Friday, January 12, 2007

Haleakala

On our second day in Maui, I took a surfing lesson. I know there are photos out there, I'm just waiting for a copy.

On our third day in Maui, a bunch of us drove up Haleakala to watch the sun rise (or, as a Peanuts science book from my childhood said, "to watch the earth turn").

Haleakala ("house of the sun") is both a 10,000-foot high dormant/extinct volcano and a National Park. To reach it from Kihei, where we were staying, you drive north for a while, then east for a while, then up, left and right for a very long while, until you can't drive any further, and then you park your car. Reaching it from Kihei in time to watch the sun rise, and guarantee good parking at the summit, requires some extra steps:

  1. bringing windproof winter clothing to Maui;

  2. stocking up on coffee grounds, travel cups, gas, and camera batteries the night before;

  3. waking up at 2:30 am;

  4. reminding yourself that this is A Reasonable Thing;

  5. navigating either dozens or gazillions (depending on whom you ask) of hairpin turns in the dark, on a highway often lacking guardrails, when you can't see if the road runs beside gentle slopes or a cliff;

  6. parking the car at the summit, realizing that a place famed for its sunrises probably won't have much artificial light if any, cursing because you don't have a flashlight, and using a cell phone as a flashlight instead; and

  7. drinking coffee and looking at a whole bunch of dark for a while.



Genuine dark from the summit of Haleakala.

Even before the sun came up there was a fantastic view--the sky was filled with more stars than I've seen since before the 2003 blackout. The sky up there must be incredible on a moonless night.

Finally, the sunrise started.



I ran around taking about ten photos a minute (huzzah for digital cameras and extra batteries!).


The observation shelter and crowd at the summit.


It felt like we were drifting in a sea of clouds that morning.


The sun's first appearance.



I took the photo below inside the shelter but didn't notice until later that the parking lot behind me had been reflected in the window.


My husband pointed out this shadow of Haleakala that was cast over Maui.


After the sun was completely up, we walked around a bit, decided to return a few days later to hike in the crater, and returned to Kihei.

4 comments:

Kristen said...

Breathtaking, and worth all the inconveniences to experience that!

Rachel said...

Wow, those two sun photos are amazing! Even the reflected cars can't diminish the beauty of the second one. What a cool thing to have done (though I'm sure I would have been doubting the idea, too, on the hairpin turns).

silverarrowknits said...

The pictures are gorgeous!

Debby said...

What amazing beauty! New England sunrises must pale compared to that. :)