Mendes Ranch is a beautiful cattle ranch located near the historic Kahakuloa point. As soon as you walk into the ranch you see first hand that it is still a working cattle ranch. Immediately after you walk into the gates you'll begin to see farm animals. We saw Chickens, goats, and pigs. Mendes Ranch had a beautiful barn that has been renovated into a plush cowboy lounge, with picnic tables, a buffet area and a small souvenir store. The sweet aroma of BBQ chicken and ribs filled the air as we checked in and signed our release forms. I made my way around to the horses to see what we would be riding on. They had around thirty full-grown horses that varied in colors. All of the horses looked very well trained and calm. After seeing the horses I began to get a little more excited about the upcoming ride.
The preparation of our Lunch began before we even got there and as soon as we got into the lounge we were invited to grab a plate and step up to the buffet. I appreciated that they had a nice hot BBQ meal ready for us right when we got there. My lunch plate consisted of BBQ chicken, rib meat, salad, and pasta. For drinks we had a choice of aloha juice, soft drinks, or water. The portion size of the meal was on par with a luau and it was definitely one of the biggest meals I've ever had on a mid day tour! After our extremely filling meal we had a quick briefing on how to ride the horses.
After showing off some of his roping skills one of the cowboys got on a manikin and showed us how to hold on the reins, the proper way to make the horse move and the proper way to make the horse stop. He also demonstrated how to get the horses to move their heads from side to side (which is how you steer the horses). There was a group of about ten people who were listening to instructions; at the end we were asked if we had any questions or concerns. After about twenty minutes of instruction we were directed to the horse stables. At the horse stable we were split into groups and then lined up by our skill level. When everybody was paired up with a horse it was time to get on our horses and begin the ride! I was the first person to be paired up with a horse. Excitements filled my body as I stepped up on the saddle and then pet the horse on its neck. The horse's name was Smokey and he was the oldest horse that Mendes Ranch had. They said, "This horse might be old, but this horse sure can run!"
Once everyone in my group had been paired with a horse it was time to start the horseback ride. Our group was the first group to leave the stable. The trail was not crowded because our group consisted of only six riders. The horses made their way down the steep trail that over looked cattle grazing, beautiful cliffs, and the scenic blue ocean. We trotted up and down these cliffs observing farm animals and nature. It was such a spectacular property that this family owned. As we rode around our guide told us about the history of the Mendes Ranch and how long it has been in his family. The cowboy looked at Jake and myself and asked, "Do you want to run with them?" We agreed and he took us to the running section of the trail. As soon as we reached the running section the horses ears immediately went up and it took off! Smokey was one of the fastest horses I have been on. Within seconds he had closed the gap between us and the horse in front of us (which was also running) and then had to slow down to avoid passing them.
Eventually the trail looped back to where we began our horseback ride. Once we had taken our horses back into the stables our guide individually helped us off of them. I pet Smokey for the last time then made my way out of the stables. The horseback ride was extraordinary and a great experience!
During our trip today we went out going to Molokini aboard the beautiful Ali'i Nui Catamaran. We arrived to the Maalaea Harbor and quickly found slip #56.
Being a Maui resident for over 25 years and never going on the Altantis Submarine out of Lahaina should be a crime. Please don't send me to jail! I finally made it, and yes, it was a crime, but only to myself for missing this totally fun and cool adventure all of those years.
There was a gentle rain falling as we parked the car at Piilholo Ranch that morning. I knew we could be in for a good soaking but I was still excited to see what the day was going to bring.
Today I'm out on the Quicksilver Charters out of Ma'alaea Harbor for a whale watch.The harbor is situated in the crux of the valley that gives Maui it's "Valley Isle" designation.
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