Day 4 started out well before the sun came up. Our plan was to catch the sunrise from the top of Haleakala, it was also the same plan several other dozen people had. Though most of our trip to Maui did not involve places that were crowded by people, this stop was a very crowded one. This stop also annoyed me a bit. I loved watching the sunrise, I just didn't love the people. It was overrun by disrespectful tourists (I know I was a tourist too, but not disrespectful). There were signs posted to stay on the trail and even barriers put up. Several people (mostly from across the ocean in the opposite direction of where I came from) were climbing over and into habitat protected areas. All in the name of a good photo/video spot. They were rude, disrespectful and appeared dismayed that they were not allowed carte blanche to be douche bags to nature. They also had no qualms standing directly in front of you butt rubbing your crotch and blocking your view. Enough of my nagging! The sunrise was amazing.
The color change the sky went through from the dark hours of the morning until Mr. Sun was completely over the horizon were marvelous. Cold as all hell, but marvelous. I am glad I didn't find a spot to watch the sunrise along the railing. I did have to suffer crotchal butt rubs of folks blocking my view from time to time but it was far warmer than along the railing. When people started to leave, shortly after Mr. Sun appeared, I went up to the railing. Holy Cow; the wind comes right up out of the caldera and it is FREEZING!
Shortly after the sunrise, the gate to the very, very top of Haleakala is opened up for the public and you can see the Haleakala Observatories, off limits to the public but still close enough to see clearly. I can see why they kept that trail closed off until after sunrise, if people were already trampling protected habitat it would have been far worse at the top of Haleakala.
On our way down from Upcountry Maui we stopped at the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm. It smelled amazing, the views were breath taking and it was a nice place to wind down after a scary, windy drive down from Haleakala.
|View from the Lavender Farm looking toward Central Maui.|
My sister and I found some trees with bushes that had 2 chairs hiding inside. You can sit there and enjoy the view through the window, it's probably a great place to sit during sunset.
|View looking out towards Haleakala from the Iao Valley|
Kukaemoku (Iao Needle) is 2250 feet high. The peak is known as the phallic stone of Kanaloa, Hawaiian god of the ocean. Learn something new everyday! I knew it was used as a look out and served as a battle ground as well but didn't know it represented a god's stone penis.
Started the day with a sunrise and ended it with a sunset back at the condo. We were pretty tired after such an early day. We covered a lot of ground and were getting ready for round 2 of the Hana Highway.