Lately I've been reflecting on those three words. Those words make up the Akinz motto and are the foundation of the wings logo you see on all of our beanies and inside the neckline of our handprinted t-shirts. Those three words were intended to encourage others to find something in life that motivates them to push life to the limit and reach for the sky. Just like I did when I made the decision to start my own brand.
Lately we've chatted with lots of new friends in the Fort Collins workshop who are curious about where the inspiration for our designs comes from. And it's easy to explain where the inspiration behind different individual designs came from...
The larkspur hoodie? Beautiful wildflowers on the side of a mountain biking trail.
Speak for the Trees? A trip to California to see giants and hear the story of how a fish (the Garibaldi) inspired Dr. Seuss' vision for the Lorax.
Sun Seeker Tee? A trip to Maui with sunshine views that never seem to end and that you never want to leave behind.
But the overall inspiration behind the brand? It's always been a quest for new experiences and new adventures. When I'm feeling uninspired, I know it's time for me to travel somewhere new or get outside. So I thought we'd head back to the roots of the brand and start sharing the adventures that inspire us outside of the workshop so that we can bring you products that hopefully inspire new adventures of your own.
If Maui is on your list of places you want to visit, I definitely recommend pushing it towards the top! When we chose to go to Maui, I imagined beautiful blue water, lush greenery, sea turtles, snorkeling & sunshine. It is definitely all of those things, but one thing I didn't expect were all the amazing hikes
Within a couple hours of arriving in Maui, (after a quick stop to put our toes in the sand), we were hiking to swim in a waterfall on the east side of the Island. We stayed the first half of our trip in Paia to be closer to jungles, chill surf town vibes and to spread out the top spots from the Road to Hana. Twin Falls was one of those stops and it was a favorite, especially considering the rewarding swim at the end of the hike!
I have to say of all the things we did in Maui, the Waihee Ridge Trail was probably my favorite experience. Starting in the West Maui mountains, you get to hike through the clouds and above the helicopters flying through the valley. If Hawaii made it to your travel list because you were a kid of the 90's who grew up watching Jurassic Park, this hike will definitely give you all the jungle vibes. You also get an amazing view of the entire coastline and ocean views as far as the eye can see.
You can get a peek at it in this reel:
We spent the next day traveling the Road to Hana. We made a game plan to beeline it to our end goal, the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park, to try to avoid the crowds. I definitely recommend this strategy as it was already getting pretty crowded by the time we finished the trail. Once again the hike through the bamboo forest with the view of the breathtaking 400ft Waimoku Falls as the final viewpoint was our favorite part of our day. If you travel the Road to Hana, I also recommend stopping at the Ko'olau Forest Reserve to see the rainbow eucalyptus trees and take a dip in the ponds of the stream below.
For the second half of our trip we slowed it down on the west side of the island in Lahaina.
We strolled down jungle trails to secret snorkeling spots.
We visited awe-inspiring oceanside cliffs that remind you of the amazing power of nature.
And we squeezed in one more hike. We loved the Waihee Ridge Trail hike so much that we had to check out another West Maui Forest Reserve hike, MakamakaOle Waterfalls. What this hike lacked in valley views, it made up for with its atmosphere of adventure. This hike turned the jungle vibes up to a level 10. There are 2 waterfalls you can visit along two different splits in the trail. What we didn't know until we arrived at the first waterfall is that the locals have stashed a knotted rope along each waterfall.
We had the first waterfall all to ourselves so after a moment of hesitation, I decided I couldn't leave without climbing up the waterfall. I hadn't climbed anything in a long time but the experience of the water crashing down on me and the adrenaline pumping as I climbed up (not sure what to expect), was one of those moments that reminds you what it's all about. One of those moments that you could say I found my wings. When I got back down, I had a grin across my face for the rest of the day and a certain energy in my heart that I wouldn't have found without that new experience.
That hike was a reminder that you don't have to climb Half Dome (or even a waterfall in Maui) to inspire yourself or others. That you have to find the joy and inspiration in everyday adventures. For now though, I'm still riding my Maui energy high until the next trip.
- Suzanne Akin --------------------
Want to know more about my trip to Maui? Feel free to ask me below! I am more than happy to share details!
- Tags: adventure