Mistress of the Mix: Island Treasure Hunt Revisited

The almost uninhabited south side of Maui.

The almost uninhabited south side of Maui.

I am in dire need of a vacation right now. Anyone with me? While I'm thankful that I had two days to decompress over the Thanksgiving holiday, spending two days cooking for family is still a lot of work, and I have the burns to prove it.

The whole time, I was thinking about my friends Amber & Tom, who were vacationing in Maui with their family. While she was there, I sent her an archived copy of of a column I wrote a few years back while on my honeymoon. I told her that one day, while driving the road to Hana, we hid a secret treasure near a swimming hole by a waterfall. To my knowledge, that treasure is still there, waiting to be discovered, and the column contains the GPS coordinates to the aforementioned treasure.

Unfortunately, the road to Hana was sort of a bust for Amber and the family. More than half of them got carsick, which tends to happen when touring that island road if it's not done at a truly leisurely pace. So I still don't know if my hidden treasure is still there, waiting to be discovered. So I'm tossing out there again, like gold dust in the wind.

If you happen to take a trip to the islands anytime in the near future, keep this column in your bookmarks, and don't forget to stream the Aloha Playlist included below.  Even if you, just like me, can only dream of the islands right now, the playlist might help transport you to a sunny beach...with a Mai Tai in your hand, waves lapping at your feet, and a Polynesian in a grass skirt fanning you with a palm frond. Oh, the islands.

I'm an island girl. And I think I have the right to call myself that, because for a huge chunk of my adult life, I've lived on islands. The day after I graduated from college, I flew off to Greece and lived for several months on the island of Crete. At the end of the summer I traded an arid, Mediterranean island for an extremely wet island in the rainforest of Alaska. Decades later, it seems like all my vacations take me to islands. I've been to Jamaica, St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and these days I seem to keep ending up in the Hawaiian Islands.

When I started writing today's column, I was actually on the Hawaiian island of Maui, on my honeymoon (which we couldn't take until 6 months into the marriage). But as you read this, I'm back. But I'm still stuck on the island music, and by the time I'm done with you today, I'm hoping you'll be just as stuck as I am. And I'll get back to the music, in a little bit, but first let me tell you about my island treasure hunt. Right after you enjoy a little bit of music from my current favorite Hawaiian swing band, Kahulanui. Can't get them on today's playlist for you, but here's the Grammy nominated band's video that played on the big screen in the airplane on the flight over!

The day we arrived on Maui, one of my husband's family members, Toni, was also there, just getting ready to leave the next day. We weren't able to connect in person, so my husband challenged her to bury a hidden treasure for us somewhere on the island, and leave us a map to find it. Here's the first creative clue we received on Facebook. Very clever, dontcha think?


We ended up driving down to the Maalaea Harbor where we headed out on a whale watching and sunset dinner cruise with the fantastic crew of the Quicksilver. But before we did, we followed a few more picture clues and got within just a few feet of our treasure before we finally gave up and called Toni so she could lead us the rest of the way to the booty. Turned out that it was hidden behind some rocks, where she'd drawn a big X, but it had washed off in a cloudburst the night before.

We had so much fun searching for our buried treasure, that we thought we'd leave a hidden treasure map of our own, to lead other friends to our favorite little spot on Maui. I'm not going to tell you what we hid, but you'll know it if you find it. Just know that the real treasure is the beautiful locale, not what you'll hold in your hand once you find it.  Our map wasn't quite as clever as Toni's, but if you take a trip to Maui in the near future and decide to brave the road to Hana, I think this map will pretty easily lead you to the hidden island treasure!


If this is too small for you to read (and these days I wear reading glasses over my contact lenses, so it's too small for me), here's the Island Hidden Treasure Map, easily explained:

  • On Maui, from Paia, head out on the curvy road to Hana.
  • Just before the 10 mile marker, at the 10th one lane bridge, pull over & park.
  • Take the path on the north side to the waterfall. It's not far.
  • At the end of the asphalt, take 32 paces.
  • Look to your right, eye level (if you're about 5' 5").
  • Your treasure is behind the rocks.

I promise, you'll be glad you went to this little spot! If you ever actually go, please put another little treasure in the same spot so that someone else can enjoy it. Think of it as island geocaching. Speaking of geocaching, here's your coordinates.


OK, back to the music! We've got more treasure to dig up! Besides the waterfalls and the map to buried treasure, one of the other things we really loved about our honeymoon on Maui was all the island music on the radio. You might think that one station could satisfy everyone's needs for island music, but you'd be so wrong! Hawaii has one station for Reggae (which isn't exactly authentically Hawaiian, but it does embody the laid back attitude of Maui, so its very popular and seem to fit right in). There's another for contemporary Hawaiian music, one with Hawaiian music that appeals to the older crowd, and yet another for Hawaiian cowboy music. I'm not even joking. It's not like country music over on the mainland, this is Paniolo….Hawaiian Cowboy music.  There's island music everywhere you turn on this island, and when you're driving on Maui's road to Hana, there's a LOT of turns.

So turn the volume up, and enjoy today's Island Treasure Hunt playlist. It's a mixture of Reggae, Hawaiian slack key, ukelele, hula, steel drum, island chant, and a few other island songs threw in just for fun.


To hear the Aloha streaming playlist, just click on the arrow below the written playlist, or head over to Spotify.

Valerie Ing
Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for 14 years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She and her husband are parents to a couple of college students and a pair of West Highland Terriers, and Valerie can’t imagine life without them or music. The Mistress of the Mix wakes up every day with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

5 Responses

  1. Beverly Stafford says:

    Gadgeteer that my father was, we had a television in the late ’40’s – the second one in our little town.  And one of those early shows – along with Spade Cooley, Time for Beanie, Doye O’Dell, and many others – was Harry Owens and His Royal Hawaiians.  I was pretty young, but if memory serves, the show was a half hour long; so we heard many songs of Hawaii.  Hilo Hattie was the soloist I remember, and her signature song was When Hilo Hattie Does the Hilo Hop.  I think the program’s theme song was Sweet Leilani, and it was played while some lovely girls danced the hula.  All this in black and white on a 9″ screen.

  2. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    My wife and I have several times rented a small cottage on the water in Makena. Sea turtles graze on the rocks just below the lanai, and when you snorkel out just beyond the rock reef you can hear humpback whales singing while you watch the fish (much to my shock the first time I heard it).  In the mornings while you sip your coffee and again in the evenings when you sip your wine, you can watch dozens of whales breaching, tail-slapping, and fin-slapping.  The place also comes with a pair of kayaks.  It used to be priced such that it was a push to stay here vs. a boring hotel room in one of the big resorts.  No longer.

    I’d love to be there right now.  I console myself by remembering that there have been three fatal tiger shark attacks at Makena in the past three years.  Yikes.

    • Valerie Ing says:

      Steve, that place looks heavenly!!! I just want to add that of all the things I miss out living in Alaska, its the whales that I miss the most. I had the opportunity one time to out on a small boat and drop a microphone into the water to listen to the whales as they were bubble net feeding, and it is still in my top 5 most spectacular moments on Earth. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be IN the water and hear it without the aid of a microphone!

  3. cody says:

    That beach looks like a wonderful spot to post up for an afternoon of rest and relaxation.

    Try the Corn Islands in Nicaragua sometime.  It may not be as lush as Hawaii, but is still very nice, and great snorkeling.  Guaranteed there are a lot LESS annoying tourists there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *