Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sunrise Atop Haleakala Crater

To say we had an early start on Monday is putting it mildly. Monday was our second and final day in Maui and our activity for the day was watching the sunrise atop Haleakala Crater which is a little below 10,000 feet high.

We were scheduled to meet our group at 3:15 a.m. so I made plans to shower the night before and just jump up the next morning, brush my teeth, put on some shoes and head out. When we told Justin what time we needed to meet the group, he determined he needed to get up at 1:15 a.m. in order to have enough time to get ready. Thankfully we convinced him that a shower and 10 varieties of cologne was not needed to watch the sunrise or bike down the volcano which was also part of our excursion.

I set my clock for 2:45 a.m. and ended up getting up a few minutes before it went off. I was ready to go soon after and waited on the menfolk to finish getting themselves ready. Sadly, I woke up feeling rather dreadful. Before I left home, I started feeling sick and went to the doctor and I’ve been on an antibiotic ever since. Apparently it’s not doing much good though because I now feel even worse and like my chest is full of congestion. It’s just as lovely as it sounds. I will power through, but man I am hoping for some better health soon.

We found our group and were picked up and taken to the headquarters of the outfit we were using for the ride up the mountain and the bike ride down. We signed our lives away and watched a safety video and were given a Danish and then up the volcano we went. We arrived at the top around 5:00 a.m. maybe. I honestly don’t know, but it was about an hour before the sun rose. It was freezing at the top. I don’t know what the official temperature was, but I was dressed in layers, with a stocking cap and thick gloves on and was still shivering. So, in case you were wondering, not all of Hawaii is warm and tropical. We all found spots along the guardrail and watched as the horizon changed colors from black to blue to pink to bright orange. Once the sun was above the clouds you could hardly even look that way because of the brightness. The official sunrise time was 6:17 a.m. but because of the cloud coverage, it was a few minutes after that before the large orange ball made an appearance.

We then loaded up the van and went down the volcano a ways before they put everyone on a bike. I, believe it or not, decided not to ride. For one, there were 29 hairpin turns and it was a road I was not familiar with (obviously), secondly, it was raining and since I was already feeling terrible and I’m not really interested in feeling worse, I thought I might be best to just stay as warm and dry as possible.

My dad and Justin geared up and got on bikes. I noticed that my dad seemed a little shaky/wobbly on his bike and at the first stop, two miles in, he abandoned and got in the van with me and another lady. Can’t say that I blame him; he probably hasn’t been on a bike in over 20 years. Justin, however, stuck it out the whole 27 miles. He rode through wind, rain, and sunshine and he had a great time. We made a couple of stops for pictures and educational information along the way. Twice along the roadside I had to have a natural break. I guess you could say I left my mark on Maui.

The ride ended at the beach where the temperature was much warmer and we were able to shed some of our layers. At this point I’m sure everyone was starving because I know I was. My blood sugar had actually gotten too low right before everyone got on the bikes and a nice lady from Australia gave me a granola bar she had in her bag. Y’all, the Canadians and Australians always come prepared. As it turns out, she is actually a diabetes nurse, so if I had to guess, she probably always has an extra something on hand for herself and perhaps others. Our next stop was a place that sold burritos. Justin got one and it looked and smelled great. Even as hungry as I was, I opted to not get one and hold out for the free food aboard the boat. I did peruse a local shop while folks were eating, and bought a hand painted Maui Christmas ornament. A while ago I decided to collect Christmas ornaments from all my journeys. The sad thing is I don’t often remember that this was my decision.

After everyone ate, we loaded back up in the van and were dropped back off at the pier. My dad and I went and got a bite to eat, and Justin went to the room. After we ate, it was most definitely nap time and I slept for a couple of hours.

It was a nice experience to watch the sunrise at Haleakala Crater – something I will most likely never forget. Tonight we pull out of Maui and tomorrow morning we port in Hilo and will be taking a tour of the Rainbow Falls and Volcano National Park. It’s sure to be another fun adventure.


Erika said...

I'm glad y'all are having a good time, but hate you don't feel good :( We are going to have to get you well!!!
I think Justin likes to eat as much as I do ;) Kudos to him for biking down the whole way.
Hope you continue to have fun and hope you feel lots better.

Jackie said...

That is beautiful! You guys should have weighed Justin before the trip and when you get home:-)