|Love & Light and everything bright...|
23 Jan 2011
Updated Oct 28, 2009... Our new "Rainbow Shower Shuttle"; Inaugural gulch drive
Trekking through Greater Rainbow Shower Jungle
New gulch road construction update: Jungle road; night out in Paia, Palm Island gets its first palms
FROM HAIKU, MAUI (HAWAII)
Trekking through Greater Rainbow Shower Jungle
Charley in action, uncovering Palm Island, lovely rockery
HAIKU, Maui, Oct 26 - This has been an eventful month at the Rainbow Shower. As my native Hawaiian backhoe and excavator contractor Charley and I press on with our road construction, every day brings new discoveries of hidden jungle beauty. Check out some "action shots" of Charley and his machines in action, as well as some new discoveries we have made.
The above pictures were taken around that bridge area between points 5 and 6 on the map (right). The weather has been absolutely perfect for this kind of work. October has been the driest and the warmest month so far since we moved to Haiku. Charley has acquired a new friend down there. A white egret also shows up every morning when Charley arrives for work. Charley named it Freddie the Freeloader. The egret waits until big earth moving machines dig up enough dirt before digging in himself - into his wormy lunch.
The area around the bridge, until recently completely swallowed up by 15-ft cane grass and various small trees and shrubs, now provides the widest vistas at the bottom of the gulch (left three shots). Yet right there, there are also nearly vertical 60-ft cliffs to which hardy trees cling, such as that gorgeous Banyan in the right shot. The green moss covering the rock and the dirt is evidence of how moist this area used to be before drying out in the last few weeks.
This is where Charley and I also discovered a lovely little island, shaped like a boat, which we have now named the Palm Island. This is where the East and West Kuiaha streams meet, before continuing on under the bridge and down the gulch as one creek. This weekend, we planted six exotic plants on the island. They were a gift of our next door neighbors. They originate from different parts of the world, and are all named in the top right photo.
Continuing from there up the gulch road (left), we discovered a wonderful rockery on the left bank of the West Kuiaha stream. It took a fair bit of chainsaw work on my part and backhoe action on Charley's before we opened them up to sunlit viewing. As I chain-sawed around that huge boulder, I discovered another palm volunteer nestled between the rocks (middle left). That's where one can also see dark green moss as thick as a wool sweater (center). You can see the "carnage" I left behind when I was finished my chain saw work in that area (two right shots). Charley has since mopped it all up with his backhoe.
Elizabeth's first jungle adventure
It is near the point #8 on the map where the real jungle begins...
... and more chain saw opportunities await in the future. If I had not faced it all before in the now tame and lush Lower Rainbow Shower, such a thicket might be discouraging. As it were, I see it as an adventure with, at times, surprising discoveries. Check out that young Banyan tree, for example, in the middle left shot, which is growing right on top of a trunk of another Christmas berry tree. Or that lovely rockery, waiting to be discovered (middle right).
On Saturday morning over breakfast, Elizabeth said something about "feeling adventurous today." I took the opportunity to invite her to join me in exploring this still untamed jungle into which she had never crossed before. She agreed. And off we went through that thicket, up and down the steep hills like a pair of goats.
We started at pin #8 (left), which marks the boundary with the next door neighbor's property. The two middle shots were taken at an intermediate pin between #8 and #9. And that's where the real "fun" of jungle trekking begins (right).
This is where the jungle took its toll in blood. It wasn't much; just a little scratch. But it was interesting that the blood streak on my right hand roughly resembled the shape of the new road (check the map).
As we descended to the bottom of the West Kuiaha gulch, we came across some of the most magnificent vegetation smack in the middle of that thick jungle. There are between half a dozen and a dozen gorgeous Royal (Queen) palms down there (left three shots), as well as lovely African tulip (middle right) and a thick grove of golden (decorative) bamboos at the top of the hill (right). All of these scenes are within the bottom part of our new property marked as "Jungle" on the map.
Finally emerging from the jungle onto the western slopes of the Greater Rainbow shower, we reached the end of the road (for now) from the other side (bottom part of the broken purple line on the map). This is where we saw an unusual plant whose flowers looked like testicles (middle left). We took a sample to a local health food store, but they could not tell us what it was, either. You can see from the same spot - the end of the road - what the top of that nearly impassable jungle looks like (center). You can also see the Upper Rainbow Shower and our house, way up on the other side of the gulch (middle right), including a close-up of it (right).
I told Elizabeth here that I was proud of how she handled it all, climbing up and down like a goat, and slithering through and under thick and thin branches and vines. Then I went on a full 180-degrees to a diametrically opposite activity. I finally sold my "rocket ship" Mercedes SL600R to a local buyer for a full asking price. So now I no longer have to feel guilty driving it.
The latter called for a celebration. So we went out to dinner at the Paia Fish Market.
The tiny restaurant in the center of town is nothing to look at. But the food is excellent, as you can see by the long line in front of the counter where you order it. When you get your meal, you sit and eat at communal benches, not at private tables. There are no waiters or waitresses. We ended up sharing the table with three French Canadians from Montreal, Quebec (Canada). Two of the three came here to surf, the third one to cheer them on. And they have been doing it regularly for a number of years. "We always come here to dinner on our last night in Maui," a lady-surfer seated next to me said.
After dinner, we went to a performing arts festival on a lawn near the Baldwin beach. Some of Elizabeth's belly dancing classmates were supposed to perform, but we missed them. They went on before we got there. Instead, we watched some acrobatics and modern dance performances.
Apucheto (altar) at the Uaca (Ahu in Hawaiian).
On Saturday and Sunday, I did shamanic ceremonies at the Upper and Lower Rainbow Shower respectively in which Elizabeth also participated. As you can see from the above photo, I put a period to it at the end in the form of a coconut. :-)
HAIKU, Maui, Oct 27 - Well, being a one-car family didn't last very long. Three days, to be exact. Last night, I started to look for a 4WD Jeep Wrangler on the web. An obscure car sales web site showed one available in Maui. It was the only Jeep of that kind available on the island at the moment. And it was being offered by a dealer. I click on "REPLY HERE" button which was supposed to solicit additional information.
Within an hour, I got an email from the dealer giving me the specs. The car sounded too good to be true... just perfect for our purposes of being our 4WD vehicle to haul stuff in and out of the gulch over a dirt road. But what was really astonishing was that the dealer was the Maui Mercedes Benz. Here I had just sold my "rocket ship" Benz, and now I was getting a chance to deal again with the same nice people whom I had already befriended in the last seven months. I felt as if I was being guided to that car.
The sales manager just handed me the key and told us to take the car for a spin. Then he left. But I did not like doing it without him being with me. So Elizabeth and I inspected the car on the lot; started the engine, checked things out. It turns out this Jeep had been owned and driven by a Mercedes Benz female service manager. So it looked to be in an impeccable shape, given that it is a 2002 model. The mileage was also quite low for its age. And it had brand new tires and a brand new soft roof (see right shot).
But I didn't come into town to buy a car. And I wasn't going to buy it on the spot. So we drove away, heading home. The sales manager called me, saying he had been looking for me. I pulled over so we can talk without the traffic noise. He made it really easy. We had a deal in about five minutes. I drove back. We picked up the car. And voila... check out the new "Rainbow Shower Shuttle" (our temporary name for it.
For now anyway, you can also click on the link below to see a video clip of the Jeep at the Maui Mercedes Benz web site...
2002 Jeep Wrangler 2dr SE (Mercedes Benz dealer video)
As you can see, when something is meant to be, things happen easily and quickly. You don't have to try hard. You just have to show up and ALLOW things to go your way. The Creator and the forces of the universe will do the rest.
HAIKU, Maui, Oct 28 - It took me about half an hour this morning to turn our new Jeep into a topless Rainbow Shower Shuttle. Taking down the new soft roof was an intelligence test. It had more parts than the space shuttle (a hyperbole, of course). And I took it apart without any instructions. I doubt that I will be tempted to put the roof back on any time soon. I'd rather work on a Rubik's cube. :-)
Elizabeth and I thought we would then take our new Jeep down to the gulch for its inaugural four-wheel drive and surprise Charley. So we dressed up in "disguises." I wore my black Austin Stetson, which I never wear in the daytime. And Elizabeth put on her Safari outfit (right).
Anyway, down in the gulch, Charley was one step ahead of us. When he saw the Jeep coming up the left bank of the Greater Rainbow Shower road, he stopped his backhoe and came over. "I read your story last night," he said.
"Oh, shucks," I replied. "And here we got all dressed up in disguises, hoping to fool you into wondering who is that's trespassing on our property."
We all laughed and then took the above pictures.
And that's all she wrote so far about the happenings at the Rainbow Shower in late October...