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Monday, June 8, 2009
National Trail Day
Aloha Trail Blazers!
The thrill and satisfaction from clearing an overgrown ancient fisherman's trail on National Trails Day is something I want to share today. Even though I have been off the beaten path most of my life, this was my favorite trail clearing experience.
On Saturday, four lucky Maui residents and one really lucky visitor, arrived at the trail head with our clippers, machetes and work gloves. Most of us are members of PATH, Public Access Trails Hawaii. The mission statement for PATH is to promote public access to historical, cultural and other trails in Hawaii through research, education and advocacy. Go to http://www.pathmaui.org/ to find out more.
Monica is really putting energy into this organization on Maui, and I am happy to lend a hand. I am all for restoring and recovering lost public trails.
Lucienne de Naie was leading the hike along the north shore and she had not been on that trail for a few years. From the looks of it, nobody had. After locating the overgrown trail, we hacked, clipped and cut our way down to the cliff's edge. We had a little break in the dry creek bed, at which point, CJ, the man with the machete, our hero throughout the day, scrambled up a steep hillside and found some trail remnants.
Hardworking Lin Robbins from the great Northwest told us that this experience was the highlight of her visit to Maui. (Good on ya, Lin. It was a blast to share the day with you.)
We have many volunteer opportunities on Maui, please check my voluntourism page for more information.
We made it down to the beach after some hand over hand rope gripping, sliding on the slippery lauhala leaves. What a relief to sit on the beach in the shade watching the waves, scratched up, sweaty and content.
Lucienne honored us with a story about a fishing ohana who had lived in the valley we had just passed through. They had a very special bond with a shark that inhabited the bay. When I listen and look with my heart, my experiences are so rich. The entire day had many rewards.
We boulder-hopped our way down the beach to a spot where the waves gently spilled into a very large pool. It was a primordial sort of experience to crawl and float along the sides of cliffs until we reached the deeper water. We all rested and talked story in the water. Refreshed, we were ready to tackle the cliff and work our way back up towards the trail head.
The picture of Lin smiling and sitting on the clean and cleared steps that we could not even find on the way down, sums it up.
Here's to volunteering while on vacation, or where you live.
Mahalo with Aloha,