Hawaii Geocaching Part 1, Maui
As I alluded to in my last posting about breaking my GPS, over the course of the past two and a half weeks I have been working out in Hawaii. I work in renewable energy, and as part of my “day job” I over see the day-to-day operations at wind farms across the US. I am very fortunate that two of the projects I am in charge of are located in Hawaii; one on Oahu and the other on Maui.
While it is certainly beautiful out here, traveling for work never really affords you the chance to explore your destination in the way a vacation would. I found myself going directly from my condo to the worksite, often leaving before the sun came up and returning after it was down. I could only day dream about the amazing caches that must be located near hidden waterfalls or along the infamous “road to Hana” which is supposed to both beautiful with the views that are available as well as dangerous with some sections of the road being on 100’ cliff sides without guard rails.
During my time on the islands, I hopped back and forth a couple of different times, but each time on Maui I stayed in a town called Kihei which is on the western side of the island along Maalaea Bay. Kihei was a great spot offering some amazing beaches and a hopping nightlife for unwinding after a day of exploring, or in my case, working. If you stay in the “Sugar Beach Condos” like I did, make sure you check out the small hole in the wall bar called “Dina’s Sand-witch”. It was a great melting pot of locals and tourists and had a great atmosphere (they staple dollar bills to the walls and allow you to write on them first to “leave your mark”).
Of course I couldn’t resist the idea of doing some geocaching, and so I did set out a couple of nights, iPhone in hand, to find some caches while either walking along the beach or getting in a quick jog.
Near my hotel was a geocache called “For: Prickly’s Brother” (GC15FXQ) This cache was located near a bird haven called “Kealia Pond Bird Sanctuary”. The Hawaiian people take the preservation of their native plant and wildlife very seriously, and this area is important for them as it protects several different species of waterfowl. If you’re ever in this area, there is a great boardwalk through a nearby (right across the street) inland pond called Kahana Pond. You can walk right along this boardwalk and see several protected bird species in their natural environment without disturbing them.
I think the most impressive thing for me was how many other geocachers I saw out and about. They are always easy to spot, looking down at either their smart phone or GPS and looking around to make sure no muggles are looking in their direction. I introduced myself to a few and was shocked that every single one (it was 7 or 8 easy) was from Canada! I never realized that Maui was such a winter haven for our frozen cachers from the north, but growing up in Maine myself I can certainly appreciate the need to escape winter, if only for a few months!
I found several other quick “cache and dash type” caches along the same route, and even along the road on my way to the wind farm which sits on the ridge just to the north of Kihei. I plan on taking a weekend for myself the next time I visit Maui, which should be later this year, so you can expect a more to come about this amazing and beautiful geocaching destination!
Do you have a Maui geocaching stories you’d like to share, or just a Hawaii geocache you’d like to recommend for my next visit out? Please let us know! You can reach us through our contact page, our facebook wall, or just leave a comment below. Mahalo!