OpenRoad Driver Volume 14 Issue 1 - Page 19

Volume 14 Issue 1 » 19 proves extraordinary sporting layers of bright green, orange, blue, purple and maroon bark. Another stop, Pua’a Ka’a Park boasts bathrooms, picnic tables and sparkling little waterfalls that trickle into fern-bordered ponds and streamlets. Hana emerges three scenic hours later. A wooden sign announces: Welcome to Hana: the Heart of Old Hawaii. Day-trippers dash conspicuously around town buying up T-shirts declaring: I Survived the Road to Hana...and head right back. We stay. And from historic Hotel Hana Maui we explore for three days. Sugarcane boiling pots decorate the entrance and border lush floral gardens. Red, white and yellow plumeria flowers perfume the air. From our Sea Ranch cottage a pathway leads us to Hasagawa’s General Store. This 1910 landmark stocks everything imaginable, including cuttlefish, dried shrimp and packaged purple poi resembling Silly Putty. A hand-scrawled sign humorously commands: “Don’t play with the Poi!” Several small shops cluster on a nearby knoll. The cafe serves popular island snacks like musubi, rice cakes topped with seaweed and Spam. Above, Hana Ranch Restaurant offers an ocean view terrace and menu items with a tropical twist. Silver evening mists drift down the valleys while the surf rhythmically pounds the rocks below, lulling us to sleep. At sunrise, papaya yellows and guava pinks tint the peaceful landscape. Fagan’s Memorial inspires a brisk morning stroll that boasts hilltop panoramas. Puffing up the paved trail, we meet two friendly locals. Pointing downward, one gal notes, “My granny said that before 1946 our population was over 3,500. Hana had fifteen stores, three barbershops, two movie theatres, a pool hall and several restaurants.” Her friend grins, “Now, there’s about 700. Most of us work at the hotel.” Atop the hill stands a colossal cross. A plaque honours Paul Fagan, founder of Maui’s first resort, the Hotel Hana Maui. Converting 4,000 acres of sugarcane into ranchland, Fagan also developed Hana Ranch.