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Day Three - The Trip to
Mt Haleakala on Maui

Story written by Rick Archer



The Man Who Would Be King
is a short story written by Rudyard Kipling in 1888.  , In 1975, Kipling's story was made into a terrific adventure movie starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine

The plot involved two British scalawags who venture into a wilderness area north of India known as Kafiristan.  Aligning with a Kafiri tribe, the two rogues use their weaponry (20 rifles) and superior understanding of warfare to help the tribe begin to conquer their enemies. 

One day in the middle of battle the Connery character is struck square in the heart with an arrow.  Amazingly, he is unhurt because it hits a hidden iron medallion.  Seeing that Connery has an arrow stuck deep in his heart, the warriors are stunned to see him survive without even a drop of blood.  Now they all believe that Connery is a God. They prostrate themselves on the battlefield and the war ends immediately.  Connery is now the King!

The riches of the Kingdom are his on one condition - he cannot marry the most beautiful woman in the land!  Connery is a God and the woman would go up in smoke! He defies this ridiculous custom and marries her anyway, but with terrible consequences. Terrified at marrying a god, the girl bites Connery when he tries to kiss her. Seeing him bleed, the priests cry, "He is not god, not devil, but a man!"

As they say, the jig was up. At this point, the Kafiris turned against the white men.

Captain James Cook


During my trip to Hawaii, I took the time to study the story of Captain James Cook.  Cook is the British explorer who is given credit as the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands.  As I watched his tale unfold, I could not help but notice the eerie similarities between Cook's death and the story of The Man Who Would Be King.

Back around the same time as our American Revolution, Captain Cook explored the Pacific with two vessels, the HMS Resolution and the HMS Discovery

Cook made three visits in all to Hawaii.  His first visit to Hawaii in January 1778 was very brief.  Using information he gained during his visit to Tahiti, Cook had a pretty good idea where to find these islands.  His voyage took him to the island of Kauai.  Dropping anchor in Waimea Harbor, Cook stayed in the area only long enough to named the archipelago the Sandwich Islands in honor of the fourth Earl of Sandwich, the acting First Lord of the Admiralty.

As an odd footnote, this Earl also became very famous for a new food invention known as the 'sandwich'.  Like the Hawaiian Islands, the sandwich was named for him.  The Earl got the credit for both events even though he had nothing to do with either one of them.  He was so famous that Gene Chandler even wrote a song about him - The Duke of Earl.  

Every day as I eat my daily peanut butter sandwich, I can't help but think about this guy.  Too bad we can't all become famous for doing nothing.

Meanwhile Cook did not stay long at Kauai.  He wanted to depart Kauai to continue his explorations.  Soon Cook would visit Alaska, Vancouver, and much of the California coast.  He was the first European to explore all these locations. 

A year later in 1779, it was time to turn around and head back to England.  On the way Cook returned to the Hawaiian Islands to have a more extensive look. 

Captain Cook's next visit to Hawaii aboard the HMS Resolution created a huge sensation.  As he docked in Kealakekua Bay on the Big Island, can you imagine the shock the islanders experienced when these enormous sailing ship entered their waters?  Compared to their canoes, they had to be dumb-founded by the appearance of these colossal ships.

However Cook had landed in Kauai a year earlier without anywhere near this much fanfare.  So what was different this time? 

By chance, there was an ancient prophecy that someday a Polynesian God known as Lono, God of the Harvest, would appear in Hawaii.  This legend was well known throughout the islands.  Since Cook's arrival coincided with the Makahiki, a Hawaiian harvest festival of worship for Lono, the natives were fooled into believing this was the return of their Polynesian god.

Indeed Cook had picked a very good time to make his appearance.  I am not sure if Cook looked 'god-like', but he certainly looked different.  He and his men were the first Caucasians the islanders had ever seen.  Their unusual appearance and their weird clothing certainly marked them as out-of-this-world. 

With their amazing ships, the magic of their fire-breathing muskets which could deal instant death, and their use of iron metal which did not exist on the islands, who could blame the Island people for assuming Cook was the God Lono coming back to pay the island a visit? 

As you might guess, the Hawaiians welcomed the visitors with open arms.  They greeted Cook as the deity Lono and his men as highly-placed beings.  Cook had gotten very lucky indeed. 

Nor did he do anything to dispel their confusion.  Why not enjoy the free ride?
For the next month, Cook's men lived the lives that sailors can only dream of.  They had their pick of the island women, they were waited on hand and foot, food was brought to them constantly, they were treated like rock stars wherever they went, and they had no responsibilities.  So they spent their time eating, drinking, and chasing women. 

Unfortunately the sailors behaved like louts.  They abused the women, they pushed the men around, and they wore out their welcome.  Little did they know that they were creating a great deal of resentment among the Hawaiian people.  Or more likely they did know, but couldn't care less. 

Consequently when they finally sailed off into the sunset, the general attitude was good riddance to the entire lot of them.  Lono God or No God, the natives had tired of the freeloaders.

However, that's when fate paid a cruel trick on Captain Cook.  Shortly after leaving the Big Island, his ship was crippled when the foremast of the Resolution broke.  No way he could sail the Pacific Ocean in this condition.  Cook had no choice but to turn around. The ships returned to Kealakekua Bay for repairs.

This time however the reception was very unfriendly.  The Islanders clearly resented the return of the British sailors.  They resented feeding these men all the time and they had a new grudge as well.  One thing the British did not know was during their recent stay they had given many of the women on the island a bad case of the clap.  Not only were the women suffering in a lot of pain, the men were cut off in the process.  No wonder the entire population was angry! 

I suppose you think I am kidding, but actually I am not.  Although this is not something you will read in Wikipedia, I did find an article that pointed out this problem in gruesome detail.

Unfortunately the British sailors did nothing to defuse the situation.  These were the days of the British Empire.  The British were used to getting their way wherever they went.  They were busy making enemies across the globe - India, Africa, America - with their arrogance.  These natives were no different.  The British expected the natives to continue to provide them with food and women whether the Hawaiians liked it or not. 

As you might guess, tensions grew high but the British more or less ignored it.  One day the islanders stole a small boat from the ships.  Cook decided not to tolerate this impudence. 
On February 13, 1779, He took several boats ashore.  Then he tried to take Kalaniopuu, the Chief of Hawaii, hostage until the boat was returned. 

The Hawaiians prevented this action by throwing rocks. 

This revolt took the British by surprise.  Holding the islanders in such low esteem, they had brought only a limited force from the ship.  Yes, the British did have superior weapons, but those rifles could only shoot one bullet at a time.  By the time they reloaded, those rocks were flying (and there are lots of rocks on the Hawaiian Islands!). The mob just kept getting angrier. 

Badly outnumbered, Cook's men had no choice but to retreat to their boats on the beach and try to escape.  That's when it happened.  Cook was involved in serious hand-to-hand combat with the native Hawaiians, highly unusual behavior for a God. 

Just as Cook turned his back to help launch the nearest boat, he was struck on the head by one of the rocks.  Blood began to run down his face from the wound.

The Hawaiians gasped!  Cook bled just like any other human being!  Cook was definitely not an immortal God!

Angry at being deceived, the fight turned even uglier.   The mob crowded in and knocked Cook over.  He fell face down in the water.  While he struggled for air, the natives stomped him viciously and stabbed him to death. 

At this point the Hawaiians dragged his lifeless body away.  Four of the Marines with Cook were also killed and two more were wounded in the confrontation.

It happened so fast the British were helpless to do anything about it. The survivors launched their boats and took off in a humiliating retreat to save their own skins.


Captain James Cook has every right to be acknowledged as one of the great explorers in history. He made three extensive voyages that took him to the far ends of the globe.  He was a courageous man who made these trips without the benefit of maps.  He was the first European to visit many Pacific locations.  Indeed, Australia owes it British heritage thanks to James Cook's visit in 1770.  Cook's voyages brought not only fame and glory, they made him a national hero in England.

As to his untimely death, there is a lot of danger involved in exploring far lands.  Great adventure carries great risk.  Therefore his tragic fate should not be considered a total surprise.

In the matter of his demise, Cook's many admirers have gone to great lengths to sanitize his reputation.  As such, Cook has often been depicted as a peacemaker who died a senseless accidental death in his brave attempt to stop the needless fighting between the sailors and the native Hawaiians.  In other words, it was the sailors who were at fault, not Cook who was unaware of the problems until it was too late.

However in our modern 'Dance With Wolves' Era of Revisionism, people now examine past conflicts between imperialist nations and indigenous people using a more jaundiced eye.  Considering that his violent nature was reported upon by his contemporaries on many occasions, today's historians suspect that Cook got exactly what he deserved.

In the end, Cook died just like The Man Who Would be King.  The parallels are so similar you have to wonder if Kipling used this incident as a model to help write his short story one hundred years later.

Mount Haleakala

Marla and I consider our visit to Mount Haleakala to be one of the real highlights of our entire trip. 

Studying the picture above, you will see the landscape of Haleakala resembles something out of this world.

This dormant volcano probably has not erupted since the 1600s so a trip to the top did not feel particularly risky. 

Haleakala is so immense that it comprises 75% of the island.  It is a monster mountain.  Fortunately it is very accessible by car.  A well traveled, modern and quite curvy road leads all the way to the top of this spectacular mountain. 

They say it is also possible to use your own or a rented bicycle to go up and/or down the mountain, but I cannot imagine the mindset of the human being who uses a bike to ascend this behemoth.

In addition to visiting the wonderful viewing station at the top of the mountain, Marla and I took a highly recommended side trip as well.  We told the park ranger we had only enough time to visit one place.  We asked if he could he suggest something.  The park ranger said he knew exactly where to send us. He told us about a viewing ridge that requires a 1.5-mile hike from the main road.  He said this ridge allows you to see the same vast valley illustrated in the first picture. 

Well, the ranger was correct.  Not only was the hike extremely pleasant, the payoff once we got there was stunning.  I would estimate the ridge was about half a mile above the valley.  We could see forever!  This valley was quite a sight to behold.  The immensity of the area was so vast and the bizarre moonscape below was a joy to experience.  It is almost impossible to convey the experience using words.  The view was too wonderful. 

If you compare the two large pictures, the huge valley in red at the top of the picture correlates with the view in the photograph.  Do you see all the little cones?  The big crater contains a dozen smaller volcano cones.  

I thought I would post an exciting picture of Marla and her map as she and I begin our walk down to the viewing ridge.

That red area at the top of the picture is the red 'cone field'.  I have to be honest - this picture doesn't do justice to the vision.

Do you see any people in this picture? 
Do you even see a trail?


I can give you an idea how vast this valley is.  Let's play a game! 

First locate the red X in the picture above.

The red X marks a dark rock formation.  Now locate this same rock in the upper right corner of both pictures.  Do you see the trail now?  This should give you an idea how far away I was!  On the left, the red arrow shows you two dotsThose dots are two people!  In the picture on the right, they are gone.  They looked like tiny ants to me.

Here's a funny story.  About eighteen minutes after I took the picture that included the two people, out of nowhere a woman (see picture below) came running past Marla and me.  If you find the Red X that marks the same dark rock formation, you will see she came a long way. 

In 15 minutes time, this woman had RUN all the way from that red spot along that trail to where I had taken the picture from high above. 

Where did she come from?  I was so stunned by her sudden appearance - it was like being visited by Wonder Woman - that I was speechless!  As she raced by us with a smile, I wished I had taken her picture, but she was quickly gone.  And it wasn't like I could catch her either.

By chance, eighteen minutes later she came back, this time accompanied by her Black Labrador.  This time I got the courage to talk to her.  I asked her if I could take her picture.  She smiled and said sure.  I took the opportunity to ask a couple questions. 

Yes, she had been one of the two dots down in the valley.  The other dot was her husband who was still down there waiting for her. 

Yes, she had RUN all the way up that trail.  She had passed us in order to go to her car and fetch her dog.  And now she had to go back down to meet her husband.

But wait, one more question!  Are you a triathlete? 

Yes.  She competes every year in the Iron Man competition (three endurance events - a 2.4 mile ocean swim, a 112 mile bike ride and finally a 26 mile Marathon).  And now she had to run.  hahaha. 

As she raced away, I did some rough math.  To fetch her dog in the same parking lot as my car, she had made a 3-mile round trip in 18 minutes.  The world record for the mile is about 4 minutes.  This woman had just run 3 six-minute miles!  And half of it was uphill!

I felt my body tingle with amazement.  This woman had to be from another planet.  I shook my head in awe. 

It was time for Marla and I to return to our car.  And yes, it took us 25 minutes or so to get there.  This amazing woman was easily three times as fast as we were. 

The Magic Show with Warren Gibson

Another highlight of our trip was a visit to the "Warren and Annabelle's Magic Show" that night over in Lahaina, one of Maui's major ports.

I heard about Warren Gibson's magic show here at the studio.  One night I was talking to my friends Laury Adams and Brent Barker here at the studio.  When I mentioned my upcoming cruise to Hawaii, they asked if I would be visiting Maui. 

When I said yes, they enthusiastically persuaded me to go see Warren's Magic Show.  They were so adamant that I convinced it was worth checking out. 

Right before Marla and I left for our trip to Haleakala, I ran into Jim and Denise Duncan and Rick Elizondo and Lin Mills as they walked past on the ship.  We got to talking and I ended up inviting them to join Marla and me for the evening's festivities.  They were intrigued and said they would definitely check it out. 

"Check it out?"  That statement baffled me.  How do check things out when you are cut off from civilization?
What I did not know was that Jim had this amazing system in his car that allowed him to access the Internet while the two couples drove around the island.

I always assumed that I was up on the latest technology, but this one was new to me.  The ability to access the Internet no matter where they went was quite an advantage. 

So they checked out the Magic Show online and decided it was a good idea.  So they made reservations over the Internet using Warren's website while they were sightseeing during the day.  Then they called on their cell phone and said they would join us for cocktails and dinner beforehand with the show to follow.

The show turned out to everything Laury and Brent had promised me.   Warren was a great magician, but even better was his sense of humor.  Playing one trick on people after another, he then took advantage of their confusion by teasing them in the process. 

As long as you weren't the object of his humor, it was all very funny stuff indeed.  And the magic was very impressive too.

Warren loves to make things disappear - cards, wrist watches, silver dollars, etc, disappeared with alarming regularity.  Even though there were people sitting just a few feet from Warren's center of operations, no one could figure out how he pulled off his tricks.  To me, Warren's best trick was making a heavy bowling ball disappear right before our eyes - TWICE! 

Now I have heard the hand is faster than the eye, but you would think a bowling ball would present too much of a challenge.  Not for Warren!  All six of us left the show thoroughly impressed and thoroughly entertained.

June 2008 - Glenn and Marissa

 In June 2008, Marla's only daughter Marissa got married to Glenn Hebert.  When I found out they were going to vacation in Lahaina, I insisted they go see Warren.  But I kept worrying that they would get preoccupied and skip the show.

So at the last minute I bought them tickets.  I decided to leave nothing to chance.  The problem was that the web site asked for their cell phone numbers and where they would be staying.  I didn't have this information, so I told them to email me if it was important.

To my surprise, it was important.  A couple days later, I got this email from Warren's assistant Deborah

Aloha Rick,

Thank you for your reservation. I will change the name on our guest list to Glenn and Marissa Hebert. We always reconfirm all our reservations, to let them know everyone must have photo ID's and sweaters for the gals!! If you do not have their cell number, may I have the name of the hotel they are staying in. We can contact them there.

My eyes lit up.  Look what we have here.  Sure enough, I had Warren's email address!  Hmm.  I have an idea.

So I wrote back to Deborah.  Here is my letter.

Thank you so much, Deborah, for your follow-up email. In Marissa's case, she will need that photo ID. She is 25, but can look like she is 15 if she decides to skip makeup. Very pretty girl incidentally.

Glenn and Marissa got married yesterday and are flying to your island as I type. It was a last-second gift. I told them again and again to go see Warren, but at the last minute I wanted to leave nothing to chance. I will get you that information shortly.

By the way, I have a favor to ask. Is there any chance you could talk Warren into picking on these guys? 

I know from experience how Warren likes to torture his front row of guests. This lovely couple of 25-year old honeymooners will be easy pickings for him. They don't even have a CLUE how clever he is. They just know he comes highly recommended.

When I saw Warren's show last summer, he was asking about for a $100 bill.  Why he thought I looked wealthy enough to have a $100 bill is beyond me, but the moment he saw me, his eyes just stayed glued to me. Warren can obviously spot the moron in every crowd. I think I had already fallen for his "I know the Capital of every Country" trick, so he knew he had a ripe one.  (The capital of Cuba is C, the capital of Swaziland is S, etc, hahaha)

"Sir, do you have a $100 bill in your wallet?"

I responded that I wasn't sure, but I would look.

He smiled. "You don't know what's in your own wallet?"

Like a moron I answered, "My wife hands me some money and I just stick it in my wallet. I haven't checked, but I will."

Warren had a field day with that one. "What else does she help you with?  Does she tie your tie?  Does she help you with your shoe laces?  Does she pick your shirt out in the morning?" The crowd was roaring at my expense and there wasn't a thing I could do about it except wonder why I hadn't been more careful choosing what I said.

I was six feet coming in to the show and about five feet going out. I survived. Besides, if you believe in karma, I had it coming. I teach dancing for a living and I tease people all the time in my classes. I was due for a taste of my own medicine.

