The Mad Hawaiian
Home Up


Trouble in Paradise  Part Two

The Mad Hawaiian

Written by Rick Archer
February 2014

Rick Archer's Note:
 This spot was supposed to be the end of my story about Nahiku.  Sheila Beal's article at the end of Part One was supposed to be the end of my story. I had promised myself I was done with Nahiku and ready to move on to something else.

However, there was one sentence I had read in "Cruise Critic Comment #108" that I couldn't get out of my mind.  This sentence was driving me crazy with curiosity:

And blue pool is all on private property so stay away please.  
Russell get mad!  He no like tresspassahs and the litter and the noise yikes!

I wondered what the story on "Blue Pool" was.  Well, you know me.  I couldn't resist.
I just could not leave this one last rock unturned. I knew I shouldn't look, but I had to.

There's an old saying, "Be careful what you ask for..."  This next story actually left me in shock.

The Blue Pool

Rick's Note:  I discovered that one mile west of Nahiku there is a similar problem.

Known as the "Blue Pool",
there has been bitter controversy thanks to countless tourists invading the privacy of the locals. 

Signs are posted everywhere  announcing:

Visiting Blue Pool is Kapu!

I will let our friend travel writer JC Derrick (Guide of Hawaii) explain the problem in his own words.


[Note: "Kapu" is the Hawaiian word for "Taboo". "Tapu" is Fiji, and "Tabu" is Tonga.  All words have the same root.]


Helele’ike’oha Blue Angel Falls and Blue Pool  (KAPU!)

Source: JC Derrick, Guide of Hawaii

This spot is detailed in our Hana Highway - Road to Hana Mile by Mile Guidebook.

Locally known as Helele'ike'oha Falls, many visitors refer to this location as 'Blue Pool' or 'Blue Angel Falls.' Before reaching Hana, 1/4 mile beyond mile marker 31 on the Hana Highway, is 'Ula'ino Road on your left. At the end of the road, where parking is located for the falls, you'll be bombarded with Parking signs followed by No Trespassing signs.

What gives?  There's a lot of controversy around this spot because of Public Access Shoreline Hawaii, otherwise known as PASH. The beach is deemed by many to be public access, but getting to it is another story!

The same is true of the falls themselves, located off the beach. This spot and the surrounding residents are the victims of too much publicity. A few thousand visitors a day now head down muddy Ula'ino Road to view the falls and pool, and to do so, they must ALL cross private property.

This has caused quite a few problems in the area. But who can blame the landowners for being upset? If you had a thousand people a day tromping through your backyard, it'd probably upset you too. In Hawaii we say places like this are "Kapu" or off-limits.

Our opinion is that visitors should show some Aloha and skip this spot, better things are ahead. Also, we should note that while many residents further up the road are charging for parking, they do NOT have permission from the landowners at the end of the road allowing visitors (including those that pay for parking) to access the falls.  So save yourself the parking cost, the falls are still off-limits.

JC Derrick


Déjà Vu!!

Rick's Note:  After reading JC Derrick's writeup about the Blue Pool and then Natasha Derrick's writeup, I had a weird feeling.

There was something in this sentence that suggested I had been missing something.  

And blue pool is all on private property so stay away please.  
Russell get mad!  He no like tresspassahs and the litter and the noise yikes!

I knew I shouldn't do this, but I couldn't resist my hunch.  So I gave into temptation and googled "Blue Pool hostility".

Sure enough, Trip Advisor popped right up!!  OMG!  If anything, the posts for Blue Pool were even worse than the ones for Nahiku

One post even mentioned a woman pointing a shotgun!

I will now offer up several Trip Advisor posts I found about Blue Pool Falls.  You cannot possibly believe the amount of hate until you read these comments.  Seeing as how Blue Pool and Nahiku are at most one mile apart, I am fairly certain these two stories are closely related.

Trip Advisor comments on the Blue Pool

Maui's Blue Pool is Not Revealed!!!

hickenInABiskit -
Reviewed July 9, 2006

We were just in Maui. We drove the road to Hana on July 6th, 2006.  I was especially looking forward to seeing the Blue Pool waterfall that looked so fabulous in the "Maui Revealed" book.

We drove down the dirt road & saw the $2 parking lot, but passed it & went a little further down & came to a wooden road block up & saw a young man (looked to be in his 20's) walking back & forth behind the wooden road block.

Since we couldn't drive any further, we stopped the car & got out to talk to this guy that was walking there. We asked him what was up & asked if we could park & walk to the Blue Pool. He said NO & that it was private property.

He wasn't mean about it so we questioned him further & showed him the "Maui Revealed" book & that it did not say anything about it being private property & asked why we couldn't go see it.

We told him we came a really long way to see this & really it was all we really wanted to see on the Road to Hana. Well, this guy started showing us all these maps & papers that said it was private property, etc...

Basically....about 20 more cars came behind us.  They were also told they could not pass to see the Blue Pool & there were some very upset people.  None of these people including ourselves got to see the Blue PoolI know that every last one of us was disappointed!!

Blue Pools/ Angel Falls

mlek009 - mississippi
Reviewed June 10, 2009

Just returned 6/7/09 from Maui and visited the blue pools/Angel falls or at least tried too!

After traveling down the road past several posted signs, we were able to get out and trek ALMOST to the blue pools. However, we were met by a grouchy native who wouldn't let us go any further I'm from the south, so I did beg with her in my sweetest southern drawl, but it still didn't work.

This large Hawaiian lady threatened us if we didn't get off HER land!  

Not sure what her problem was, but I did ask her if this was public property, then why we couldn't stay, but she didn't seem to care. There were about 4 other cars that pulled in behind us and I wonder if it was just one other car if she would have minded.

We didn't see the falls, but I would still try again if I had the chance. So, if you are thinking about visiting this site, do so, cause you just might get to see a site few get to see. I will certainly try again on my next visit.   Aloha!

Enter at your own risk...

jslin27 - Orange County, CA
Reviewed November 12, 2008

We had the 3rd edition of "Maui Revealed" (a book I have learned that most Hawaiians despise) which said to ignore the signs and simply drive down the road, park, and take a short hike to Blue Pool.

The 4th edition (which we should have purchased) now advises tourists to no longer visit ("dangerous").  Ahh, now they tell me.

We went to Blue Pool early Nov 2008.  Since it was off season, there was no one else on the road (as opposed to the usual crowds of the Hana Hwy).  

Even the kids at the side of the road are screaming at you to leave and crazy people keep coming out to yell profanities at you.

They even have a "Blue Pool Info Center" which is basically a lady in a booth telling people not to go. It may be beautiful, but it's just not worth it.   You are on vacation, not on a covert ops mission to sneak in past the yahoos.  The rest of the Hana Hwy is beautiful and there are plenty of lagoons and pools and waterfalls somewhere else.

No reason to spoil your vacation with an unsavory encounter with the natives.

It is technically public land (Blue Pool) but you do have to cross over private property to get there. If you're feeling strong and adventurous maybe you can give it a try, but there's so much more to see, don't waste your time.

The Maui "Deliverance" Experience

flipperman - London
Reviewed April 29, 2008

My wife and I ignored the signs saying that you will be prosecuted if you have the audacity to visit Blue Pool (April 08). We drove the back country dirt road about three miles, seeing all of the hostile 'Keep Out' signs along the way.

Once we got to the end of the drive and saw that we would have to go through a front yard/driveway (that was blocked) to go any further, we decided it wasn't worth it.

I just now read everyone else's reviews about the crazy nut job that lives on the land, and I'm so glad we didn't bother.

Vacation is supposed to be fun and relaxing.  My advice to anyone thinking about visiting Blue Pool is not to waste your time and gas. Don't ruin a perfectly good day attempting to see another waterfall. I'm sure it's beautiful, but nothing is worth what these other people went through.

For that matter, the Hana Highway is so-so at BEST.

My wife and I did the drive around the northern part of West Maui, and it is by far the nicer drive (a bit scary, due to the narrow roads and cliffs- but well worth it on a sunny day!)

You just get this feeling of hostility on the way to Hana with all of the Keep Out signs. Don't worry, we will keep out- because we won't be coming back.

I guess it's good to know that there's even white trash in paradise. If you want to have the Maui "Deliverance" experience, try to go see Blue Pool and see what happens.

The Blue Pool Crazy Guy

daly1976 - dana point, ca
Reviewed September 29, 2008

My wife and I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the one and only Hawaiian Santa Claus, the Mad Hawaiian, the Crown Prince of Welfare. This is the same idiot referenced in all the earlier reviews.

We were respectful just as we've always been, driving slow, etc. Just as we were approaching the pool, the notorious red truck appeared and Santa gave us the "Trespassing" lecture.

"Trespassing is a crime, yeah" - right. Trespassing on taxpayer-funded roads and reprimanded by a - wait for it - taxpayer-funded guy!  True to form, Santa was rude, did his best to intimidate and was an obvious insult both to the Hawaiian people and his Puerto Rican heritage.

This was a crowning blow on top of several 'Private Property - Keep Out - Trespassing' situations (Venus Pool, several waterfalls on the Hana hwy). We've been coming to Hana for 10 years - have been telling so many friends over the years to go.

Hana's changed a lot.  Sorry to say we're done recommending it and it'll be a very long time before we consider returning.

Visitors to the Blue Pool are not welcome.

Some say the Blue Pool is on private property, some say the Blue Pool is on public land.  I have a strong hunch is that the Blue Pool is on public land.

However there is clearly a strip of land between the public road and the Blue Pool that is private property.  This is where the Mad Hawaiian makes his stand.

There is a long roundabout way that is legal, but there seems to be no direct 'legal' way to get to the Blue Pool.


The Road To Hana In Maui Is Extremely Dangerous!
Beware Of Uncle Fritz Trying To Kill Travelers!

September 23, 2013 
[Rick's Note: The date shows this is a current situation. I made my 2013 visit to an area near here just 8 days after this story was posted]
The Dirty

THE DIRTY ARMY:  Nik, you need to spread the word on Uncle Fritz. This man needs to be arrested for attempted murder.

We visited Maui from our home on Oahu. I grew up on Maui and always swam at Blue Pool. It was one of my all time favorites. I took my fiancé for his birthday, this being the highlight of our trip.

Instead of seeing the place I painted for him for his birthday, we were held against our will for over two hours. That awful slime Fritz (not a Hawaiian name; he's Portuguese) boxed us in our car with his truck before we could get out of there.

We were trying to turn around to leave because there was a crazy man running at us on the road. It was “Uncle Fritz”, the fake Hawaiian.

We tried to turn around….. But he obviously had planned and done this before.

He got in his truck and came up behind to box us in. He had a shotgun. He threatened to kill us with his gun, etc…. and held us there against our will.  No cell phone reception by the way. This man has a criminal record and its just a matter of time before he kills someone…if he hasn’t already.  

Is that what’s needed for the corrupt Hana police to open their eyes?

Hana police are worse than the Federali. We only got away finally because we apologized and talked him down from in our car for two hours, and I mentioned my family of lawyers. I don’t know if it helped that we are local. He followed us in his car after he finally let us go. Soooooo scary. This man should be behind bars. Don’t go there, or if u do, know self defense and be packing a gun.

Blue pool is one of the most gorgeous places in the world, so I say, what a shame this Portuguese man is hiding it from us all.

My Run In With Fritz And His Wife

September 28, 2013 
The Dirty

THE DIRTY ARMY:  Hey Nik, the confrontation my family and I had with the locals could not have been more dangerous. We were driving along the supposedly PUBLIC road to the supposedly PUBLIC attraction when we were flagged down by a friendly looking old man.

However, looks can be deceiving. He immediately began screaming, cursing and yelling at us to “get off his land”. He was so riled up I could feel his spit hitting my face.

We were trying to talk some sense to the belligerent old man when we noticed that there was a woman standing about 15 yards behind him holding a shotgun.

He said “if you don’t leave now I will [...] kill you all”… That was about the end of the rope for me. He threatened my innocent family’s lives!?!  This crazy guy and his wife need to be locked up!

We went straight to the Hana to report the incident (they were not in and no one answered the phone; guess they don't care!)

The whole experience pretty much ruined what should have been an amazing day.  The kids never stopped crying, wife never calmed down, etc.

One of Two things NEEDS to happen before someone gets MURDERED! 

If it is private land, the road needs to be officially closed off from public access (ie: gate, fence, etc.)  Also, new guidebooks of the road to Hana must remove info about this location.

OR…If it is public land, the aggressive hostile locals need to accept the situation and deal with it!  Specifically, to the crazy old pair who threatened the lives of my young defenseless family; I hope you rot in hell.

Looks like Uncle Fritz needs to realize… without tourists being able to enjoy Maui, there is no Maui.  Homeboy is not even Hawaiian. - nik 


New York Times:  In The Land of the Lotus Eaters

Modern Life Meets Ancient Ways in Maui

Rick's Note: 
After some more digging, I came across an exceptional travel article in the New York Times.

Written By Patricia Leigh Brown, In the Land of the Lotus Eaters was published September 30, 2007.

The article was beautifully written and quite thoughtful.  The lady can certainly turn a phrase.  Here's an example:

Like the manic hordes who form a human chain in rented Mustangs and PT Cruisers on the Hana Highway, fleeing the chain-hotel sterility on the “other side” of Maui..

Where else but in Hana — with its fabled highway the approximate width of a suburban driveway — is it possible to encounter traffic jams beside “hidden” waterfalls as tourists pose for 'Coming of Age in Samoa' shots with cell phones?

For some 750,000 visitors a year, Hana is a way station en route to the Seven Sacred Pools — a series of pools and waterfalls of Tarzan-like perfection that, thanks to sheer numbers, have sadly become the Jersey Shore of Hana.

Ms. Brown brought up several excellent points.  She helped me understand why the local people would certainly feel resentful when seeing their peaceful, private existence uprooted by millionaire landowners who come in and act like they own the place... which incidentally they do.  Oprah Winfrey, for example, owns 100 acres of Hana coastline.

For that matter, I have heard people who grew up in the mountains and valleys of Colorado say the same thing about Texans. "Those damn Texans think Colorado belongs to them!"

As I continued to read the story, to my shock, Ms. Brown referenced none other than "Uncle Fritz".  I could not believe Uncle Fritz made it all the way to the New York Times! 

Here are more excerpts from the article:

Stay awhile and the local intelligence comes fast and furious: • Land is kin.
• The native language does not have a word for private property, but dozens for rain.
• The ocean is “our icebox.”
• The taro plant is a divine ancestor.
• Never turn your back on the ocean.

Flash floods can kill even on sunny days.  “A jeep full of haole (white people) washed down the mountain on a solid wall of water and floated 3 miles downstream,” Mr. Freeland said. “If the clouds are on the mountain, don't stay in the ravine.”

Like a haleuole rain (i.e. 'naughty rain') — one that sweeps in ferociously, clears and then storms again — the atmosphere between affluent expatriates and native Hawaiians, some of them sharing 900-square-foot shacks with a dozen relatives, can get highly charged.

The phrase “gold coast” (i.e. 'overcrowded tourist area') is heard a lot, with much venom.

The Blue Pool was first made famous in 1988 when it was used as the backdrop to ice skater Katarina Witt's famous Playboy shoot - only the second sold-out issue in Playboy Magazine history.  (first: Marilyn Monroe)

The Blue Pool is nestled in cliffs beside ocean so blue it looks digitally enhanced.  Menacing signs warning “Blue Pool Is Closed” in huge blue capitals now line the road.

Nothing stokes local ire more than a disrespect for native land. On an island, land is finite. It is ohana, i.e. family.

This is why a very large man, Fritz James Olsen, is at war with tourists. It is also why the best-selling “Maui Revealed” is better known locally as “Maui Reviled.”

The book breathlessly divulges idyllic spots once known only to locals, some on private property. Mr. Olsen's nemesis is Maui Revealed pages 90 to 92: a rhapsody, complete with mile markers and gorgeous snapshots, to the Blue Pool, most of which is located on his family's land.

Suddenly, “overnight it was 400 cars a day easily, bumper to bumper,” Olsen said.  It's not just the trashing of a fragile ecosystem that irks Olsen, it's their sense of entitlement.

“They'll say, ‘I've come all the way from Wisconsin!'” Olsen said, slightly bemused. “As if that actually means something.  I tell them, hey, a couple of years ago it was Bill Clinton. Now it's George Bush.  Things change.  Now leave.” 

A major theme for the "Lotus Eater" article was the idea that some Hawaiian locals are having a hard time adjusting to the constant invasion of outsiders into their homeland.

Ms. Brown herself coined the phrase "Modern Life Meets Ancient Ways in Maui".  She pointed that people like Olsen feel they need to defend their property from intrusion at all costs. 

She added that many Hana and Nahiku residents completely agree with Olsen's position, which probably explains why no one seems to rein him in. 

On the other hand, not everyone agrees with Olsen.   Ms. Brown met another local who had a much different philosophy.

“We kept our culture quiet because we thought that was the best way to save it,” said Sol Church, 30, who trains the guides. “Now we know we have to share it in order to preserve it.”

I highly recommend Ms. Brown's article to anyone who wishes to know more about the history of the Hana area and culture.

New York Times: Land of the Lotus Eaters

Rick's Note:  The Blue Pool is said to be difficult spot to get to even if it didn't have "Uncle Fritz" trying to blow your head off with a shot gun.  Like Nahiku Landing, you have to drive down a long narrow road through the jungle. I'm not even sure if all of the road is paved.

I have read reports that the Blue Pool is both on public land and that it is also on "Uncle Fritz's Land".  I take this to mean that the water that feeds the waterfall crosses through Olsen's land at the top, but the Blue Pool at the bottom of the cliffs is public land (however I could be wrong).  There seems to be no doubt you must cross private property if you wish to get to it directly.  This is the headache. 

However, there is an alternative.  I read that you can actually park your car near the Hana airport and hike 3 miles to the west along the coast.  Keep in mind that is also 3 miles to go back as well.  Obviously this hike is not practical for a one-day visitor to the Road to Hana.

Rick's Note:  Believe it or not, East German Olympic iceskating hero Katarina Witt may have played a role in the Blue Pool controversy. 

This picture of Katarina on the beach is not the
Blue Pool shot that became a sensation in 1988.  The actual Playboy picture mentioned in the NY Times story about the Hana area showed the former ice princess totally naked as the Blue Pool waterfall cascaded over her.

Considering Katarina's fame as one of the world's most beautiful and talented women, her Playboy picture was very much sought after. Back in those days (1988), there was no Internet to sneak a peek.  You had to buy the issue and read the story.  At this time, the heretofore little known Blue Pool became famous to everyone living on Maui. 

One thing leads to another... from this point on, much local attention was drawn to the Blue Pool. It was suggested that once this publicity spotlighted the area, Blue Pool became a prime target to be 'revealed' to the larger world in the controversial Maui Revealed book. 

Uncle Fritz is clearly determined to keep this area off limits.

Since at least part of the Blue Pool is said to reside on Mr. Olsen's property, he is said to be within his right to do so.

However, assuming the reports of Uncle Fritz and his shotgun are true, it seems like he is carrying his vendetta against the World too far.  Pointing a shotgun at a clueless tourist is not even remotely acceptable by civilized standards.


Beware the Curse of the Idiot Tourist!!

Rick's Note:  Travel writer and Maui expert JC Derrick has an interesting theory about what may have started the Blue Pool bitterness in the first place.

As usual, the Maui Revealed book was cited as the villain in the drama, but Uncle Fritz was likely sucked in as well.

When you read the following story, keep in mind these gems from Patricia Brown's "Lotus Eater" article:

• Never turn your back on the ocean.  Flash floods can kill even on sunny days. 

• “A jeep full of haole (white people) washed down the mountain on a solid wall of water and floated three miles downstream,” Mr. Freeland said.

• “If the clouds are on the mountain, don't stay in the ravine.”

The Origin of the Blue Pool Controversy

70. Re: Maui Revealed - Nahiku

JC Derrick
Lexington, South Carolina
Feb 25, 2008, 9:31 PM

I think what started the controversy around the Blue Pool falls was the serious threat of a lawsuit a few years back.

From what I recall, a husband and wife using the "maui revealed" book parked and started out to the falls.

It was raining *mauka* and they didn't think about the stream they had to cross.  Apparently the husband was carried out to sea when trying to cross the stream back to the other side.

The guy was rescued, but they threatened a lawsuit against both the book and the property owners.  [RA: I assume he refers to Uncle Fritz]

That was definitely when I remember things getting very heated there. I want to say it was 2004.

[RA: *Mauka* is Hawaiian for "mountain-side" or "toward the mountains". Its opposite is makai, which means "seaward" or "toward the sea".  ]

Note the bridge in the background.  This shows both pictures come from the same spot. 

A side by side comparison of the same area at Oheo Gulch (aka the Seven Sacred Pools), illustrates the danger of flash floods.

Guidebook Blamed by Couple Washed Away in Flash Flood

WAILUKU, Hawaii, 2004 (AP) - A Tennessee woman says she and her husband were washed away in a flash flood because they had relied on a guidebook that directs tourists to remote areas of the island.

"We had no idea we were somewhere we should not be," Beth Pickering told the
Maui News on Tuesday from her home in Nashville.

The Pickerings said they got into trouble Sunday when, following the advice of guidebook Maui Revealed, they drove to Nahiku to visit the
Blue Pool.

The couple crossed a stream to get to the pool, but when they tried to get back, the stream had turned from a trickle into a torrent because of rains in the mountains.

The Pickerings tried to swim across, but were swept down to the sea, where they became separated. Kirk Pickering made it back to the pool, while his wife climbed out on the opposite shore, where she could run for help.

A fire crew arrived on the scene, but was unable to reach Kirk Pickering, who then had to wait to be lifted to safety by a rescue helicopter.

'Maui Revealed' said to have failed to warn readers

  Beth Pickering said she was upset that the guidebook Maui Revealed did not specifically mention that rain in the mountains could cause flash flooding downstream, even in areas where the weather was clear, as it was Sunday at the pool.

Lisa Williamson, director of marketing at the guide's publisher, Kauai-based Wizard Publications, said the book addresses flash floods and other hazards.  Williamson notes the book says:

"Flash floods can occur in any fresh water stream anywhere in the world, even paradise. Be alert for them. It would be redundant to mention this hazard for every single stream on Maui."

'Maui Revealed' did not warn readers about 'no trespassing signs'

  Beth Pickering also complained there were "no trespassing" signs at the pool.  Pickering said she and her husband wouldn't have gone if they had known it was on private property.

Lisa Williamson disagreed with this statement. Williamson said Maui County had informed the publisher before the guide was published that the land at the Blue Pool is public, and no landowner has ever said anything to the contrary.

'Maui Revealed' told to update its information

  Meanwhile, Peter Young, chairman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, has asked Maui Revealed guidebook co-author Andrew Doughty to revise future editions of Maui Revealed when describing the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve and surrounding sensitive places.

"We believe that with the recommended changes, visitors using your book will be safer and have a better quality experience, and at the same time, the natural and cultural resources of the area will receive less direct human impact," Young said in a letter to Doughty on Monday.

Lisa Williamson told the Ahihi-Kinau/Keoneoio Advisory Group in August that recommendations from DLNR would be reviewed.

'Maui Revealed' Criticized by authorities

  Andrew Doughty and  Maui Revealed co-author Harriett Friedman moved to Kauai about 10 years ago and formed Wizard Publications. They wrote The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook, followed by Hawaii the Big Island Revealed, and then Maui Revealed.

The books are very popular with tourists, but have been heavily criticized by land owners, public safety authorities and business owners.

The criticism stems from the books supposedly encouraging tourists to go on private property, despoiling formerly hidden places with crowds of visitors and for blunt reviews of restaurants, visitor-oriented businesses and tourist attractions.

Some authorities say the books are leading visitors to remote places where they can get into serious trouble.

Rick Archer's Note:
 Please forgive me if I have read this wrong, but my interpretation is that the Pickerings were hiking to the Blue Pool when they suddenly realized they had been separated from their starting point by a flash flood.

The couple crossed a stream to get to the pool, but when they tried to get back, the stream had turned from a trickle into a torrent because of rains in the mountains.

So they decided to swim across a flash flood only to find themselves swept by the torrential waters out to sea. And then they blamed the landowner and the guidebook.

An Interesting Trip Advisor Reaction to the Pickering Story

77. Re: Maui Revealed - Nahiku

Cypress, Texas
Mar 07, 2008, 2:10 PM

"The Pickerings tried to swim across"...

Now that's where you go from tourist to idiot.

This article about the Pickerings is what is wrong with people.

If you're a freaking idiot, there is nothing a guidebook is going to say that will change that.

This same couple probably blamed McDonalds for burning their lips on hot coffee.

This same couple probably drives through water in a flood.

I think that it's outrageous to blame someone else for your own stupid actions. Use common sense, you morons.

Stop blaming someone else when they don't hold your hand every second of every day.

This is such a huge issue for our country and I'm sick of people not taking responsibility for themselves.

Rick Archer's Note:  

Personally speaking, I completely agree with this "McDonald's coffee" reaction.  I understand that ignorance of local conditions will contribute to accidents (avalanche danger in Colorado ski country is another example), but these are risks people assume when they travel.

If something goes wrong, a person has my complete sympathy. Unexpected acts of nature will happen.  However, an accident is one thing, but poor judgment is another.  Wherever you go, you have to pay attention!

The moment a person plays victim and starts blaming other people for their own mistakes as the Pickerings did, then I secretly wish they had gotten a dose of 'Darwinian justice' if you know what I mean. If more complainers were removed from the gene pool, the world would be a better place.

Just kidding, of course...

So you own property.  Let's say you own a patch of woods in East Texas. 

You have 'no trespassing' signs posted, but some deer hunter climbs the fence anyway.  While on your property, the deer hunter is surprised when a wild pig bursts out of the brush and attacks.  The trespasser is seriously injured by the pig's attack.

The man threatens to sue.  What is the law?

The Law

Sometimes even a trespasser can sue a homeowner for injuries on your property. To make out a case for liability for negligence, a plaintiff must show that the owner owed a duty of care to the injured person; that the owner breached that duty and that that breach was the proximate cause of the injuries.

If a landowner knows -- or should know -- that there are frequent trespassers on his/her property, he or she will be liable for any injuries caused by an unsafe condition on the property if:

1) the condition is one the owner created or maintained;
2) the condition was likely to cause death or serious bodily harm;
3) the condition was such that the owner had reason to believe trespassers would not discover it;
4) and the owner failed to exercise reasonable care to warn trespassers of the condition and the risk presented.

In addition,  Landowners are not obligated to protect trespassers who enter their property without permission, but they cannot willfully injure them.

To think our own code of law gives idiot tourists like the Pickerings the right to sue! 

If a landowner knows -- or should know -- that there are frequent trespassers on his/her property, he or she will be liable for any injuries caused by an unsafe condition on the property.

In other words, you could be in real trouble unless you have remembered to post signs on every other tree saying:  "My Dear Trespassers:  Please be careful; dangerous wild pigs on premises"

Can you believe that?   Our code of law protects idiots!


Is it possible for a landowner to anticipate every possibility on one's property that might pose a danger to someone who is an idiot? 

Answer:  No.  Because no landowner can possibly be stupid enough to think like an idiot ahead of time.  

So is Uncle Fritz responsible for flash floods on his property?  Yes, he is if an idiot jury says he is.

Personally speaking, I am certain of three things. 

1. If I am on the jury for the pig biting lawsuit or the flash flood lawsuit, the land owner has nothing to worry about.

2. If author John Grisham ever hears about Uncle Fritz, he would have his next 'weird legal situation' book handed to him on a plate.

3. If I am a loose cannon, the very thought of some idiot tourist threatening to sue me after the stunt they pulled might just push me over the "edge". 

Going Off the Deep End

Now that I think of it, Shotgun Fritz seems like the kind of guy who could easily have gone over the edge in a very big way.  Lawsuit threats have a way of doing that to people.  I know this first-hand.

Back when I ran my dance studio, I once had a woman who tripped at the front door.  The doorway was three inches or so above the sidewalk so I had an inclined wooden ramp built for people to walk up.  The woman was wearing high heels and her left heel slipped off the edge.  From what I gather, she did fall very awkwardly. However, I wasn't there that night, so I don't know 'how' it happened.

I received an email threat from this woman that made me sick with worry. She had consulted her lawyer 'who had advised her to keep her options open'.

In the meantime, she demanded I pay her doctor's bill for her badly twisted ankle and her abrasions.  And she might need to see a chiropractor about the fall.

Mind you, those were the days when 1,200 people a week walked in through that door and back out through that door without the slightest problem.  I was sick... I mean SICK with worry about how serious this woman was about suing me.  To think I was 'responsible' for some woman who was too clumsy to walk up a ramp made me furious.  The studio was barely breaking even at that particular time; the thought that I had to pay her doctor's bill to appease her filled me with rage.

I didn't go over the edge, but I worried day and night for a week.  I felt so helpless.  Considering how upset I was from being forced to throw away my hard-earned money on this woman, I can definitely understand how a loose cannon like Fritz would go equally nuts with the Pickering threat.

Anybody can sue anybody for anything.  The deep pockets in the flash flood case were not Fritz's, but rather the "Maui Revealed" people. Nevertheless Fritz would still be expected to hire a lawyer and defend himself... and I cannot imagine Fritz was rolling in dough compared to some fat cat idiot tourist who can hire all the lawyers he wishes to help make Fritz's life miserable. 

The key thought here is "liability concerns".  More than likely, the anxiety the flash flood lawsuit threat caused Fritz probably scarred him for life. I can definitely see how an incident like this could turn an unbalanced man into Shotgun Fritz.  This could very well explain why he is so bitter.


Why Doesn't Someone Try to Calm Uncle Fritz Down?

Uncle Fritz has been on the warpath terrorizing innocent tourists for over 9-10 years and no one has stepped in!!  That's right, this controversy has been around for at least ten years.  Do the math.

The Pickering near-drowning story suggests that the Blue Pool "no trespassing" signs were probably first posted around 2004 most likely in reaction to the lawsuit threat.  Then I found "Uncle Fritz" stories on the Internet as recent as September 2013

If you knew you had a potential time-bomb ticking in your neighborhood, you know, like some guy with a short fuse who is pointing shotguns at tourists, wouldn't you think it is time to call in some adults to address the problem?

With one notable exception, I read in several different places that the nearby Hana police are nowhere to be found.  In fact, there are hints that the local police actually condone Fritz's intimidation tactics.

This man has a criminal record and its just a matter of time before he kills someone…if he hasn’t already.  Is that what’s needed for the corrupt Hana police to open their eyes?   Hana police are worse than the Federali.

