I keep forgetting to post this! It's one last blurb about Maui.
(Warning: this post is photo-heavy)
A couple of days after our sunrise excursion, we returned to Haleakala for a hike. Although Haleakala is technically a volcano, the main "crater" that we see now was created by erosion. However, it contains several cinder cones, the closest of which is accessible by foot.
We drove up in daylight this time and thus got to enjoy the sight of clouds hanging out on the fields like cows at pasture.
We also glimpsed one of my favorite signs on the trip:
We parked at the summit, walked down the Sliding Sands trail for a bit and took the branch that led to the rim of a cinder cone.
I'm not sure what I was expecting to see...maybe a fiery pit? It turned out to be more like a steep-sided bowl, but the rim was so narrow I had images of falling in and not being able to haul myself back up. We settled for peeping cautiously over the edge.
(Edit: The mist was from a cloud that rolled in as we were hiking. From what I read, Haleakala hasn't erupted since around 1790.)
We were struck by the range of colors--various shades of black, tan, yellow, brown, and red from the rocks, and green and silver from the plants.
And it was so quiet! I could hear the blood rushing through my ears, especially on the way back up when I got walloped by the thin air and had to stop every 50 feet to rest.
Here's one last view of the crater and cinder cone. You can see a bit of the Sliding Sands trail zigzagging down the far slope: