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Friday, December 5, 2014

The "Our Last Stop In Hawaii" Story

The iconic 'Ioa Needle in Maui, Hawaii.
It was an ordinary day.  Just finished packing and checking out of the Kaanapali Beach Hotel on the island of Maui.  Now Carol and I along with Jerry and Just Sue must fill in a few hours before our evening flight takes off to return us to Pennsylvania.  Headed into Lahaina for one more walk around the town and then decided to find the 'Iao Needle.  
The beautiful 'Ioa Valley where four streams come together
to form the magnificent watershed.
The 'Ioa Needle is known as the phallic stone of Kanaloa, Hawaiian god of the ocean.  During periods of warfare, the peak was used as a lookout by warriors.  It was here that some of the Maui warriors retreated from the forces of Kamehameha I during the Battle of Kepaniwai.  A thousand years ago Hawaiians gathered at the 'Iao Valley to celebrate and honor the bounty of Lono, god of agriculture.  
Carol and Just Sue walk across the bridge that is
part of the pathway at the 'Ioa Needle.
Then, about 100 years ago visitors began coming to witness the natural beauty of the valley.   Today the valley is known as a very special place for both spiritual value and spectacular scenery.  On our first trip to the island in 1999 we made a visit to the 'Iao Needle and I remembered it as a beautiful and peaceful place on the island.  
Flowers, fruit and plants abound in the valley.
The area around the needle, which is a 2,250 foot high peak, had an abundant supply of water, since the streams of the Waikapu, Wailuku, Waiehu and Waihee'e valleys  came together at this location and was able to support a major population center in Maui.  Well, we easily found the place and after paying to park, we walked the paths and climbed the steps to the lookout.  The view was remarkable from the lookout. As we retreated down into the valley we saw many streams, some with bathers sitting in the cooling waters.  Our final destination for our vacation this year was a fitting way to end our journey.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.



Carol and Just Sue at the lookout.
Flowers of all colors line the pathway. 
If you look carefully you will see a bather soaking in the cooling waters.
Another stream.
We departed the valley when the sky threatened.

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