And now I would like to see my son and daughter suffer a little. It will be good for them.
Anything Warren can do to ruin their honeymoon will be just fine with me. No one can ruin a honeymoon better than Warren!

I watched him turn several newlyweds into pretzels last summer. I sent them to you, now I would be thrilled if Warren would be so kind as to finish them off. I would offer extra money, but knowing Warren, he would do it just for the sheer joy of it!

By the way, I haven't warned them about anything other than to watch the bowling ball trick carefully and tell me how he does it when they come back. Although Glenn is not even remotely a smart mouth like me, at least I can promise he will be totally off-guard. He is so happy right now I can't imagine him anything but prey for Warren. Glenn thinks he is going for a magic show. Foolish him.

Warren does put on wonderful show. My wife and I still talk about it to every friend getting ready to head to the fine state of Hawaii. Warren's show and Haleakala were the hits of my trip... but don't tell Warren; with his ego he will wonder why he had to share the glory with Haleakala.


Next, thanks for the entertaining email. It does sound like Warren had a ball at your expense. I can tell by your email that you have a great sense of humor!!!

I put in the notes "requesting hot seats for Glenn and Marissa."

Please understand that we don't reserve the hot seats in advance. Warren has specific criteria he is looking for in regards to his hot seats and he has told the managers to look out for those criteria. The manager that evening will look over the audience while they are seated in Annabelle's Parlor, and choose 4 couples, based on Warren's criteria. Since I added the notes to your reservation, he will aim to honor your request, however, he knows what Warren is looking for, and I can't say for sure who he will pick that night.

But, it sounds like they should fit the bill!!!  In any event, I know they will have a fabulous evening.


So take one guess who Warren picked on all evening?  Hint - You don't have to be a magician to figure this one out.  He picks on people naturally, but when is asked to pick on someone as a favor, Warren really goes to town.

Here is letter that tells to the story.  Glenn wrote this letter after the Honeymoon to tell everyone in his family how things went on Maui.  As you will see, my clever idea worked to perfection!

"Later that night, we got ready for Warren and Annabelle's Magic show. Marla and Rick had bought us tickets to this show that had earned rave reviews, and that they had enjoyed when they traveled to Maui. We entered this Magic parlor with 14 other people where we were instantly trapped in a room which we had to solve a riddle to get out of. I figured out there was an exit through this bookcase and the door opened into a piano bar/restaurant.

There was a ghost that played the piano and took requests from the audience, which was cool, and we were served appetizers and cocktails. Little did we know that Rick, the sly devil that he is, had e-mailed the management team and requested that Marissa and I be chosen to participate in the show.  Well, it worked!

he manager asked us before the show started if we wanted to help Warren with some of his tricks. Marissa replied "I don't have to get up, do I?"  We agreed to help, and boy did we!  Warren made quite an example out of me, nicknaming me "Gomer" from the old TV show.  He even stole a kiss from Marissa.  

The show was a blast, and we could not figure out any of this guy's tricks. He performed a lot of sleight of hand type tricks, and told some pretty clever jokes. One of the jokes, among many were at my expense. He asked me to leave the theater and go back to the restaurant to get a server and a water for him and myself. I thought something was a little fishy, but I played along. I go to get the water and ask the manager to send in a waiter immediately, he posts me up at the bar where the bartender tells me to order anything I wanted. I asked for the 2 waters as instructed but he told me that Warren would give me a hard time if I showed up with water.

I knew he was setting me up, so I order a crown and coke and a smoothie for Marissa anyway. I get back to the show and Warren asks me "who paid for the drinks?" to which I answered, "You did."  Laughter from the audience as he looked at me in disbelief and told me that he would get me back. Which he did. While I was gone he told the audience that he would tell a joke that made absolutely no sense at all and that after he told it for everyone to scream with laughter. The joke would be to watch my reaction, if I would conform and laugh or act confused, etc.

So I return and he tells the stupid joke that made absolutely no sense. A roar of laughter fills the audience. I kind of chuckle and look around. Then Warren gives all of us high fives, including me. Then someone says that they didn't get the joke, and he tells it again.

The guy then starts laughing hysterically afterward, along with the rest of the audience and Marissa does not let on for a second! I look at her and say, "I don't get what's so damn funny about this joke, it makes no sense." Then I look behind me and everyone in the audience is staring right at me including Warren.. I get it now, I throw my hands up in the air and admit that he pulled a fast one on me.  Lucky me.

It was great, and a big thanks to Rick and Marla for making that happen for us."

Tomorrow:  Day Four, Maui Again

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