Today my family and I will be on the road for about two hours to get to the “town” of Kaupo. If you explore this area, you’ll see that Pi‘ilani Highway is really a dirt road. Part of it is closed due to a 6.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of the Big Island in October 2006. For frame of reference, Kaupo is about as far from populated areas as Hana is, but without access via paved road.
When I was seven I was so inspired by the name Kaupo after I had traversed Haleakala Crater with my parents and other adults that I named the best cat I ever befriended after the town. I remember one of hiking party, my dad’s best friend, in fact, continually doubting that I could make the hike. We had two days to take the Sliding Sands then Kaupo Gap trails. Not only did I make it, but I wore slippers (a.k.a. flip flops) for the last few miles.
We sat on the steps of the Kaupo Store after the excursion and my dad bragged about me to amazed tourists.