My second big adventure in Maui was to take a trip following the road that travels the entire length of the Hawaiian island - The Road to Hana. There can be a lot of traffic on this road so we set off before the sun had risen and wound through sleepy island towns while dawn slowly crept its way above the horizon. Our car was full of friends, Carlo and Sophia (who’s engagements were captured along this drive), Kurt (a good friend who had moved to Maui from my hometown of Breckenridge), and a fellow adventure photographer Megan (from Sage and Heart Photography ). Megan second shot these engagements with me and we had a blast running around as a crew on the black sand beaches while checking out Hana’s waterfalls and lush jungles! As we drove past Paia you could see a subtle orange hitting the horizon line. The further we headed into the depths of the Maui jungle the light grew closer, deepening in its warm hue as it crossed each ocean wave. I was astounded as openings in the trees revealed the colorful sunrise along with a view of how high we had driven up the side of the island. We were far above the beach but were still right on the edge of the ocean - cliffs here are so crazy! It’s a very different feeling to look over a cliffside towards an endless mass of water vs standing on top of a Mesa in Moab, Utah, or walking out to the edge of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
We stopped at so many pull offs, cliff ledges, and swimming holes as we traveled around the Road through Hana and on towards the lava flows of Kaupo. Here are my favorite moments throughout the road trip. Be sure to take a look at the photos that relate to each memory below!
+WATERFALLS - oh my gosh so many beautiful waterfalls!
+Turning down a quiet gravel road that led to a secluded black sand beach to watch the sunrise. As we all jumped out of the car, the warm hints of the first rays of sunlight hit our faces. It was a very welcome good morning to us as we stretched our arms and set our feet in the sand.
+Stopping for warm Hawaiian banana bread at a roadside foodstand near Nahiku for breakfast (Not pictured here but damn it was delicious).
+Stopping to pick guavas, avocados, and coconuts from trees along the road. This was so nuts to me - that fruit literally just grows rampant everywhere! We snacked on this for the remainder of our trip and made smoothies from the leftovers the next morning.
+Finding a secluded swimming hole with the clearest and prettiest blue water with cliffs to jump off of! We had it almost to ourselves the entire time and spent a significant portion of our time here.
+Standing on the edge of the island from a sheer drop off cliff to a rocky beach below. We were high above the Pacific Ocean and felt so so small. I could have sat here forever watching large swells crash against the islands edge below. You could even feel the energy shake the ground beneath your bare feet!
+Exploring Kaupo in the rain. If you look behind you towards the volcano, you can see the last volcanic eruption and the destruction it caused on this part of the island. There is new bright green growth creeping its way through ginormous lava flow paths and sharp rocky lava that has begun to break down. The rocks on this section of the island are small smooth round boulders of black lava rock. The waves push them out, only to pull them back in again; crashing bitterly against each other over and over. This slowly and aggressively smooths them out over time. The sound of Kaupo beach is like nothing I’ve ever heard before on any other tropical island. It left me in awe at how beautiful and how terrifying the pacific ocean can be. My best description (these words are just not good enough) is the sound of loud and ominous crashes of thunder; as though Zeus himself is in the sky above you, throwing lightning around in a fit of anger. We listened to the crashing rocks and Sophia and Carlo snuggled up real close whenever I asked them to kiss in the rain (holy sexy and steamy!) These may be my favorite photos I’ve ever taken! Hope you enjoy this gallery and if you head to Maui, don’t forget to take me with you!