Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dawn over Haleakala

Dawn over Haleakala Maui, 1992
A weekly image from my archive. Click on the image to make it larger.

(I originally posted a scanned print of this image however I've now replaced this with a scanned35mm slide. Much better - no schmutz.)

When I was in high school there was something of a tradition that we would drive up to the rim of the Haleakala crater after some important event like the Prom. The trip is less than 40 miles from the base of the mountain but can take several hours because travel is slow and the road twists and turns across the western side of the volcano. Haleakala is dormant and while the crater rim offers amazing views - like this one and of the sweep of the mountain down to the sea on most sides - it is the crater itself which is the real star of the show. Most tourists will travel up in the early hours and maybe catch the sunrise but will invariably travel back down on a bicycle using gravity to speed them on their way.

The smarter tourist will slap on several layers of sunscreen and hike down the Sliding Sands trail to the base of the crater, cross it and then hike back up the a switch-back trail at Halemau'u. Not for the faint of heart this is an eleven mile hike with a 3,000 foot elevation change. The first nine miles are easy; it's the last two miles of switch back trail that kill. I've done this full day hike three times and the last time was in March 2005 with my high school buddy Dave. I went for the weekend and left the office on Thursday came back on Tuesday. It was well worth it and I'd do it again in a minute.

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