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Maui Mad Man

An oh shit moment truly going to shit. I never had my heart pound so vigorously in my chest before. Frighten doesn’t even begin to describe what I felt as we raced away from what I thought was going to be our future death bed. The situation was completely out of our control and we didn’t know what laid ahead of every turn of the road. It was one of those moments afterwards where you ask yourself, “Did that just really happen?!”

It all started on a trip to Maui. My friend, Josh and I took a couple of day off from work to take the (once operating) Hawaii Superferry from Honolulu Harbor on O`ahu to Kahului Harbor on Maui. We packed up his truck and headed towards the harbor for the three and an half hour journey. Josh has never been to Maui before so one of the days I suggested we drive the Road to Hana and stop at Wai`anapanapa State Park where there is a black sand beach. I also suggested checking out the numerous waterfalls and various trails people can hike along the Hana Highway.

Depending on where you start, the Road to Hana is about fifty miles in length. But anyone who has been on the Road to Hana knows that it is a very long fifty miles. Between stopping to scope out the alluring sights, swimming in one of the many waterfalls and getting food at one of the thousand food/fruit stands along the way; makes for a lengthy fifty miles. Not to mention the sickening curves and switch backs that seems endless throughout the journey. The majority of the highway stretches alongside the coastline, adjacent to some Reserves. The road is mainly one way up and one way down, it doesn’t split into many other venues. This lack of diverging onto other roads would play part in the limited choices Josh and I had to gain back control of our situation.

We got up early in the morning to start our trek on the Hana Highway. We were having a lot of fun and stopping where ever we desired. We walked on the black sand beach, swam in waterfalls and we hiked unmarked paths to explore where they led off to from the main road. We were about a little less than half way done with the Road to Hana when we drove up to a bend in the road that had an open parking lot, but no cars parked there. There was no private property or no trespassing signs to be seen. On the side of the parking lot there was a little food/fruit shack that had no food in it and looked abandoned. On the other side of this barren parking lot was a muddy path that led up and over towards the mountains. Like many times that day, Josh’s and mines curiosity intrigued us and we decided to see where the muddy path would take us.

As we started wandering up the muddy path we began to hear a faint motor in the distance. At first I didn’t think anything of it; most locals have dirt bikes or off road cars in Maui and it wasn’t uncommon to see them on the streets or in the back country. Half way up the hill the sound of a rumbling motor was getting closer. We couldn’t see what was over the hill and if anything was coming towards us. Suddenly an few moments later, an ATV roared over the peak of the hill. It was a local Hawaiian and he wasn’t happy. When he got down to us he slammed into Josh with the front rack of his ATV, almost knocking Josh flat on his back. The Hawaiian guy was furious at us. He wanted to know who we were, why we were there and where we planned to go. His anger was so thick he wouldn’t let us answer any of his rambling questions and continued showing his hot temper. He threaten to call the police on us for trespassing, but I knew in this situation, him calling the police would be the last thing he do. After he was done threatening and lecturing us he veered passed and accelerated down the rest of the muddy slope. Josh and I looked at each other and knew that we had to get back to the truck and leave. As we darted our way down towards the truck I saw him rummaging through the drawers of that abandoned food shack looking for something. Personally I wasn’t in the mood to stick around and see what he comes out with.

By the time we made it back down to the still empty parking lot the man was just getting back onto his ATV and started rushing towards us. Within him being twenty feet away from us we were able to get into our truck and lock the doors. I yelled for Josh to start the car and right when he did the man stopped his ATV right in front of our car and came up to my window. I could see he had a long screwdriver in his hand and I feared he try to break the car window. Lucky for us nothing was behind the truck so Josh shifted it into reverse. The angered man walked in front of our car, almost egging Josh to go forward. I told Josh whatever you do don’t hit him. Josh lunged the car forward trying to get him to move, but the man stood his ground. The man than started to come back over to my side, as soon as he did he pulled out the screwdriver and pierced it into the passenger side tire. Immediately, Josh charged forward skidding out of the parking lot and back down the way we came.

The thing that frightened me the most is that Hawaiians are a tightly knit community. If you mess with one, then you’ve messed with their brothers, sisters, cousins, distant cousins, and distant distant cousins. So I half expected him to call someone further down the one way up, one way down road. We could not stop on the side of the road, not after how enraged that man was; we had to get back to town as soon as we could. Every bend in the road we took I was on edge that someone maybe on the lookout for our blue pickup truck.

We finally made it back into town, barely. Though it wasn’t a big hole, the screwdriver did puncture the tire and lost air. That night we had to get it replaced. While we were sitting in the auto repair shop we speculated why he would have been so livid. We both agreed that he was maybe doing something illegal, growing pot or didn’t want us to see something we shouldn’t. Either way he was a jerk, and didn’t want to listen to what we had to say.

That night we agreed to go do the Road to Hana again the following day. We didn’t want to let that guy ruin our adventure. Though that following day we were wary of any ATVs we saw, we were still having as good as a time as we were having the day before. When we reached that once again empty parking lot and blew right pass it, we couldn’t help but bust out laughing about our past situation and continued to enjoy the rest of our Hana drive.

Why do you guys think he was so angry at us and wouldn’t let Josh or I answer any of his questions?! Curious to know what you guy think the reason would be.



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My name is Mauri Fabio and I live in Portland, OR. I love being outdoors and traveling to various locations. I even got my geology degree from the University of Hawai`i because I wanted a degree that would allow me to travel and be outdoors. I enjoy everything there is about traveling. The unknown directions a trip can quickly take, making friendships with new people, and the endless adventures there always seem to find me. Visiting new areas of the world gives me something to look forward to in my life. I think constantly about where the next destination is that I want to trek through and the adventures that may await me. So far I have traveled to Beijing and visited the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, endless temples and eaten foods that westerners would cringe at the sight of. I've roamed through Perú and Ecuador and stayed in various hostels, camped out in the Amazon rainforest and drove up the Ecuadorian Coast with no clue where we were going just as long as the ocean stays on our left side. I explored The Galapagos Islands and seen abundant wildlife, undertook horrid sea trips to different islands and army crawled through pitch black lava tubes. I've live in Hawai`i and explored the places to go and what the best things are to do, of course on a cheap budget. These journeys are only a fraction of the adventures I'd like to share with you and I have so much more planned for the near future. During my travels I quickly learned that stepping completely out of my comfort zone and into other people's worlds is the most satisfying way to explore.

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