Maui – Day 1 Haleakala National Park

 

We are in Maui. On our 1st day I somehow convinced the group (Me, Heidi, Chelan, Dexter, Noah & Sonja) to wake up at 3:30AM and drive up to the summit (10,000 ft) of Haleakala volcano to watch the sunrise.  Weather was perfect, not as cold as we were warned (only about 45 degrees) and we enjoyed a nice sunrise over low-level clouds with 50-60 other people.  The kids were troopers, but of course freezing at the top of a mountain on the 1st day we had in Hawaii was not the normal experience they wanted.  After sunrise, Noah and I departed on a 12 mile hike down into the crater as the rest of the group headed back.

 

(Chelan watching the sunrise)

 

 

We had perfect weather on the hike.  Cool ocean breezes & warm sun.  Huge clouds spent all day trying to climb into the crater only to evaporate as they came over the rim.  Every once in a while a strong wind would blow some cloud cover and drop a very light misty rain for a few minutes.  The occasional shade was welcome as the high-altitude rays were quite intense.  Walking over crushed volcanic sand and aa-lava was very tough on the feet. Tougher was the fact that I decided to take all of my camera equipment resulting in a ~40 pound pack of stuff.  We started at 10,000 ft, hiked down to 6,500 ft and then a tough vertical climb through switch-backs carved into a volcanic wall back up to 8,000 ft where we left a car on the way to the summit.  At the end of it I was thinking just a camera on a strap around my neck would have been a nice alternative to the huge tripod, extra lenses and massive water-proof camera pack I lugged around all day.  Some epic pics will come from this.  Hiking in this crater is definitely a ‘life list’ type of experience. The colors and terrain were amazing.

 

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