Monday, November 10, 2014

Into the Haleakala Crater

Ben and Stacie joined us for the weekend, and the highlight of their visit was a hike down the Sliding Sands Trail into the crater.  It wasn't what we originally planned, but Saturday was one of those rare days on Maui where the entire island seemed cloudy and rainy.  The only exception was Haleakala; where from our backyard we could see the top of the peak.  So, off we went to view the crater. 

When we arrived at the Summit, everything was clear except for inside the crater itself.  Clouds boiled inside the cavernous depression, and it looked as though our visitors would be denied.  We took a short hike to White Hill hoping for a break in the weather as blue sky still reigned supreme overhead.

Regardless of the weather, Stacie wanted to get into the crater.  It was a good call, as the clouds started moving out of the crater as we descended.

We didn't come prepared to make the entire 3,000 ft. descent, but we made it far enough down to capture a slice of what makes this such a spiritual place for the Hawaiians and brings people here from around the globe.



Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hurricane Ana

In a rare occurrence, the Hawaiian Islands had 3 brushes with tropical storms this season.  Two were hurricanes hitting The Big Island pretty hard.  Thankfully, each of the storms only brushed Maui causing far less damage than a direct hit.

Anna came calling yesterday, but thankfully the eye stayed 90 miles to our south.  As a result, it was cloudy and rainy, but it was also strangely beautiful.



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Now that Star has completed her two month critical hire at the park, we are ready to fire back up the blog machine.  It was a tough assignment, involving several weekend work days, but it has provided her much inspiration to start writing some short stories.  Personally, I can't wait to see what she comes up with. 

And while on the subject of writing, we just received a copy of the July 2014 edition of the English Journal in the mail, and Star's submission was the featured poem.  Way to go, Star!

Early September, we attended Maui's annual Blues and Jazz Festival in Lahaina.  A great event with superb talent located in an "out of this world" venue.  

Good thing we had a room.  The culprit was Maui Ocean Vodka
and cranberry juice.

View from our Seats

Another view from our seats

Shaka Star on the Waihee Ridge Trail

Descending the Ridge

Water Project and Our Temporary Water Tank on the slopes
of Haleakala

Climbed down below the crater lookout earlier this month
to find a place to build scaffolding to replace windows

Don't want to fall from here.  2,500 ft. down into the crater


Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Hidden Side of Maui: Kipahulu and the Pipiwai Trail

A two hour drive from our house, and around the backside of the Haleakala Volcano, exists a place lost in time.  There are no stores, no shopping, no electric grid, and no gasoline.  It is home to roughly 1,000 Hawaiians and a few others looking for a slower pace of life.  It's a place where the high ridges of Haleakala drop off steeply to the Pacific Ocean with exotic plant and animal life, and where the Oheo stream flows from pool to waterfall to pool numerous times until finally crashing into the breakers of the Pacific Ocean.  It's called Kipahulu, and is home to the 4.5 mile Pipiwai Trail.

The trail starts where the Oheo Stream intersects the Pacific

Ben and Adrienne hiding out in the Banyan Tree

The 400 ft. high Waimoku Falls

The Bamboo Forest sounds like hundreds
of bamboo chimes ringing together

Friday, August 1, 2014

House of the Sun and the Most Spiritual Hour in a National Park

An incredible spiritual experience Thursday Morning from House of the Sun at 10,000 ft. on top of Haleakala.  Awaken at 3:15 AM, drive to the summit by 5:00 AM, and watch the one hour long show.  I highly recommend putting this one on your bucket list.  I'm glad Star and I waited until the traveling Burri visited before taking it in.

My daughter, who has traveled much of our planet, said it best with "This is IT!"

Video of sunrise and the traditional ceremonial chant

Star, I'm almost certain wearing a bathrobe over your
NPS uniform is a violation of park policy.  Then again,
work doesn't start for another two hours.
First hint of daybreak 5:15 AM
And it begins