Hana is 3 miles away.  And yet in ten years or more, Hana authorities have seemingly not intervened to solve this threat.

Talk about negligence!  If one tourist gets up in Fritz's face and says something he doesn't like, several comments have suggested this could be a homicide waiting to happen. 


What Does the Law Say About This Situation?

I am certainly no lawyer.  Nor do I have all the facts at my fingertips.  However, a simple reading of Hawaiian law seems to favor allowing access to the Blue Pool.

Public Access Rights  (Source: University of Hawaii)

Q: What are the rights of the public to access Hawaii’s beaches?

A: The public has a right of access along the beaches and shorelines in the State situated below the "upper reaches of the wash of the waves."

Q: How should the public access beaches and shorelines that are blocked by houses?

A: If private homeowners are obstructing existing
public rights-of-way to the shoreline, HRS § 115-9 provides a remedy for that kind of situation.

Public Beach transit corridor defined - (a) The right of transit shall exist seaward of the shoreline and this area shall be defined as a beach transit corridor.

Q: Does the right of access to the shoreline include the right of transit along the shorelines?

A: Yes. HRS § "115- Duty to maintain access within beach transit corridors.

The department of land and natural resources shall maintain access within beach transit corridors under this chapter and chapter 183C, by requiring private property owners to ensure that beach transit corridors abutting their lands shall be kept passable and free from the landowner's human-induced, enhanced, or un-maintained vegetation that interferes or encroaches in the beach transit corridors

Now I understand that there is probably no EXISTING public right-of-way on Mr. Olsen's property.  And I understand that Mr. Olsen appears to be within his rights to deny access across his property. 

That said, if I am correct that Hawaiian law seems to favor access to public beaches, then perhaps the law could be used to persuade Mr. Olsen to voluntarily create a 'beach transit corridor' and ease the tension. 

Why Does Uncle Fritz Reject the Obvious Solution?

“We kept our culture quiet because we thought that was the best way to save it,” said Sol Church, 30, who trains the guides.

“Now we know we have to share it in order to preserve it.”
Source: New York Times "Lotus Eater" article

Personally, I agree with the comments that Andrew Doughty of "Maui Revealed" was wrong to do what he did.  Doughty wasn't 'legally wrong', but I think he used very poor judgment.  He made sure a precious Hawaiian secret was permanently and irreparably shared with the world.  In so doing, he opened the Hawaiian version of Pandora's Box and created enormous disharmony.  There can be little doubt that someday Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, will wreak her vengeance.

However, what's done is done.  Now the question becomes what to do about it.

There are plenty of waterfalls along the Road to Hana... seemingly one every two miles.  Guess what?  They are all pretty, but at the same time they all pretty much look the same.  Trust me, the novelty wears off quickly.  I have pictures of 17 different waterfalls and I cannot even begin to tell them apart.

Ordinarily I would say save the most dramatic waterfalls like the nearby Wailua Falls (80 foot drop) or the most easily-accessed waterfalls from Hana Highway for the general public and let the "hidden waterfalls" stay hidden for the locals to enjoy.  That would be a simple compromise, but in the case of the Blue Pool, it is too late for that.

Katarina Witt's infamous nude photo shoot PERMANENTLY removed all secrecy about the Blue Pool.  Once the secret of the Blue Pool was out, it stayed out and became a local legend.  However, it still wasn't too late - the Blue Pool wasn't on any maps.  There was no way for the average tourist to know how to find it.

The disgrace came when Andrew Doughty of Maui Revealed decided to cash in on the notoriety of the Blue Pool.  He published a three-page spread of photos and then drew a map.  Now as Doughty raked in the dough, tourists descended on Shotgun Fritz's land like locusts.

So here is my point.  No matter how hard a decent travel writer like JC Derrick tries to put the cat back in the bag by warning people to stay away from Blue Pool (or Nahiku for that matter), there are simply too many hard copy guidebooks and internet guidebooks out there still drawing people to the beauty of the Blue Pool

It is naive to expect the whole world to comprehend the complicated message that the Blue Pool - a public area!! - is off-limits to the public

That is the wrong approach.  It is too late for that.  The damage is done!  It is a public area for crying out loud. 

Tourists may not have the legal access to see it, but they do have a moral right to see it.

People are going to show up on Fritz's doorstep for his entire lifetime whether he likes it or not. 

Here is how ridiculous the problem is.  The distance between where the public road reaches the edge of Uncle Fritz's property and the Blue Pool further beyond is said to be 400-600 yards. 

And yet no one can find a legal means to create a 400 yard footpath at the edge of Fritz's property or a neighbor's property to allow people to see one of Maui's prettiest waterfalls? 

As I said, since the Blue Pool waterfall exists on public property, people are going to continue to show up whether Fritz likes it or not.

Why not simply share this natural beauty?

Why can't anyone talk sense to Uncle Fritz?  How hard would it be to charge $5 to use a footpath?  Heck, Fritz could sell banana bread, pineapple juice, coconut smoothies, Blue Pool tee-shirts with half-naked wahinis, sunscreen and maybe even some hot Katarina Witt pinup photos for good measure. 

During my drive down Hana Highway, I noticed everyone else on Maui (e.g. Twin Falls) has figured this $$$ concept out, so what is holding Fritz back? 

It's too late to put this genie back in the bottle.  As the saying goes, when life throws you a lemon, make lemonade.  Hey, Fritz could sell that too.

However, sad to say, I don't think Fritz is a reasonable man. 

Fritz Olsen found guilty of misdemeanor third-degree assault

Rick's Note:  On April 14, 2008, the Maui News reported that Uncle Fritz was convicted by a jury of the assault of a tourist .

According to the account of the trial, Fritz Olsen testified the encounter took place about 4:10 p.m. on April 1.  It began when tourists driving a rental car headed down the isolated dirt road to his property. 

Olsen said he was putting up a sign saying "Blue Pool Closed," referring to a waterfall and pond about a quarter-mile from the end of the road. 

Olsen explained that in the opinion of some residents, the Blue Pool and waterfall has become an unwelcome tourist attraction.

Olsen, 50, said the signs were prompted by safety and liability concerns. He said some elders consider him the konohiki, or chief, of the area that includes Heleleikeoha, the traditional name for the "Blue Pool".

Rick's Note:  The Law says:  "Landowners are not obligated to protect trespassers who enter their property without permission, but they cannot willfully injure them."

Details of the Incident

Olsen said he was standing on the tailgate of his truck.  The truck was parked off the road near the mango tree on which he was posting the sign.  When Olsen saw the car, he walked over and told the tourists they needed to leave the private road.

Olsen said the driver shouted at him and said that he was driving to the end of the road.  Then the car lurched toward him as he approached the driver's window.  Apparently the tourist did not realize Olsen was holding a hammer.

Olsen said his fingers were cupped over the hammer and was holding it just outside the driver's window.  In Olsen's opinion, the driver must have lunged and "head-butted" the hammer.

The tourists in question were James Pryal and Kristy Witham, both residents of Washington State.  They saw things somewhat differently.

Witham said they were on the road looking for botanical gardens   (RA Note: there is a nearby fork in the road.  To the right leads to Kahanu Gardens, to the left leads to Mr. Olsen's property). 

Pryal and Witham had passed three signs saying the gardens were closed when they saw Olsen.

Witham testified that Pryal asked if they could get by.  In response, Olsen raised his arms, then pointed his fingers at the visitors, saying "the road is closed".

Witham said she saw Olsen reach into the rental car and hit Pryal in the face with the hammer.  Alarmed, Witham screamed, "Get out of here now!"

Witham then added, "Everything happened so quickly. I was visibly shaking. I didn't know what was going on."

Witham added that as the two were trying to leave, Olsen walked toward his truck, picked up a rock and threw it at the car for good measure.

