Haleakala, House of the sun. apparently the best way to see it is: to be picked up at 2am by bus, taken up the 9,740 feet to its overlook and wait for sunrise. the 2 am part was brutal but boy it was worth it. When walking out to the edge you don’t see much except the top of a few clouds (because you’re well above them). As the sun begins to rise the horizon begins to take form around you. Purple, blue, orange and red bounce off the surrounding cliffs making it more and more apparent what 9740 feet up really looks like. A few couples thought it was a good idea to cozy up on a rock outside the protective guard rail. once there was enough light to see the distance to the bottom of the crater they were gone, hopefully by choice. Once what we and many others besides us called the most beautiful sunrise on earth was completed it was time to make our decent.
The company we rode up with, Maui Mountain Cruisers, specializes in the cruel game of roll the tourist down the mountain. They dress you up in a bright blue jump suit, give you a goofy helmet and a rickety bike probably older than the mountain itself and push you down the Guinness book of world records steepest road. It’s like a high school science experiment gone bad. As a matter of fact the question is on the Hawaii state regents exam. All kidding Aside it one of the best thing you could ever do, as long as your brakes work (and Randy’s didn’t at first). the ride down the mountain is literally a coast. only 400 yards of pedaling in the whole 40 mile ride. The views were amazing. The cold wind on your face while you zip around sharp bends really made you feel alive.
At the bottom a hot breakfast was waiting for us (it was only 10AM although we had been up for 9 hours). after about an hour the bus brought us back to our hotel. It was just before noon and we decided to take a short nap. about 430 we woke up and got ready for dinner.
A few minutes walk from our room was the barefoot bar at the Hula Grill. we got a table in the sand so we kicked off our shoes and enjoyed a few drinks before the meal. Our table was up front near the Hawaiian band and hula dancer. We listened to the music, sipped pina coladas and ate as we watched another spectacular sunset over the beach.
wish you were here (but on a different island :-)),
Rachel and Randy