The Drunk Highway

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Pi‘ilani Highway, known as the Drunk Highway, is the road south of Mount Haleakalā, between ‘Ulupalakua and Kīpahulu, and is mostly known as the back road of Hana. Some guidebooks warn people against driving on the Pi‘ilani Highway, even though it is the shorter and faster way to come back to West Maui from Kīpahulu. People may take the same way back to return to town so that they can avoid this risky and bumpy road, but once you are in, the drive is an adventure. After crossing the O‘heo Gulch in the Haleakalā National Park at Kīpahulu, the pavements on the road will just start to disappear and the road will then climb to cliff side, as it navigates Lelekea Bay. Then, the journey of Drunk Highway begins. A camera in  hand will give you these natural landscape photos. 

The Drunk Highway 1

Journey Begins. The sunrays fall as a blanket of orange tone appears on the blue. The air has a gentle heat of the upcoming new season, not scorching or cold but tepid.

The Drunk Highway 2

Up the Hill. Where does the bumpy road end? Where is the car heading to? Does it have a destination? It may or may not come to standstill. Destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things.  

The Drunk Highway 3

One After Another. Out there, with the ocean only a few meters away, the homecoming journey of the cars begin with a new triumph on the Drunk Highway.

The Drunk Highway 4

Slow Down Driver. The road goes down to Lelekea Bay where the surface meets the Pacific and the sign on the board tells you to “Slow.”