Pryal had blood and swelling on his lip, Witham said.  Once they got to safety, they drove directly to the Hana police to report the incident.

In closing arguments, Deputy Public Defender Jon Apo said Olsen acted only after telling the tourists to leave three times.

"Olsen intended to scare these people off his property, which is allowed by this law," Apo said. "At the time, his whole belief is he was protecting himself from the initial lurching of the car. These were confrontational tourists who felt they were entitled to be on this private road."

Fujieda, the prosecutor, told the jury that Olsen wasn't justified in using force to get the visitors to leave.

According the Maui News, Fujieda said, "The sad part of it is, James Pryal and Kristy Witham weren't even going to the Blue Pool. They didn't even know about the Blue Pool. They were just there to enjoy the scenery."

Fujieda added it shouldn't matter that 'tourists' were involved. "Tourists should not be given any special treatment," Fujieda said. "But on the other hand, they shouldn't be treated any less than anyone else. People are people."   

Source of Story: Maui News


Nahiku Deliverance

Rick's Note:  The movie Deliverance told of four city slickers who decided to take a multi-day canoe trip down the river in a remote area of Georgia.  They knew going in that the area was isolated and full of backwoods people resentful of outsiders. 

However, the city slickers did not even begin to understand the full extent of the hostility until they met a series of half-wit humanoids filled with hatred and contempt. 

Once these men realized they were in great danger, they also realized they were trapped. There was no easy way out and this was not their environment. Nor could they possibly expect any help from the 'civilized' world.  

They had to make a move.  Every moment they stayed there, more enemies could arrive to join the hunt.  Considering how desperate their situation was, the suspense in the movie became absolutely spine-tingling. 

Believe it or not, in 2007 Marla and I encountered a Maui scenario that had all the earmarks of being a potential "Deliverance" situation.

I never wrote about it at the time, but I will now.

I am a curious person.  I think I have made that point perfectly clear in this article.

Well, sometimes curiosity can backfire.  In 2007, my curiosity landed me in a very dangerous situation straight out of Deliverance.

There really are some beautiful homes down there, but they are very hard to find.  This geodesic dome with a perfect view of the waterfall is located in Nahiku about 1.5 miles east of George Harrison's estate. 

Wouldn't it be nice to have a waterfall in your backyard? 

As I wrote earlier, on our first visit to Hana in 2007, I kept noticing various roads leading into the tropical jungle.  Obviously those roads led down to the coastline. 

What would I find if I drove down one of those roads? 

At the time, I fully expected beautiful estates were located at the bottom.  I expected to see an array of tasteful trophy homes nestled into the surrounding jungle complete with nearby waterfalls, ravines and stunning views of the ocean.

On a whim, I told Marla I was curious to see what one of those mysterious roads into the jungle was like.  Marla wasn't so sure this was a good idea, but eventually said okay. 

Now I can say with complete assurance that I would never be stupid enough to drive into a dangerous inner city ghetto without good reason.  But that is because I am fully aware of the dangers of urban life.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think there might be some kind of "Uncle Fritz" danger hiding down this remote road.  C'mon now, this is Hawaii, vacation paradise!

However, when I saw one abandoned car after another in the forest and serious amounts of trash and litter in some of the yards, I began to have second thoughts about continuing.

I could not believe these people would spoil their paradise by throwing their crap everywhere.  What a bunch of yahoos!

Halfway down the road I slowed.  Up ahead were six men laughing and drinking beer next to a pickup truck.  I wasn't quite sure what to do.  I decided to keep going.

The laughter stopped immediately when they saw us.  They became completely silent and stared at us intently as we passed by.  The look of hate on their faces was undeniable.  They did not like seeing us there one bit. 

These men gave me the creeps.  I was positive we could be in danger.  This was a "one-way road" which meant the only way Marla and I could get back to the main highway would be to pass these men again on the way back.

Easier said than done... the road was so narrow that these men could have easily positioned their truck across the road and completely blocked me in. 

No one on the ship had the slightest idea where we were.

We had no cell phone service; there was no one we could call about our predicament. 

If Marla and I were to disappear into this jungle thanks to foul play, it would be a long time before anyone figured out where we had gotten to.  We had stumbled into a situation just as dangerous as running into a gang of thugs in East L.A.  

We were on their turf and they had the advantage.

I understood very clearly there wasn't much I could do in case they became more hostile on the way back. 

They could rob us, they could kidnap us, they could hurt us, and they could do things far worse than I wish to put in print. 

They could do just about whatever they wanted to do.

Marla and I were completely at their mercy.  Fully aware of our predicament, I stopped the car the moment we were out of sight. I decided to turn around before going much further. 

I believed it was a bad idea to give them more time to be drinking and cussing.  Yes, we had violated their privacy.  The more time they had to indulge their bitterness, the more likely they would overcome whatever inhibitions towards violence they possessed and get that truck across the road. 

All it would take would be one serious hot head to get the ball rolling.

I figured the less time these men had to talk over whatever they intended to do to us, the better our chances.  I wanted to surprise the men by returning more quickly than they expected.  Mostly I wanted to head back before they could block the road.

So just five short minutes after passing them the first time, we approached to pass them again. 

I definitely did the right thing by coming back early.  A couple guys did a double-take.  They seemed surprised to see us back so soon. 

As for me, I was very relieved to see there was no truck in the road.  If worse came to worse, I was ready to hit the accelerator and pray they didn't shoot us.

Truth be told, other than more dirty looks, nothing happened on the way back.  No rocks thrown, no harsh words, no shotguns, no belligerent gestures.  However, not for a moment do I believe we had been safe.  Not after the kind of looks they gave us when we passed them the first time. 

Now you know why I have taken the Nahiku stories and the Blue Pool stories so seriously.  I was a lot more frightened of those men than I told Marla at the time.  After the danger passed, Marla confessed that she was just as frightened as I was.  We both understood what those looks meant.  Those men wanted to hurt us.

Therefore, based on my own first-hand experience, I believe every story I have shared in this article is legitimate. 

There's something very wrong in this part of the world. 

I don't truly understand why there is so much hate, but it is undeniably present.


The Blue Paradise

Rick's Note: From what I gather, the Blue Pool is definitely worth seeing.  Here is a very nice description from a previous visitor.

I found out about Blue Pool around 1990 during a trip there with my girlfriend.  A local who was a friend of mine told me about the place and gave me a hand drawn map.   Without his help, I never would have found it.   Back then, it wasn't even in the underground guide books.

We drove down the road, crossed the creek at the bottom, and walked along the rock-strewn beach until we got there.

We saw no one along the way or at the pool.   No surprise there.  Back then there was no controversy nor could anyone even find the place in this remote corner.  

beauty was unmistakable.   The crescent shaped walls were covered with multicolored flowers and of course the splashing waves of the ocean were thrilling.  We swam, felt the mist of the waves as they crashed against the boulders protecting the pool, and marveled at the beautiful flowers of various colors hanging beside the waterfall.  It was idyllic.

The Blue Pool is exactly what people dream about when they come to Hawaii - a deserted pond, a stunning waterfall, and enough nooks and crannies to find the privacy to make love to your girl. 

We stayed several hours, enjoying the peace, beauty, and serenity of the magic pool and the large, warm rocks around it.

What a pity it is to have found out that access is now denied.

That said, I'd respect the protective locals guarding their precious commodity from invading hordes. The problem undoubtedly began when too many people told too many people.

A secret like this is/was something everyone should strive to keep that way.

But too late now.  Save yourself the hassle; getting harassed by angry people is bad juju for you, so enjoy one of the many other pools on Maui instead, and take care to keep your karma pure.

  Uncle Fritz Strikes Again

     Rick Archer's Note: To help understand this next story, we need a map and some explanation.

  The Road to Hana (360) completely bypasses the Blue Pool. The turnoff is named Ulaino Road.

This road will take you to Hana Airport and the Kahanu Tropical Gardens.

It will also take you to the Blue Pool area located 3 miles west of the Highway 360 turnoff point.

Please note it is legal to WALK from Hana Airport
to Blue Pool along the coastline.  The walk is about 3 miles long.


Rick Archer's Note:  The distance from the blockade at the front of Shotgun Fritz's property to the Blue Pool is said to a quarter mile.  This map from Google Earth suggests the distance may be a bit further, perhaps 600 yards. 

Although there are all sorts of scary stories on the Internet about the "Mad Hawaiian" who curses at tourists, Fritz isn't there all the time.  Apparently Fritz mans his post primarily on the weekends.

Several visitors have reported seeing the Blue Pool without trouble by going during the week. 

This is an important point.  The following story developed when two tourists from Long Island were able to visit the Blue Pool unimpeded only to be accosted by Fritz on their way back to their car.


Blue Pool Deliverance

My new wife and I had a nightmare experience during our visit to the Blue Pool, thank you Maui Revealed.

We did just like everyone else, ignored the signs, paid the $2 parking. There were four other groups walking down with us.

We got to the Blue Angel Falls that feed the Blue Pool.  The other groups were disappointed because of the lack of flow of the falls, so they left.

My wife and I stayed behind to enjoy swimming in the pool.

When it was time to leave we started heading back to the little stream.

That is when the Mad Hawaiian started shouting at us to "Get the Fuck off his land!"

Okay, no problem, we will leave. I had a big walking stick with me as we made our way back to the road where this Nut job was doing yard work. He sees us and comes running at us screaming.

Nut Job is a big guy, solid looking.

He saw my stick and kept his distance (3ft) while he screamed to get off his land or he was going to bury us.

Like someone posted earlier, if I was by myself or with friends, this guy would be no problem.

But with your newly married wife in nothing but her bikini, this is a crappy situation.

When sizing up the unfolding situation, I realized Nut Job might not be alone.  Plus the machete was on the ground 4 feet away from where we were standing. 

I am not a big macho guy who likes to fight, but I am not afraid of anybody.

However, in no way was this going to be a simple 'whip his butt' and we could get out of there. If this got physical, I had decided that I was going to have to put him out of commission permanently.

Nice decision to have to make on your honeymoon.

Luckily I treated him like a barking dog.  I kept my voice low, apologized.

But he still wouldn’t let us pass him.  He told us to go back and walk along the shore or he was going to kill us.

Real nice time, huh?  This nutcase is threatening to kill my wife.

He should not have done that.  Now I was upset.

Anyway, I asked what the deal was and he told me the same thing - this is private land and no passa - KAPU - KEEP OUT.

I told him that I had called the County and they told me it was a public road.

Nut Job didn't like me contradicting him.  He got REAL bitchy and wasn't gonna have me tellin' him anything so he called me a liar and told me to scram.

He and I started to get into it.  But being that my wife was standing there and looking terrified, I decided to let it go.

It occurred to me that Nut Job was a lot more confident than he had any right to be.  Besides the machete, he looked as though he could be packing a .45. 

That's when I began to get suspicious.  I don't know who is out of sight nearby.  Maybe someone in the bushes has a gun pointed at our heads. 

Given the remote surroundings, I started feeling a bit like I was in a "Deliverance" remake - seriously! 

I figured we could come up missing and nobody would know for like FOREVER. 

That may be a bit over-reactive but still that's exactly how I felt at the time.  We are way too vulnerable and he's just looking for an excuse to escalate things.

Knowing that this guy is talking a lot nastier than the situation called for, I decided he knew something I didn't know.  The safe thing to do was back down.

So we decided to bug-out, but I gotta tell ya, I was really pissed.  First for the attitude and then for being lied to - but safety first when the wife is involved.  Had I been alone or with some buddies, it probably would have been a different result.

So my wife and I went back down the path to the ocean uncertain of what was going to happen next.  Nut Job had forced us to go the opposite direction of our car.  I was very worried about an ambush.  I grabbed another stick and gave it to my wife and gave her some advice on vulnerable points to attack if Nut Job came back with friends.

You hear about these stories of women who are raped in front of their husbands and I couldn’t imagine being in that situation, but I can now tell you what the idea feels like.  Well, it's not a good thing to be thinking about.

My wife stopped to put her shorts on and her shirt back on, then we started climbing up the rocks. We came upon a path leading into the woods.  We had zero visibility.  I was very worried the entire time.

The path lead to a road.  We know Nut Job is somewhere down to the right so we ran to the left and came to another home which was a dead end. The home was beautiful.  We decided since we were stuck, we should knock on the door and ask for help. A very nice woman answered the door, Mrs. L.

She was kind and showed us how to get back to our car without running into our friend.

We got to the car and got the hell out of there.

Does this sound like fun?  Are the falls worth the risk

No way. There are plenty other places to see along the road to Hana.

I would tell everyone to do the road to Hana, but don't go to the Blue Pools. The locals really don't give you that warm feeling.

Don't for one minute think they are nice people, they are not.

I am from New York, and we get a bad rep, but I have never felt this kind of hate.

It really is sad because the place is beautiful, but the people can be so ugly.

Are all Hawaiians like this?  Well, if we didn't know better, we might think all the residents are this rude, but they are not.

However, be very careful when you get away from the tourist areas.


Not Painting a Pretty Picture??

Rick's Note:  I found these stories about tension between the locals and the tourists to be mesmerizing.  I had never heard tales quite like these before.

Personally, the Nahiku Landing and Blue Pool stories explain why some people can be welcoming and others might be strangely hostile on my trips.  Of course, I expected the cold reception on our trip to Russia, but I was taken off guard by the dirty looks during my visits to Hana in 2007 and 2013.  Now I understand.

I have little doubt that over the years, the unexpected ugliness on the part of Hawaiian citizens towards bewildered tourists has ruined the day for many a visitor.  No matter what their beef, in a sense the locals are taking the law into their own hands with some of their behavior.  And based on some of those comments, one has to suspect the Hana police deliberately look the other way.

Of course, we have also read that the visitors can be rude as well.  Maybe so, but my gut feeling is that the locals are the ones who are mostly at fault.

The problem is that if these confrontations become more publicized, Maui risks getting the same reputation for rudeness that has plagued France, another tourist mecca well known for its questionable attitude.  If that bad reputation becomes too wide-spread, then Maui can expect way fewer cars on the Road to Hana.

While I am sure the locals would be tickled pink by that development, the loss of tourist income to the overall island economy would hurt many others.  For this reason, people like Sheila Beal (Go Visit Hawaii) and JC Derrick (Guide of Hawaii) must be horrified at these accounts of blatant hostility towards unsuspecting guests.  They have no choice but to warn people to stay away in hopes that something very serious doesn't take place like a tourist hit by a shotgun.


It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.
If you think about that, you'll do things differently.  -
 Warren Buffett

In the Travel Industry, a Reputation makes all the difference in the world.  Because tourists have so many options, there is little margin for error.  There's nothing like a well-publicized story about locals robbing or raping a few tourists that can cost a country literally millions and millions of tourist dollars. Take Mexico for example.  Or Egypt.   Or 'murdering' for that matter - Aruba - need I say more?

One of the things I liked about Sheila Beal's Go Visit Hawaii story concerning the hostility of Hana locals is that she promised to be honest with her readers.  "One thing that you can always trust from me at Go Visit Hawaii is that I will be honest with you."

I have an identical philosophy.  If Marla and I are going to lead people to all ends of the earth on our cruise trips, I think people need to know the two of us can be trusted to always look out for the best interests of our fellow passengers.

In my opinion, one of the best ways to gain people's trust is to get a reputation for telling it like is.  I tend to be a straight-shooter.  I prefer to give my unvarnished opinion. 

When people realize I am good for my word, that means when I say something is wonderful, they know I honestly think it is wonderful.  And when I say something is rotten, they know I honestly think it is rotten. 

You want "rotten"?  On this particular Hawaii 2013 cruise, I was extremely dissatisfied with the performance of the ship's staff.  Consequently I wrote a scathing article about my experience:  The Ensenada Ordeal Begins

In this article, I wrote about one problem after another. 

  The horror of the 4 hour bus ordeal.
he possible presence of norovirus on the ship and the unwillingness to warn passengers.
serious tendering accident that led to extreme discomfort and nausea for the passengers.
he unfathomable dinner seating snafu.
 The likely theft of our friend's wallet from his cabin by one of the staff. 
 A series of lies on the part of the ship's staff concerning the norovirus and the theft incident.

In all my travels, I have never seen a worse performance from a staff.  Up till now, the staff on RCCL's Jewel of the Seas held the record for worst staff (New England 2006), but this dubious distinction has now been transferred to the Celebrity ship.

There is an old saying that you can't judge a book by its cover.  The Celebrity Solstice was easily the finest ship we have ever been on.  But it had a lousy staff.  So much for the pretty face of the ship, huh?   On the other hand, I had a great time at every one of our Hawaiian ports.  That part of the trip was great.  So it wasn't that my entire trip was ruined, just one important part.

Another "rotten" story I once wrote was Virus and Volcano from Oslo 2010.   Here I told the horror story of a serious norovirus outbreak on our cruise ship.  In fact, Marla was one of the victims of the outbreak.  In the same article, I wrote about all the travel problems caused by the giant ash cloud created by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland.

Those were two of the worst problems Marla and I have encountered, and yet Oslo 2010 was my second favorite cruise trip of all time.

On the positive side, I wrote about my powerful experience at Omaha Beach in Normandy, our delightful visit to Paris (although I pointed out I wanted more time!), my cosmic experience in Ireland's Wild Wicklow, my fascinating visit to Edinburgh and my investigation into the Loch Ness Monster.

Which brings me to this well-known fact:  When you travel, things do go wrong.  You have to learn to take the good with the bad or you will go nuts.  My point is that I am not universally negative or positive.  I write about things I like and I write about things I dislike. 

One of my pet peeves are the travel writers who spill out all the endless happy happy travel hype about places that aren't really that interesting once you actually visit them.  Wouldn't you, the reader, prefer to know what I really think about certain places?   Wouldn't that make it easier to make an educated decision of your own?

When I write articles such as my Wild Wicklow story and tell the world how beautiful my experience was, I want people to believe this story is not a bunch of empty travel hype. 

And when I make a far-fetched claim that the Road to Hana has turn-offs that can lead to real danger, I want people to realize that I am not kidding. I call it like I see it, even if my story is sometimes negative.

Not everyone Agrees with my "Tell it Like it is" Philosophy 

Shortly after I wrote the article about my Bad Day in Ensenada, one night here in Houston a woman pulled me aside.  We had just finished dancing together.  This woman had just read my Travel Newsletter. She was very upset over my Ensenada story.

She said, "Rick, I have never been on a cruise before, but I was thinking of taking the trip to Alaska.  How do you expect to get people to go on your cruise trips after writing such negative material?  You scared me to death with your story.

My reply was that not everything I write is negative.  For example, I told her I sang nothing but praises about our previous Mariner 2013 cruise trip.  I asked her how are people supposed to believe the nice things I said about the Mariner 2013 trip if I develop a reputation for sugar-coating everything?

Just because I encounter problems now and then doesn't mean I recommend that people avoid Travel.

The thing that people have to understand is I write about these trips one story at a time.  Just because I write one negative story doesn't mean the whole trip was terrible.  My stories are like the stock market... up and down, up and down.  However, when you step back and see the big picture, you realize that my overall outlook on Travel is extremely positive.

I encourage everyone to travel.  The benefits are endless.  Just as I preach the benefits of frequent dancing, I find my life is wonderfully enhanced by travel. They say when one never travels, you live in a house with one window.  They say when you travel, you open new windows. 

My favorite quote about travel comes from Mark Twain: "Travel is fatal to bigotry".  I completely agree.  I have learned those extra "windows" in the mind can be quite instructive. 

But I will also be the first to add that anyone who travels has to accept there will inevitably be some problems.  At various times, anyone who travels will eventually encounter long lines, unexpected delays, pitfalls and obstacles that will drive a person crazy.

If the inevitable problems of travel worry you, then I have an excellent suggestion - trust Marla. 

In my official capacity as Marla's husband, I have had the privilege to watch my wife in action on a daily basis.  The woman never ceases to amaze me.  She lives and breathes this travel stuff. 

Thanks to 11 years of travel experience, Marla knows the ropes better than any person I have met.  Marla can probably answer any question about the ins and outs of any destination off the top of her head.  And in the rare chance she doesn't have the answer, she can tell you exactly where to look for the answer if she can't.

That is why I tell everyone over and over again why we are so fortunate to have Marla to look out for us... and that includes me.  Thanks to my bird's eye view of Marla in action, I can tell you that Marla is always putting out fires behind the scenes. 

They could have used Marla on the Titanic.  Her genius is seeing the problems so far ahead of time that she sidesteps the iceberg completely.   

As for me, I try to do my part by discussing the thornier travel issues as I learn about them.  You may not like what I say, but you can't accuse me of not warning you.

I understand that I am nosy and I understand my stories are not always pleasant, but I firmly believe sometimes people do need to speak up.  I am not a rose-colored glasses kind of guy.  I say it is people who look the other way that bear responsibility for situations like Enron and Bernie Madoff

If you travel with us, expect the truth.

Rick Archer
February 2014


2016 Letter to Rick Archer regarding Nahiku

Sent: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 11:40 AM
Subject: Re Nahiku

 Dear Rick-

I wanted to ask first- what do you think the Nahiku Curse is that George Harrison might have left on the Nahiku area of Maui? 

At the time I had the fortunate pleasant experience of having a friend contact the owner of a tiny shed in the lower Nahiku area that over looked a river bed. It was stunning and quiet. Just the kind of experience I wanted. I too like solitude. And i was hoping that the area would provide it.

My friend introduced me to everyone in the area that he knew so that they knew I would be staying in the tiny cabin.  However, he didn't introduce me to the man that caretook the land next to the property.

Apparently the owner of the cabin/land also had easement problems with the Hawaiians, who had their own caretaker. 

2 days into my stay I was confronted by that caretaker that I needed to leave. I told him I was invited here by my friend and that I wasn't going to leave.  He told me I could only go through the riverbed (and on certain days you know that the riverbed is dangerous due to flash floods).

We had words.. and I am pretty stubborn. I know when to stand up for myself and not... I also am a bit of an asshole so I mooned him and walked passed him. 

I was going to get my things and go anyways I was pretty pissed after having to deal with easement and land issues for the family of this friend in Washington, I was done dealing with crazy men who had no respect and could not talk to women correctly.

This man threatened me with a machete- chased me  through the path with his machete. I screamed of course and no one cared in the area.  There was couple at the end of the pathway who pretty much said I should just leave. 

I grabbed my things and went to who I thought was the only friendly people on the road's house. I called my friend's father and told him what happened. They came up- and I was pretty livid.  I asked to find me a ticket back to the mainland.

I had about 700$ to my name. I wasn't wanting to stay. This was my second worst experience in Hawaii and I was ready to leave. 

My friend encouraged me to stay, and my mother wasn't going to help me out. So I stayed.   The next few months were calmer.  Until around March of 2011 and then people began to give  me that stare with daggers. Mostly ladies- I dropped some weight, and I figured that must of been it.  After the tsunami in Japan, I think that scared my mom into wanting to help me off the island. I was tired of the politics there.  

Conclusion:  There are some mean people that live there. Mean to just down right creepy... and even though some of them themselves were haole- they too are the worse.

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