31 May. Time for a most excellent adventure.
We do a little pool time as we don’t have to leave until mid-morning for our afternoon booking. We have booked via internet again with Tom Barefoot’s Tours and agent Leslie Ferguson. We have all vouchers in hand received via email and we know based on the smoothness of our Lana’i tour that all will go well.
GPS says it is a 1 hour and minutes drive to the north end of the island and we leave with plenty of time to dawdle on the way up. We drive through Lahaina but nothing grabs our attention we haven’t seen on the 2 previous visits this trip so we continue.
We stop in Kaanapali and park in the Whaler’s Village garage, $3 per half hour. We stroll the shops and restaurants scouting a possible dinner site for after the zip lines. I stayed at the Whaler’s Village condos about 20 years ago. I had a perfect little 6th or 7th floor studio unit with a kitchenette and murphy bed in the living room. It was a perfect accommodation with easy access to the beach and snorkeling at Black Rock. We leave in less that a half hour (saving those big bucks!) and continue north.
It is only another 10 minutes to Kapalua and check-in at the Kapalua Activities Center on Office Rd. It is beautiful at this end of the island. It is greener and more vegetated that the dry leeward areas from Wailea to Lahaina. Lots of Cook Island pines everywhere, both natural and man-planted.
We check-in early and since our provided picnic lunch is not until the end of the zips, about 4pm, we head down to the Honolua Store for lunch. We can get hot food from a cafeteria line but opt to share a ready-made sandwich and bag of chips. The store is large and must be the only close retail location for the poor folks staying at the nearby Ritz Carlton.
We eventually gear up and get a four-wheel drive up the mountain, changing vehicles once from van to Pinzgauer military-style truck.
There is a little trail hiking between lines. (We are on the 5-line upper loop tour, with respective lengths of about 950′, 650′, 2300′(!), 1000′, and 1900′.) Our max elevation above sea level is about 2000′. Even yours truly, despite Colorado attitude, I mean altitude, gets breathing a bit.
We have 3 guides with us, Smitty (primary), Dave, and Rodney I believe. Dave and Rodney zip down first on every line to prep and guide us in at the bottom, so you know the line has been tested. Smitty hooks us on in pairs and does a safety check every time. (All lines are dual side-by-side lines and you zip two at a time.)
I’ve taken quite a few pix and videos (must get that VideoPress blog capability) but we still opt to buy a 2GB USB drive with photos of everyone on the tour. I later find that my iPad2 doesn’t power a USB drive. I’ll have to wait until I get to my laptop at home to view it. No prob. (All my blogs on this trip have been done from my iPad. It works.)