Story and photos by Larry Turner (

High on Adventure, November 2018


Hawaii Maui Upcountry ranch event     West Maui sunset and moonrise

I just returned from Maui to the Mainland, spending September and most of October 2018 at the Maui Mountain Coffee Farm ( During my stay, I was able to travel and explore all of Maui’s main roads. I took plenty of side roads, too. Hawaii’s Big Island is the only other island where I’ve been able to do this.

I cared for the coffee farm when owner and friend Bobbi Becker trekked to Europe for a one-month sojourn. My sister Nancy and her husband Rod rent Bobbi’s guest cottage. Rod is the Supervisor of maintenance/trails/roads for nearby Haleakala National Park, Maui’s only national park. Coincidentally Bobbi’s superb coffee recently was awarded the top prize in Maui’s Annual Cupping Competition. Last year, she took fifth place for all of the Hawaiian Islands during their annual cupping event, competing against a plethora of great Kona coffees.

Suffice it to say, all my mornings began with fresh brew, selecting freshly roasted and ground beans from the farm, alternating one of Bobbi’s two varieties named Volcano (dark and robust with chocolate tones) and Sunrise (a medium aromatic smooth roast). While making coffee many mornings I was treated to rainbows from the kitchen, balcony, bedroom veranda and the dining room. The Up Country rain forest on the farm is lush, vibrant and teeming with a variety of tropical plants and flowers. Bird life is equally robust. Many times I felt like I was in a scene from the famous movie Out of Africa.

After feeding the three coffee-farm dogs Jet, Bear and Petro, I would water plants, then squeeze fresh orange juice from the farm’s trees, make some breakfast, and drink the heavenly brew while charting out my day of exploration. I made up my mind from the get-go that I would travel every main road on the island at least once, and I was able to do that, even though it took the day before my departure home to accomplish that desire. Actually I extended my trip an extra week so I could accomplish my goal, though it cost me dearly, as I backed out on my return flight, purchasing a one-way ticket back to Oregon. Lesson learned (my Aloha sis does this all the time): I will never purchase a round-trip ticket to Hawaii ever again! Your one-way tickets will actually cost about the same as a round trip, so if you’re foot loose and fancy free like me, why limit yourself to an absolute travel return date?


  Road to Makawao bananas   Road to Makawao Jackson Chameleon  
  Road to Makawao coffee bean   Road to Makawao coffee far bird  
  Road to Makawao Coffee Farm house   Road to Makawao Coffee Farm  
  Road to Makawao Coffee Farm view   Road to Makawao Coffee Farm  
  Road to Makawao hibiscous   Road to Makawao museum  
  Road to Makawao   Road to Makawao Third Friday  

The coffee farm is located outside of Makawao, the Olinda region of Maui, in the Up Country at around 2,600 feet. Makawao is called the Paniolo Cowboy capital of Maui, though in my many excursions walking, exploring and passing by vehicle through town, I did not see one Hawaiian cowboy. I saw plenty of tourists though, fresh from the cruise ships that anchor in Kahului. The days of paniolos roaming the streets of Makawao are long gone with the exception of the Annual Fourth of July Makawao Rodeo and Parade. Otherwise, you’ll find more chickens roaming the streets of Makawao than cowboys.

Makawao still has charm with a variety of old buildings, and an active tourist, art shop and restaurant scene. It’s not like the old days though when the blue collars workers—the sugarcane and pineapple plantation workers, the local cowboys and farmers, and the local merchants—ruled the roost, especially on weekends.

Recommended stops in Makawao: the Rodeo General Store for eating and drinking supplies. I especially like their large tasty deli sandwiches and would often make this my first stop for daily island adventures. I’d often get one of their small cupped delicious gelatos but at $5 a pop, you’d think I was in Rome! Polli’s Mexican Food is the best for happy hour and great lilikoi (passion fruit) margaritas. Friend Pete Smit, who visited me for a week from Idaho, and I had several of these during a torrential rain fall late one afternoon. Cassanova’s for happy hour specials is on my “must” list as is Collections for tourist items such as unique postcards. The Sherri Reeve Gallery ( has colorful Hawaiian watercolor art and Sip Me is the place to stop for java and other drinks. If you have deep or deeper than me (which wouldn’t take much!!!) pocketbooks, Makawao Steak House might be a good bet. Pete and I tried one of their $20 bar drinks. It was quite tasty but overpriced. Third Friday Makawao is a must-go for food, entertainment, art.


Tropical storm Olivia rolled into Maui during my first week at the coffee farm. A week prior it was a Class V hurricane working its way across the Pacific from South America. A week before my arrival, Hurricane Lane hit the islands, resulting in the wettest tropical cyclone in Hawaii’s history and the second wettest in the United States. I hunkered down at the coffee farm during this event which—fortunately—ended up being not nearly as bad as anticipated. West Maui took the brunt of the storm, but the coffee farm was spared. During the few days of the storm phase, I buttoned up inside the extremely comfortable coffee farm house and charted my potential adventures for the month to come. Maui Revealed: the Ultimate Guide Book became one of my companions.

Following are my adventure excursions, often accompanied by my sis and sometimes Rod and Nancy, traveling all of Maui’s main roads.


  Hawaii Maui Upcountry Bobbi's Coffee   Hawaii Maui Upcountry Kula Bistro  
  Hawaii Maui Upcountry Kula Bistro lunch   Hawaii Maui Upcountry Kula Bistro patron  
  Hawaii Maui Upcountry Kula Lodge   Hawaii Maui Upcountry Kula Lodge view  
  Hawaii Maui Upcountry Nancy and flowers   Hawaii Maui Upcountry biking  
  Hawaii Maui Upcountry church   Hawaii Maui Upcountry drive  
  Hawaii Maui Upcountry egrets and horse   Hawaii Maui Upcountry egret on cow  
  Hawaii Maui Upcountry view   Hawaii Maui Upcountry farmers market  

Up Country, Maui is lush—beautiful with a variety of grand views. Picturesque ranches dominate the landscape along with a variety of residential gardens, lively with colorful plants and flowers such as the proteas. Must-stops are the Kula Country Farms (, especially to pick fresh strawberries; the Kula Lodge and Restaurant ( with a lovely view looking toward Kihei and the blue Pacific, and their fascinating gardens; the Kula Bistro ( for lunch or dinner or both, as good a feast as you’ll find anywhere on the island and you can bring in your own adult beverage without incurring a corkage fee; Maui Wine (; Grandma’s Coffee House ( for great sandwiches and pastries; the Holy Ghost Church; Saturday’s Kula Farmer’s Market, the best on the island. Bobbi serves her marvelous coffee there.


  Hawaii above the clouds   Hawaii biking to Haleakala summit  
  Haleakala crater   Haleakala evening repose  
  Haleakala evening view   Haleakala crater  
  Haleakala sign   Haleakala hiking trail  
  Haleakala hiking   Haleakala Hosmer  
  Haleakala island view   Haleakala landscape marker sign  
  Haleakala looking toward Big Island   Haleakala Milky Way  
  Haleakala nene   Haleakala night view  
  Haleakala overlook   Haleakala rare iiwi  
  Haleakala road to summit   Haleakala summit road  
  Haleakala sunset   Haleakala volcanic landscape  

Do not leave the island without a visit to Haleakala National Park ( It is an unforgettable drive with awe-inspiring views. Pay close attention to the weather as it can be shrouded in clouds. Often though, you get above the clouds, making the views of Maui and the Pacific and other islands almost other-worldly. Sunrises are a bucket list thing, but also on that list are sunset and evening star gazing ( I spent two evenings transfixed by the Milky Way and a cadre of other heavenly delights. The volcano has some great hikes such as the Sliding Sands Trail and Hosmer Grove where you’ll see rare birds such as the nene, akepa, apapane and iiwi. Bring warm clothing for visits at any time of day to Haleakala’s summit. If you have breathing or other health issues, you may want to reconsider a visit as the altitude, 10,023 feet, can have adverse effects. A proviso from the Park’s website states the following: NOTE: Persons with heart or respiratory problems and pregnant women should check with their doctor before coming to the Park, given the reduced oxygen at high elevation.


