Monday, April 18, 2011

Home & Haleakala


We're back in the lovely state of Maine. We had a long 20 hours of travel - we flew out of Honolulu at 11pm, arrived Phoenix at 7am, arrived Boston at 5pm then flew to Bar Harbor at 7:30pm and arrived home at 9pm. Ugh. All in all it was too bad. From Honolulu to Phoenix we were surrounded by a group of 75 middle school kids who were on their way to an archeological dig in Colorado. I thought to myself, "Oh, crap" and they were actually delightful. I sat by two of them and they were very nice. We got to see the Rockies from the plane and that was amazing.

Our last two weeks in Hawaii were great, I mean it's Hawaii, right?, but my favorite day was our Haleakala adventure. Haleakala is the highest point on Maui - topping out at just over 10,000 feet. We drove up late Sunday afternoon after lunch in Makawao and arrived at the top around 4pm. Sunset wasn't until 6:30ish so we had time to look around. Last time we'd gone up we arrived after the peak of the sunset and it was amazing to watch the stars but we couldn't see the crater....which I learned is not a crater but actually a valley. Bam. So we stopped and looked and even did a short hike and here are the photos to prove it....
First stop on the way....I can't remember the name of the overlook....anyone?

Andy & John - the models who went with us
The sun had this ring around it...I'm sure there's a name for the phenom

The Valley
The valley with cloud cover - the clouds were amazing - you can really watch the weather up on Haleakala
Our first view of the Sliding Sands trail
A Chukar - a flightless partridge - not much lives at 10,000 feet but these guys do. It can't fly at the altitude so it walks and hops. There were two of them and we crossed their path several times.
View from Sliding Sands
Another view about 2 minutes later
Andy on the edge of the world

After the short lung bursting hike, note to self: do not run at 10,000 feet, it was sunset time.
A lot of people thought it was over at this point so they left....or they were was so cold up there that my fingers hurt....but then it got good again...

We had a double layer of clouds - below and above us - so while we could watch the sunset we couldn't stargaze. Weirdly it was clear enough to see the Big Island, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

After we watched the sunset to the bitter end, we drove back down. It was a great day!

I have a few more Hawaii posts and will try to get those up soon. Now back to setting into our home!