Muse by David Teitsma

My attempt to understand and be understood.

I have always wanted to take a helicopter ride. What better place than Maui, right?

I scheduled the flight last night after some deliberation. I had been going back and forth on whether it was worth the cost. I had no other plans for the morning and since there was an empty seat on the morning flight on a tour twice the cost they would give it to me for half off, plus through in a DVD recording of our flight. I thought about it and made the move. I booked it!

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I woke early and drove to the airport for our 7:45 departure. I got there an hour early, before anyone else was there. After some waiting and safety instructions we (two couples and I) boarded the helicopter. Unfortunately I didn’t get to sit up in front, instead I was in the back left.

Our pilot was awesome and explained lots of things we were seeing while keeping it light-hearted. The while time we also had background music and could see well through all the windows, except when we were in the low clouds.

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We took off listening to a medley of the Apollo lift-off countdown, the opening to Jurassic Park, and Star Wars.

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We first flew over the West Section of the island, including Iao Needle, Lahaina and a waterfall. We then climbed as we crossed the flight path for the airport and then circled the East side of the island.

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After we climbed 10,000 feet to the peak of Haleakala we saw the crater, summit, and the area that I had hiked two days ago. It was great seeing it from this different perspective. We seemed to move so easily up and down, and fast compared to the slow speed of hiking the Sliding Sands Trail.

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We then descended and headed to Oheo Gulch. The landscape switched from barren ridge to cloudy lush green rolling hills. As we descended through the clouds a rainbow formed around us. We could follow this rainbow around the whole helicopter.

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It was great seeing the places that I had been earlier in the week from a different perspective. I got a little sick when we were by Oheo Gulch so I didn’t take any pictures.

As we finished circling around the island to the airport, we flew above the road to Hana. As we turned, I would see see a waterfall cascading into a pool, as we went further you could see that the waterfall was only one in a series of several. It was breathtaking and made me realize how little you can see from the road.

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It was an amazing way to see the island. I’m glad I did it and it was an amazing experience. I love exploring places up close and in detail. So, my hike on the summit and the Lahaina Pali Trail were free and even more fun. Air Maui did a great job, everyone was very happy and helpful. I would note however that several other tours provide microphones to the headset that you wear allowing you to ask questions to the pilot.

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Afterwards, I went to Iao Needle and was going to hike around. Once I got there I found this rock sticking out, which looked like every other part of the island (it did have a lot of history to the area, though).  Also, the hike was only a couple flights of stairs. I was in and out rather quickly, unlike all the tour buses that came.

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Later in the day we went to Honolulu Bay to snorkel and relax in the sun. The snorkeling was good and I even saw a puffer fish!

Also, I was able to capture more of the beauty from the hotel with my camera. This is my last full day and night to try!

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For the last sunset, it was remarkable! Also, most days we were doing other things around dusk, so we missed the sunset. So, I’m glad that I got to enjoy the sunset tonight.

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I’m going to miss it here!