Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Above the Clouds

See that small ridge of dark gray just above the band of clouds in the middle? That's the Haleakula volcano crater we're going to attempt to reach as our final destination. With the weather patterns created by sea and elevation, it's almost always invisible to the tourist eyes. I've never see a real volcano crater, so i'm pretty pumped about this road trip!
After about only 30 minutes on the slope switchbacks, we entered a heavy cloud cover for about the next two hours. Certainly beautiful in its own way..the cows didn't seem to mind it at all.
We made it to the top! Thanks to our rental car!
Wes at the summit. It was quite cold up here above the clouds. Maybe in the high 40's. To the
right, a view of the crater. And the clouds below us.
Unexpectedly, we took a closer look at the clouds where people were pointing and there was a person parasailing! Four more soon followed, and we wondered how they could ever see through the cloud covering below to know where they were landing.
The colors of the sunset over the crater.
Advice to those who wish to see the sunset from Haleakula: be aware that there is a research complex facing the sunset, so all your pictures will have domes, satelite equipment and tent-like structures in your view, too. If you can stand getting up really early, go instead for sunrise.
Again, like Hana, it was almost as if the trip getting there was as delightful as the final destination. Though the view of the crater was spectacular and the sunset lovely, we could not see beneath the clouds to the island below. Still, a wonderful time...and now I'm nearly concluded with our trip highlights - thanks for staying tuned to my blog. However, you might not want to miss the wrap-up coming soon on our idea on how we can finance our retirement in Hawaii!


simplicity said...

You're not going into hula dancing are you????

Looking forward to hearing about your plans!

Melissa said...

So fun. Thanks for this photo-commentary on your trip! Makes me even more inclined to get there...

cellothug said...

Wow, amazing photos!

Marny said...

Imagine - Chris road his bike UP this volcano. It took him 4 hours. Lots of those bike hike groups were coming down the volcano. People kept telling him that he was going the wrong way! It was something he had always wanted to do. It's one of those rite of passages that serious bikers have to do. Tracy, Becca and I drove up and picked him up at the top when he was done. What a beautiful sight from there. It's like you're on another planet. Thanks for reminding me with your pictures.

Spirit Bear said...

Deb, I have loved visiting Hawaii with you. You and Wes certainly know how to leave the beaten path and find special adventures. I like your spirit! You two will never "retire." There will always be a new destination.