  Hawaii Big Island view   Hawaii Boulder Coast  
  Hawaii Charles Lindberg   Hawaii church on Pilani Highway  
  Hawaii Haleakala view from Pilani Highway   Hawaii Monarch butterfly  
  Hawaii Pilani Highway   Hawaii Pilani view  
  Hawaii building remnants   Hawaii, road to Pilani  
  Hawaii, rugged Maui coastline   Hawaii sea cave  

This drive reminds me of parts of southeast Oregon. It is part of the Hana Highway system. I prefer taking this route west to east when going to Kaupo, the Seven Sacred Pools and Kipahula where famous aviator Charles Lindbergh is buried. It is the most open road in all of Maui and the least populated. It will also get your blood pumping in the harrowing stretches. Be prepared to back up at times and also to shake your oncoming road neighbor’s hand as you slowly pass within inches of each other. Be aware: the locals drive pretty aggressively on this stretch. There are no fancy resorts on this stretch which tickles my heart, and I hope that there never will be. The ocean views here are of an unchanged, undeveloped Hawaii. Enjoy it!


  Road to Paia Baldwin Beach   Road to Paia Baldwin Beach  
  Road to Paia distillery tasting room   Road to Paia Halimaile Distillery  
  Road to Paia eucalyptus forest   Road to Paia eucalyptus rainbow  
  Road to Paia sea turtle   Road to Paia Hookipa turtles  
  Road to Paia Hookpa windsurfing   Road to Paia surfers  
  Road to Paia surf play   Road to Paia resting sea turtles  
  Road to Paia tree   Road to Paia surf's up  

Nancy, Pete and I took this road often from Olinda to access Baldwin Beach and Hookipa Beach, a great area to view Hawaiian green sea turtles and to surf. Baldwin became our favorite local beach as we could get to it quickly. It is a great place to get in a long beach hike for one’s daily constitutional. The drive is also gorgeous with spectacular views of Kahului Bay. A fun cutoff road is Hallimaile Hwy 371 which will take you to the Hallimaile Distillery where the famous Pau Maui Vodka (distilled from pineapples) and other spirits are made.


  Road to Kahului Five Palms Beach   Road to Kahului  Five Palms twilight  
  Road to Kahului  Ahihi Preserve   Road to Kahului  Ahihi  
  Road to Kahului, author and sister   Road to Kahului Big Beach  
  Road to Kahului  beach babe   Road to Kahului Iao Needle  
  Road to Kahului coral snorkeling   Road to Kahului  Five Cave  
  Road to Kahului  Five Palms Beach   Road to Kahului Five Palms Beach  
  Road to Kahului  Five Palms Beach party   Road to Kahului Iao Valley Garden  
  Road to Kahului overlook   Road to Kahului Iao Valley stream  
  Road to Kahului Iao Valley   Road to Kahului Iao Valley signage  
  Road to Kahului Iao Valley River   Road to Kahului Iao Needle  
  Road to Kahului Maui Canoe Club   Road to Kahului Maui fish  
  Road to Kahului sailing   Road to Kahului Patricia and sister Nancy  
  Road to Kahului snorkeling   Road to Kahului swimmer  
  Road to Kahului snorkeling pleasures   Road to Kahului Sugar Beach  
  Road to Kahului Sugar Beach Sunset   Road to Kahului surf's up  
  Road to Kahului underwater pleasures   Road to Kahului Wasse  

We spent a lot of time on these roads as we traveled to several of our favorite beaches in Kihei. Five Palms Beach is one of Rod and Nancy’s favorites and this restaurant has the longest happy hour on the island (3-9pm, Explore by walking to the beaches south of here where you’ll find much more privacy. Big Beach is beautiful but beware of the breaking waves as unwary visitors have been injured here. Nearby is the nude beach called Little Beach which I didn’t go to as I felt the scenery was sufficient where I was and I did not want to be distracted from it.

The best snorkeling is south of Wailea (Hwy 31) at Ahihi-Kinau Reserve. where there are great views of the tiny island of Molokini. Five Caves and Five Graves is another great snorkel. Thanks to friend Patricia for showing us its location. One of my favorite beaches for strolling and privacy is Sugar Beach, beside Hwy 310. The Maui Canoe Club is located there.

Kahului is Maui’s main town for commerce, including the airport, Costco, Whole Foods and such. Several times we passed through Kahului en route to beautiful IAO Valley (Hwy 32). In Wailuka, there is a wonderful bakery called Stillwells ( Their coconut pie and crème brûlée are divine. You’ll gain weight just by looking at their offerings. Spend at least half a day in IAO Valley. It is hauntingly beautiful. It reminded me of the remote, deep rain forest and jungle highlands of Old Mexico.

When exiting IAO Valley, take Hwy 30 and stop at Tropical Plantation for a walkabout and a visit to The Mill for the best mai tai I’ve ever had, made with a macadamia nut simple syrup.


  West Maui banyan tree   West Maui surfer biffing it  
  West Maui day table lanai   West Maui Kahakuloa  
  West Maui Lahaina Harbor   West Maui Lahaina moon  
  West Maui Lahaina moonrise   West Maui Lahaina sunset  
  West Maui Lahaina shave ice   West Maui Lahaina  
  West Maui Lahaina ferry   West Maui palms  
  West Maui Lanai beach   West Maui mahimahi  
  West Maui Lanai sunset   West Maui sunset moonrise  
  West Maui flight   West Maui Lahaina sunset  
  West Maui surf and cruise ship   West Maui surfing curves  
  West Maui road view   West Maui view  

One of Maui’s most unique driving adventures is the West Maui Mountain Road. Most folks take it from the Lahaina side to Kahului. I did it just the opposite. Sis Nancy had told me before I departed solo, “I’ll never take that drive again. It scared the daylights out of me. Best of luck brother!” I took it on a perfect sunny day and a day when the cruise ship was not in. The traffic was not bad and I made a quick decision to follow a local rancher’s truck which had a hand painted sign on its stock bed reading Hogs and Cattle for Sale. No one messed with that truck on the road and by closely following it, I pressed through the narrow and one-way stretches of the road which is highlighted in red on Maui maps with the notation: Narrow Road. Drive at Your Own Risk.

This road takes you into Old Hawaii. The Hawaii of ranches and locals living simple lives far off the pulsating tourist grid. The sleepy little town of Kahakuloa is pure Hawaiian, something that one doesn’t see too often in the modern era. I enjoyed a mango pineapple smoothie from one of the local road vendors with the bonus of a wild coastal view. I marveled at places such as the Olivine Pools and the Nakalele Pt. Blow Hole. Eventually I made my way to Kapalua and Lahaina. Nancy and I would later take two trips to Lahaina, traveling the Kuihelani (380) and Honoapillani (30) Highways. We enjoyed old downtown Lahaina with the famous banyan tree, the picturesque harbor and a variety of tourist enticings. The restaurant bar Down the Hatch was a good spot for Happy Hour food and drink deals. On my September 16th birthday, we took an early ferry and spent a perfect day on the more remote island of Lanai.


  Hawaii, road to Hana, above the falls   Hawaii, road to Hana bamboo forest  
  Hawaii, road to Hana, Coconut Glens   Hawaii, road to Hana fresh rainfall  
  Hawaii, road to Hana ginger   Hawaii, road to Hana waterfall  
  Hawaii, road to Hana guavas   Hawaii, road to Hana road view  
  Hawaii, road to Hana leeside   Hawaii, road to Hana church  
  Hawaii, road to Hana wateerfalls   Hawaii, road to Hana Kipahula  
  Hawaii, road to Hana   Hawaii, road to Hana rainforest delight  
  Hawaii, road to Hana rainforest flower   Hawaii, road to Hana West Maui coast  

Your journey to Maui would be incomplete if you did not take the Road to Hana - at least once. Very important: select a non-cruise ship day to take it, or you may be coming up with some new four-letter words that you’ll extend to your fellow travelers!

This was the last road I took before departing for Oregon the following day, and it fulfilled my aspiration to travel all of Maui’s main roads during a single visit.

Our day was grand. It was rainy all the way to Hana on Highway 360, but this is a rain forest and we welcomed it. All the waterfalls along the way were singing with fresh water. One notable stop was Nahiku, considered by many as having the most beautiful coastal view in all of Hawaii. In Hana, we had great Thai food from a roadside vendor that Nancy had frequented many times before. Prior to that, we had the best ice cream on Maui at road-marker 27: Coconut Glens (

Just out of Hana, we experienced the most road rage guy ever! I had pulled off on the side of the road to photograph a cattle egret atop a cow. He pulled up beside me and unloaded his rage for no good reason at all. We took his verbal vitriol but surmised that he needed to get laid or better yet, have a major heart attack!

Soon, after as we neared the lee-side of Haleakala, a rainbow appeared and then there was sunshine the remainder of the way, including a colorful, pulsating sunset along the Piilani Hwy. We pulled into the coffee farm just as darkness set in.

A complete journey was finished.

Larry Turner has signed prints available on metal and photo paper. The metal is especially extraordinary and they are ready to hang on the wall. If interested in a purchase for the Holidays (or any day), send an inquiry to Larry at


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