Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sunrise through the fog

Yesterday we got a very early start, up at 4:00 in the morning to head up the twisty road to Haleakala, Maui's volcanic crater to watch the sunrise.  The stars were shining as we drove up and up and up, finally reaching the parking lot (elevation 9700 feet) at around 6:00.  It was just starting to get light but there were dozens of people clustered at the edge of the crater waiting in the freezing cold wind.  The temperature dropped by at least 35 degrees F from the bottom to the top of the road, and the wind chill was brutal. 

But the view was beautiful. Clouds filled the huge crater from one side to another with the color of the rising sun in the distance. 

At one point the clouds retreated enough that we could see down into the crater.  It's a huge area, big enough to hold the Manhattan, with 27 miles of trails through it.  But then the clouds came back again and spilled over the top, enveloping us all in fog.

By the time the sun finally rose it was behind a fog bank so it wasn't as spectacular as we had hoped.  By then we'd been standing around in the freezing wind for about forty minutes so we headed back down the mountain...

with a quick stop to photograph the rare Silver Sword Cactus, which grows only on the highest part of Haleakala.

Then down we went to the warm beaches.  No need for our scarves and toques for the rest of the trip.


  1. The fog certainly changes the experience. It's been years since I went up Haleakala. Even with the sun shining it was pretty chilly. A beautiful, haunting place. I can still 'feel' the memory.


I really appreciate your comments.