Hello Friends and Family,

1975 Maui, HI, Part 2

Link to the web version by clicking here.

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Looking to the west end of Ka‘anapali Beach, we see one of the earliest hotels at this location — The Royal Lahaina, which sprawls over some 27 acres of prime oceanfront land. The resort opened in the 1960s with a collection of beachside cottages that still feel like “old Hawai‘i.” The 12-story tower was built in the 1970s which added 333 additional rooms. Today, this same area looks like a small city with numerous additional condos, restaurants, and other resort businesses. However, the beach was, and still is, the main attraction that brings tourists to this spot — this photo and the next capture a hint of its allure.

Royal Lahaina's website boasts, "A turquoise sea with gentle waves lapping against golden sand shores. Lush tropical islands dotting the horizon. Regal palms bending gracefully in the breeze. Royal Lahaina Resort invites you to make your tropical escape to our Kāʻanapali, Maui hotel, where your senses are rewarded in every way. Indulge in gourmet cuisine, fused with local ingredients and island flair, at our signature oceanfront restaurant. Savor tropical cocktails while lounging by one of three swimming pools. Immerse yourself in the spirit of Polynesia at our Myths of Maui Luau. Set sail for a romantic sunset dinner cruise or exciting snorkel trip in a volcanic crater. Submit to relaxation with a seaside massage at our serene spa. Royal Lahaina is the perfect destination on the island, and the perfect getaway to relax."

Walking a bit further, I encountered a small group of people helping launch a catamaran through the now-gentle waves. This image triggered very recent memories on the television news of people helping their fellow citizens get their cars unstuck from the monstrous winter storms that hit Colorado and surrounding states recently. Maybe these folks had just escaped from the 1975 equivalents. I hope they got a nice sailboat ride for their efforts (which probably required a modest token of cash too).

Mauka (toward the mountains) from where the previous photo was taken, I stepped onto the golf course. At that point in my life, I had never picked up a real golf club (not counting a putter at a miniature golf course). Regardless, I could still appreciate the beautifully landscaped hills with lots of coconut trees and those terribly dangerous sand traps.

And the views! As hole by hole, the course wound its way higher, the views got better and better. And once the players found the highest hole, they worked their way back down again.

I know I am repeating myself but for those who don't know or have forgotten, I had a favorite response to friends asking whether or not I played golf (the copyright belongs to my friend, John, who lives in Texas). "I'll play golf when I'm too old to play anything else." And eventually, I did play golf for a number of years until the ailments of aging made it difficult to play and impossible to enjoy.

The Royal Kaanapali is one of only two courses in the State of Hawaii designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. (the other being the Mauna Kea Golf Club on the Big Island). This legendary course boasts decades of memorable moments in professional golf history. The challenge of the unpredictable West Maui trade winds and the huge rolling signature greens has lured many of the world’s all-time greatest golfers. And yes, I eventually did play this course following in the footsteps of those "all-time greatest golfers".

I had decided not to rent a car for the full time of my first trip to Maui (just for a few days of exploration). Since you can see Lahaina from Ka‘anapali, I decided it was a short four-mile walk and I did want to see the coastline all the way to town. About halfway to Lahaina, I encountered Wahikuli Wayside Park as seen here.

The Maui Expert's website proclaims, "Chalk this up as one of Maui's most underrated beaches! Located directly across from the post office and paralleling the highway, Wahikuli Wayside State Park is one of those beaches you've passed a thousand times but have never actually visited.

"Sandwiched between Lahaina and Ka'anapali, this short strip of white sand is popular with locals who come here to barbecue and fish off the break wall on weekends. It's a fun spot for boogie boarding when there's a little bit of swell, and there are actually some nice little pockets of shade for escaping the sun.

"It's also home to one of Maui's most underrated snorkeling sites, which hugs the break wall between here and Hanakao'o Beach, just to the north. The reef is healthy, there are plenty of turtles, and it's only about 10 feet deep."

Continuing toward Lahaina, I found the shoreline covered with large black rocks — obviously, trying to protect the shoreline from the heavy swells that attack from time to time.

Eventually, I reached the Lahaina Jodo Mission — of which I have shared photos previously. Click here.

One thing that I noticed that was different in this picture of the Pagoda or Temple Tower is that it has been repainted in more recent years with a bright red hue to accompany the white areas in between. I like the new look.

Quoting myself from 2014, "The 12-feet tall copper and bronze statue of Amida Buddha is the largest of its kind outside Japan. It was cast in Kyoto, Japan, from 1967 to 1968, and weighs approximately three and a half tons. The Great Buddha was completed in June 1968, as a commemorative project for the Centennial Celebration of the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in Hawaii."

Here I notice a significant difference in the amount of oxidation on the statue of Buddha. In the 2014 photo, it has been removed and it appears that a protective layer has been applied to avoid the effects of the weather and salt air.

And hiding in the shadows is the entrance to the temple itself. I apologize that my Kodachrome 64 film did not do it justice — check out the above link — the appearance is roughly the same although the quality of the photography is much improved.

As best I recall the temple bell has not changed. And I expect that even then, they rang it eleven times each evening at 8 o'clock.

And not far from here is Front Street — the area that most people think of as Lahaina. I will share those photos next week.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com