Haleakala National Park, East Maui
While planning our Hawaiian getaway, we decided that we wanted to witness the sunrise from the top of Maui's volcanic crater, Haleakala. A co-worker of Scott's recommended that we partake of this particular adventure early on in our trip while our bodies were still on California time, making it a little easier to get up and venture out in the middle of the night. So on our first full day on Maui, we set off from our hotel at 3:45 am in order to make the hour-and-a-half drive up the crater in time to enjoy the pre-dawn show at the top, beginning at about 5 am, an hour before sunrise. We packed up all the winter gear we could manage, since we knew it would be cold at the top, and headed off into the dark.
After the long walk just to get to the hotel parking garage and a stop for muffins at the 24-hour Foodland, we didn't quite make it up the windy roads and to the jam-packed parking lots as early as we'd hoped, but seeing the sunrise at 10,000 feet from amongst the clouds was quite a spectacle.
|Sunrise over Haleakala|
Although prepared for winter conditions of a sort, we were not prepared for the whipping winds that accompanied the chilly temps. If nothing more, do yourself a favor and bring a serious winter hat, should you ever find yourself on this pre-dawn excursion.
|Braving the cold and whipping winds at Haleakala Summit|
|Hiking into the crater in the early morning light|
And as an added bonus, we were back at the resort by 9:30, in time to get good chairs at the pool.