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I grew up on Maui where I was able to use resources in the community to make films, perform music, and play competitive golf. I was raised in Kula by Bob and Neida, my parents.

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Hike to Waimoku Falls, Kipahulu

Article by Linda Nagata

The Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park is justly famed for the beauty of its freshwater pools, but it also offers a fantastic hike up through the valley on Pipiwai Trail, to spectacular Waimoku Falls.

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This is wild land, of course, not a theme park. It's two miles to the falls, and the trail can be rough. The weather is likely to be hot and humid... or equally likely to be pouring rain (it is a rainforest, after all). If it's raining, flash floods will happen. Stay out of the stream in high water. Better to return late than not at all, right? Mosquitoes are abundant at any time, and you need to be in reasonable shape. But if all of that doesn't discourage you, then grab your sunscreen and water, and let's go!

The hike starts off through head-high cane, but the trail soon climbs into a guava forest. Roots lace the ground, and if you slow down, the mosquitoes will get you, so keep going. Makahiku Falls, Kipahulu Before long you'll come to an immense, grandfather banyan tree. Do take the time to stop at the Makahiku Falls overlook, but don't be tempted to climb out to the top of the falls. The danger is real, and people have died here. Heed the signs and your own good sense.

The trail passes onward, over sturdy bridges that cross the stream above lovely small waterfalls. Then it rounds a venerable mango tree, passes up a flight of stone steps, and suddenly you have reached the bamboo forest. More stone steps and a boardwalk will take you into the heart of it. The towering bamboo looks impenetrable. The stems rattle and groan as they knock against each other in the wind. Far overhead, sunlight glints past the distant leaves... until the clouds come up. The sun is shadowed, and suddenly the boardwalk is shrouded in near-darkness. The dimness of the light can be astonishing.

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