~A Trail Less Traveled~
My walking delights on the paradise island of Maui began years ago when Kapalua Resort converted one of its golf courses into a matrix of walking trails. Well-maintained asphalt golf cart paths network the 18-hole golf course to create a three to six-mile hike up the ocean side of Maui’s western volcano, Pu’uikui. It is a place to wander through a manicured tropical garden without the fear of being dinged on the head with a golf ball or run down by a rabid golfer.
I laugh at the skill (or lack thereof) of those rabid golfers, because of those thousands of missing golf balls hidden in the short-cut grass and tree studded meridians near the trails. Friends and I play games to see whose ball would roll the greatest distance downhill before getting lost in the foliage on either side of the path. I sometimes win.
However, with all systems that no longer have the input of energy from an exterior source (grounds-keepers in this case), the inevitable and steady deterioration of system we call entropy is setting in. Because of that, my golf-trail in paradise is returning to its chaotic state.
The low-cut grass in the fairways and foliage in trail margins continue exploding in growth. A huge variety of trees are springing up seemingly from nowhere. Tenacious grass wedges its way through tiny cracks in the asphalt gradually consuming them. Falling and rotting foliage are invading footpaths. Four years into the transformation, the diligent hiker can hardly distinguish between greens and fairways. The only clear sign that one is on a used-to-be golf course is the periodic white makings in the asphalt announcing the distance to the next hole, saying, “150 yards,” and so-forth. It’s now even hard to find a stray golf ball. You may rest assured, however, they are still there.
Yes, the trails wafted by gentle trade winds on the side of the volcano are still accessible. If you are in the mood for a nature walk on a path less traveled, I recommend trying them.
Morris Pike’s latest children’s book “The Diary of Snap Wolf’s Journey to Find a Mate is available at https://www.amazon.com/Diary-Snap-Wolfs-Journey-Find/dp/0692759123
Photos by Morris R. Pke