After two wonderful days on Oahu, our next port of call was Maui. We boarded a tender from the boat and traveled a short distance from the ship to the port of Lahaina. Then we got on a 15 passenger van driven by our tour guide Gavin. After a short introduction we headed to Haleakala National Park.
Haleakala National Park is another National Park based on a volcano. The highlight of the park is the twisty road to the summit. The road is 37 miles of one hairpin turn after another. People who get carsick should not take this road! We even got a certificate that says we survived the drive!
We stopped at a small Visitors Center that overlooked the valley below. You could see both sides of the island, joined by a narrow strip of land. I stamped my National Park Passport Book and bought a neat shirt. Then we continued the drive up the mountain.
We reached the parking lot at the summit of Haleakala – 9,740 feet elevation. Tom and I hiked up the crater trail to get a better view of the crater of this dormant volcano. It was only 1/4 mile, but hiking uphill at that elevation is difficult. The view was fantastic!
We spent a little time in the summit Visitors Center talking to the rangers. The rangers live down at the lower elevation and the ranger we talked to said she gets carsick every morning when she comes to work.
The Haleakala National Park summit Visitors Center closes at noon! But they open at 4 a.m. for all the people who want to see the sunrise from the summit. Yikes! You have to make reservations to be at the summit for sunrise. Or you can watch it on the webcam here. The nice thing about watching the sunrise on the webcam is that Hawaii is six hours behind Eastern time. You can watch the sun rise over Haleakala five or six hours after it has risen in Ohio. (Hawaii does not change to Daylight Savings Time).
After enjoying the view at the summit of Haleakala, we boarded our bus and headed back down the mountain. On the way down we passed a dozen bicyclists who were coasting down the mountain. Not me! The road was too twisty and too narrow with too many buses for me to feel comfortable riding on a bike down the mountain.
Tomorrow I will write about the rest of our visit to Maui and the interesting sights we saw.