I’m in Maui.
Daily, I hope for nothing less than warm days, beads of sweat on my brow, scuba tanks, warm water, sandy beaches, and tropical drinks with little straw hats. So it seemed insane to me that my friends wanted to drive 10,000 feet into the sky to scope out a mountain/volcano; beyond the reach of my dearest island proclivities. Even better, they planned on spending the night, freezing our toes off in a tent. Apparently, I really like my friends/colleagues, so I decided to brave the cold & hike the Haleakala volcano with them a few weeks ago.
To my pleasant surprise, we had warm, beautiful weather during the days, making for some of the most amazing hiking, camping, & volcano bocce one could ever imagine.
Haleakala means “House of the Sun” and it lived up to it’s name perfectly. The scenery was stunning, the weather–perfect, and the company fantastic.
We headed 6 mi down “Shifting Sand Trail”, stayed in a cabin, trekked another 5 the next day to our tent camp site, then up “Switch Backs” back to the top. We spent 3 surreal days in the so-called crater (actually erosional). We delicately wove our ways through beautiful Haleakala silverswords, navigated through clusters of massive cinder cones, hung out side-by-side with endangered nene (native Hawiian geese), raced the shadows, worshiped the sun, and tossed the bocces around all over the basin.
The story goes that Maui’s grandmother is from the crater and that she helped him wrangle the sun & slow it down, giving us longer days. Well, Maui, HUGE thanks for that. But on days like these, the only truly acceptable solar speed would have been zero.