The Road Past Hana

by Bob Sparrow

Welcome to Hana

Hana, Maui

As I pulled onto main street in ‘downtown’ Hana; OK, there is only one street in downtown Hana, actually there is barely even a downtown Hana, I dropped off Kristen and headed down to Hana Bay to eat the picnic lunch that I had packed.  As I gnawed on some dead chicken and gazed at the picturesque crescent beach, I started turning over in my mind the story that Kristen had told me about Carly Scott’s disappearance and put together another scenario of why Kristen was out on the road hitchhiking.  Perhaps Kristen had been seeing Carly’s old boyfriend, Steve Cabobianco, and when she learned that Carly was carrying his baby and feared they might be getting back together again, she . . . made her disappear.  So now I wondered if I had aided and abetted a criminal and was now a ‘person of interest’ in the on-going investigation.  Either that or someone had put a hallucinogenic in my chicken.  On further contemplation, the hallucinogenic chicken theory makes more sense.

Hamoa Beach

Hamoa Beach

My first couple of stops heading out on the ‘road passed Hana’ were at two spectacular beaches – Koki and Hamoa – they were un-crowded and pristine, right out of South Pacific; in fact James Michener, called them the most beautiful beaches in the south Pacific even though they are in the north Pacific.

7 Pools

Seven Pools with Hippos

 Haleakala is the 10,000-foot dormant volcano, which from the top several years ago my daughter, Dana and I saw a beautiful sunrise and then bicycled down the mountain.  Haleakala State Park goes from the peak down to the beautiful shoreline in front of me, where numerous waterfalls and the Seven Pools are located.  Actually they used to be called the Seven Sacred Pools until no one could answer the question as to why they were sacred.  To me they looked like a hippo watering hole at feeding time as the pools were filled with large, over-weight tourists detracting from the otherwise beautiful waterfalls and pools.  I quickly moved on.

 Next stop was famous American aviator, Charles Lindbergh’s gravesite, located just up the road on the beautifully jagged Kipahulu coast.  When faced with cancer in 1968, rather than take treatment on the mainland, Lindbergh chose to live out his remaining years here – he died in 1974.

Just passed Lindbergh’s gravesite the road changes from a narrow, single lane, partly paved, bumpy, unmaintained road to unpaved road to Hanaa narrow, single lane, unpaved, unmaintained, crushed lava carriageway.  It was here I was expecting to see the ‘Dead End, Turn Around’ and No Rental Cars Permitted Beyond This Point’ signs but, “Honestly officer, I never saw them.”  If you came across another car coming from the other direction, which I did only once, I had to back up to the nearest wide spot in the road so they could pass.  As reward for the demanding drive, the scene in front of me of black lava, contrasting with the green vegetation and the blue water crashing against the coastline was so amazing.

Kaupo Gen Store

Kaupo General Store

After several miles, where the only building I saw was a solitary church, I got back to what is termed as ‘rough paved road’ and ‘civilization’ which consisted only of Kaupo General Store, sitting all by itself along this desolate road.  I purchased a pineapple-coconut shave ice and stood alone on a small rise next to the road and looked at the miles of grassland, actually grazing farmland for horses and cattle, all the way down to the black lava coastline where there were several energy-producing windmills.  If you’re ever looking for peace, quiet and solitude, this is the place.

As the crushed lava trail I was traveling on turned into a paved two-lane road, I saw two cars ahead of me and several tourists standing by the roadside posing for pictures and I knew the adventure on and passed the road to Hana was over.

Update: As of this writing there is still no new news on the whereabouts of Carly Scott, missing now for 30 days.

Murder on the Road to Hana?

by Bob Sparrow

'Road to Hana'

I know that title sounds like a 48 Hour Mystery headline, and it just might be one day, but it’s the lead in to this week’s blog subject.  Two weeks ago Linda and I were on the island of Maui with three other couples, mostly to play golf, drink pina coladas and watch sunsets – I figured I needed a break from my hectic retirement schedule!  To add a little adventure to my relaxation, I decided to rent a Jeep and ‘do’ the road to Hana.  I had attempted this once before about 20 years ago with Linda and three small children in tow, but after a dizzying ride through 25 miles of multiple twists and turns with Linda and the kids tuning green, we reached a shave ice stand with a sign that read, ‘Halfway to Hana’, “Halfway!!”, came the cries from the back seat.  I got out to get some shave ice in hopes of buoying the troop’s spirits, but by the time I got back, the Jeep had been commandeered and was facing the other way – the message was clear.

halfway to hana


When I told our group this year that I was going to finish that journey and asked for any passengers, I heard crickets.  I was not going to just do the road to Hana, I had planned to do a complete circumnavigation of the southern part of the island and ignore any signs past Hana that said, ‘Dead End’ or ‘No Rental Cars Beyond This Point’, so it was just as well that I had no volunteers to accompany me on my illicit and operose odyssey.

road to hana2I set out at 7:00 a.m. and I have to admit, the road does have a few turns in it – 617 so I am told, and although driving doesn’t allow you to observe much scenery, there are plenty of places to pull over and enjoy the water falls, hiking trails, lava caves and spectacular shoreline – which I did.

   Because of the early hour, there was very little traffic on the road, although surprisingly, I did pull over twice to allow police cars to go around me.  When I stopped to observe the beautiful Keanae Peninsula I saw what I thought was a sightseeing helicopter, but tuned out to be a police helicopter.  I wondered what was going on.  I briefly wondered if Linda had called and asked them to keep an eye on me.  I didn’t think much more about it until I was about 6 miles from Hana when I came upon a young lady standing on the narrow roadside, flagging me down.  I would normally not pick up a hitchhiker, especially in a strange place, but she seemed to be a damsel in distress, I had room and I was on an adventure, so I stopped.  She jumped in and said “Thanks”.  I asked her where she was headed.  She looked at me as if I was from a village that was missing its idiot and said, “Hana?”  It hit me that there really was no other place to be going.  Feelingcarly scott stupid, I wanted to show her that she was dealing with someone who could ask astute, insightful questions, so I continued with, “What’s your name?”  I knew I didn’t know the answer to that one.  “Kristen”, she replied and I think she felt bad about her first response so she felt obliged to tell me ‘her story’.  She had just been out with her boyfriend and a couple of other guys, who were wild pig hunters, to search for a friend, Carly Scott, who had been missing for three days (At this writing she is still missing after nearly a month).  I asked her why she left the search party.  She said these pig hunters really knew the terrain well and she was afraid they were going to find Carly and it wouldn’t be a pretty sight.  So she decided to leave the group and head back to town.  I asked about the circumstances around Carly’s disappearance and she told me that Carly was 5-months pregnant and was last seen with her ex-boyfriend, Steven Capobianco, the night before she disappeared.  She went on to tell me that Carly’s car had been found torched and left in a ravine, parts of her clothing were also found along with her dog, Narla – Kristen said that Carly never went anywhere without her dog.

Here is a link to an early news release on the story:

I asked Kristen if the boyfriend was a ‘person of interest’ and she indicated that she and her friends concluded that morning prior to setting out on the search that they thought he was the primary suspect.  It was believed that she was carrying his child, he was the last one to see her under strange circumstances the night before her disappearance, and he failed a lie detector test given by the police.  That’s why I’ve used the word ‘Murder’ in the headline; I don’t pretend to be judge, jury and executioner, but it’s hard to go missing for a month on an island as small as Maui.  I check the Internet everyday for up-dates, but nothing new for the last two weeks.

koki beach

Koki Beach

You can Google ‘Missing Woman on the Road to Hana’ to see new info as it becomes available.

Next time: I’ll conclude my journey ‘On the Road Passed Hana’ which includes the beautiful Koki and Hamoa Beaches.

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