Maui Hawaii: A Hidden Giant Waits For You To Discover Her

Article by Kean Salzer

When you see Maui from the sky it becomes clear...most of Maui is completely inaccessible except for those willing to get out of the rent-a-car and resort. A single ribbon of highway wraps itself around the island and occasionally another ribbon of road intersects and heads off up the mountain to a little community or ultimately to the 10,000 foot crest of the dormant volcano Haleakala. Oahu is half the size of Maui yet it has more than 800 thousand more residents. Maui is a giant island mostly covered in wild terrain too dangerous for even the most adventuresome hiker to attempt. That's why you need to seriously consider taking a helicopter tour while you're here.

I arrived on Maui in 1971 as a tour escort. Twice a month I would escort a group of thirty to forty people around the four major islands for a two week deluxe tour and usually they had purchased a package which included at least one helicopter ride as part of their itinerary. The best tour package included a helicopter ride on Maui, Kauai and over the lava flows of the Big Island. As the escort, I got to jump in whenever there was an extra seat, so I have been up above each island hundreds of times, and I can tell you it is by far the best experience you can purchase on Maui outside of buying a home and moving here.

Maui Waterfalls

My favorite memory of these reluctant adventurers was when we started off from Oahu and headed for Kauai. I gave a short briefing on the bus as we made our way from the airport to the resort. Tomorrow we were going to take a helicopter ride. I go over to the helicopter company and get their schedule and would post the time for each person's flight on the wall behind the tour escort desk in the lobby. Be a half hour early. If you plan on canceling it's critical you call me so we can rearrange the flight schedules. At least that's what I told them. What I really wanted was a shot at talking them into overcoming their fears.

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