Magnificent Maui - Day Two

We woke up at 2am and started our drive to see the sunrise from Haleakala. It takes about 3 hours to get to the top of the Volcano. So, make sure you leave early. Wear warm clothes! It is frikkin chilly at the top! I had my winter-jacket, gloves, hat, scarf and I still felt very brrrr!

Oh man, if driving on dark, winding roads scare you, then go in a tourist bus. We couldn’t see an inch beyond the headlights! The drive up was exhilarating for me, but poor K couldn’t/wouldn’t drive more than 20 miles/hr.  This is where “Trust me and rent a car” tip comes in handy. The drive to the top of Haleakala should be on everyone’s Must Do Once list.

Make sure you fill up your car before leaving. Our gas tank was topped up, but by the time we reached the top, it was more than half empty. If you’re out of gas, you’re stuck. There are no gas stations on the volcano. You’ll have to jump down.

Less than 5 miles after you enter Haleakala National Park, you will find the visitors center on your left. Do not stop. Drive on for a few miles more till you come to a parking lot.

We were one of the first 10 cars in the lot. If you drive up closer to sunrise, you will not find a parking spot.  And you’ll regret your reason for living.

Remember to look up. The galaxy of stars are breathtaking!

There’s a small trail taking you to the top. Yes it’s dark, but just follow the moving shapes in front of you and you’ll be fine.

Once at the tippy top, you can stand within the glass enclosure, K’s choice, or brave the elements outside like a warrior princess.

If you go late, you’ll have to watch the sun come up through armpits and over hatted heads. However, if you’re 4’11” like me then you can “excuse me” squeeze your way between folks to the front. I was inhaling the sunrise between giant Europeans and a giant tripod.

What a view! Glory be to the Owner of Heavens! We were a few miles above the clouds. Immediately in front of the viewpoint are a few feet of volcanic rocks, which dip into magnificent oceans of clouds.

In the beginning it’s so dark that you can’t see your hand in front of you. Then a sliver of light distinguishes the sky from what’s below.

Slowly the earth turns into the light of the sun. The sun, shyly and coquettishly, embraces the land.

The atmosphere was one a spiritual one. All I could hear was hushed whispers, whirring of cameras and, my sniffles-partly because it was cold, and partly because it was emotional. I was grateful for the chance to see Nature in one of her glories.

It was so cold that my fingers refused to keep the camera steady for videos!

After the sun has totally woken up, you can hike the Haleakala Crater. We didn’t. We were tired and a little lazy. But you go right ahead!

Meet Sleepy


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