some care while hiking. It is fun but watch your step.

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This is our family portrait. My fancy schmancy wrap around camera tripod was missing a part so we did the old wedge the camera in a tree any which way we can trick.

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Here you go, bark bokeh.

Heather Logan Topaz Adjust

Two and a half miles doesn’t sound like much but it took us a while and we enjoyed it.

And of course with Garmin you can follow along on our hike.

Linking with Our World Tuesday

Hiking in Oxley Nature Center

I’m a little late in writing this post. Back during the Thanksgiving weekend my brother Bob drove up from Corpus Christi to spend the holiday with us. One day I took he and my son Logan to Oxley Nature Center here in Tulsa for a little hike.

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They have a great nature center at Oxley with helpful people who will give you as much information as you need, everything from a map to helpful directions, and of course flush toilets. Right outside the door headed for the trails is this, an insect hotel. I think it is more like a homeowners nightmare. It is kind of cool though.

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Oxley has a great variety of trails.

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Even with a lot of people by the time you get a quarter mile away from the parking lot you hardly see anyone.

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Oxley is kind of low and has lots of water even during the drought that we are emerging from.

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It has a great variety of terrain from deep woods and brush to more open areas. We walked about four miles or so during a nice warm day.

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it looks like a duck lost a battle after a furious fight.

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I’m a geocacher and found one out in the brush while Bob and Logan waited on me (they don’t like geocaching.) We also passed this cache that I found several years ago. Nice to see that it is still there.

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We liked all the benches and places to rest. Oxley is a great place to spend a nice afternoon.

Linking with Nature Notes

Our World – Sunday Afternoon on Turkey Mountain

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Cold weather is coming but Sunday is warm. I put the Cowboys vs Jaguars game on DVR and we loaded up and drove to Turkey Mountain for a little outing on the Lollipop and Zoi trails.

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The sun was out and the temperature was warm.

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We saw a lot of stuff. We saw too washing machines out in the middle of nowhere. No driers though.

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We found this old bed frame in the middle of nowhere. Maybe a homeless guy was going to put in a flower bed? Logan didn’t see the humor in that.

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We found these strange little berries. Heather thought they might be persimmons. I don’t know. What do you think?

Heather and Logan found them selves an #oilwell on #turkeymountain #tulsa #oklahoma #igersok

Heather and Logan found an oil well and announced they were rich! I asked what about me? And they said “What about you?” What about you? Have you ever been left out of an oil deal? I know what you feel like.

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The woods were beautiful Sunday. It was like a cathedral.

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This is my favorite pic from Sunday. It looks like the woods are creeping up behind him and are going to swallow my only son. Of course his shirt doesn’t help.

Have you been on a good walk lately?

Our World Tuesday

Geocaching on a Sunday Afternoon

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The weather was warm and sunny on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys are not playing until Monday night, Logan had a friend over, the lawn didn’t need mowing so I loaded up and ventured to Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center to hike their North Loop trail and see if I could find a geocache or two.

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I’ve hiked the trail several times over the years. I have never ever met anybody else. So I guess that it makes it my trail. Sunday was perfect, if a bit warm. What I loved was the that the wind was blowing quite hard but in the woods, on the ground, noting was stirring but the you could see and hear the tree tops going back and forth. I don’t know about you but that is about the sweetest music I could ever hear.

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I was in heaven out in the woods. It is how I recharge my batteries.

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The October light was awesome. The trees haven’t changed color but they are thinking about it. Everything is getting a little more pale.

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I found only one cache but you know, looking for caches is all the fun. I love geocachers, “OkieBeans”, “Barrel O’Monkeys” only bloggers get more creative with their handles. I looked for three caches. I found two actually but could only log one. The other one I could see it but I certainly wasn’t going to try and get it when I’m out their by myself.

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I rested a little bit, wondering why I didn’t bring any water on such a hot day. I didn’t figure that out but I did enjoy sitting on my personal bench on my personal trail. Oh, by the way, feel free to come out and hike my trails, nobody else seems to be.

You can see my various wanderings on my hike above. I parked my car and gathered up my stuff and headed down the trail and then realized that I didn’t spray myself with DEET. I thought all heck with it and then I remembered how miserable I am both with the chiggers and other creepy crawlers so then I went back. You can also see where I stop and try and find the geocaches and other times when I lose the trail and have to go figure out which way to go. Plus I stop for photography breaks and have been known just to stop and look around at what is going on around me.

Anyway, a great Sunday afternoon that the Cowboys didn’t get a chance to ruin.

Linking with Our World Tuesday