Friday, November 27, 2015

On Top of The World...on US Thanksgiving

....and we were certainly there on Maui.

At 10,000 feet +
Our choice for a Thursday excursion called for a wake up at 2:45 am, and leaving our Lahaina condo by 3:30 am.  We needed to be on top of the Haleakala crater by 6:00 am to catch the rising sun that was set to appear at or about 6:30 am.
Very early daylight
The temperature leaving our condo was at 72 degrees.  The temperature on arrival at Haleakala, at 10,000 feet, was 40 degrees.  It was windy, dark and cold.  We were dressed for the cold but we were still cold.
The sun burst over the high clouds at 6:35 am.
We stood at one of the highest points, at the observation site when the sun made its magical appearance.  And several hundred other tourists had the same idea.  It mas really magical to be so high up, on top of a volcanic crater to witness the sunrise.
The burst.....
Most tourists, feeling extremely cold (and not dressed for the cold weather) left for the beaches in a hurry.  We meandered about to read many historical sign boards, look in the tourist information building and spend some time looking at the huge crater that was created when Maui was born.
This huge crater is believed to be 5,000 feet shorter than the original height, following its final lava flows.
Posing on top of Maui, Deb and Bob made it look as though they were warm....but they too were cold.
10,000 feet below us (in the photo) is the famous surfer's beach, Hookipa Park.
We walked around for some time, taking different photos and simply enjoying the majestic setting.  But the cold did do us in, after a while, and back to the car - with heater full blast - was what we longed for.
The observatory on top of Haleakala Volcano
It's amazing to see plant growth at 10,000 feet.
Jeanette's parting photo.....on top of the world in Maui.
By late morning, we had completed the 2.5 hour drive back to sea level where the on board temperature gauge in our car show 82 degrees; 40 degrees warmer than at the crater.

On the drive back to Lahaina, our co-pilots had the idea to stop and have lunch at the Iao Valley State Park just east from the city of Kahului.
Interesting Iao Valley State Park is dedicated to Japanese, Portuguese, African Americans and other nationalities that gave life to this lovely island.
Many families were enjoying outdoor activities here.
While enjoying our lunch, there were so many flavours wafting from the many barbecues preparing Thanksgiving meals for resident families  It was nice.
The hillsides with misting rain at the top.
One sign board in the park reflects the African American history here.
Having to get up as early as we did to witness the sunrise on top of Haleakala negated the writing of a blog from the day before.  I simply did not have the time.

Our Wednesday was more relaxing.  We chose to drive out to Big Beach, south of  Kihei and Wailea.  The rain seemed to be threatening but it held off long enough for us to enjoy a few hours of beach time.
At Big Beach
Others had the same idea.
Once the rain started, we had already returned to the car.  Driving back towards Wailea, the rain was not following us.  We found a popular diving beach, sat there and we're pleasantly surprised when several turtles came towards shore to feed off the algae on the rocks.
A most popular diving and snorkeling area.
One or the many turtles we saw frolicking and feeding
Bob is capturing some good photos of the turtles from his vantage point.
This turtle was just below Jeanette's vantage point.
That covers our previous two days enjoying beautiful Maui.  Our weather has been most favourable.  And although so many days present with grey skies, the breezes blow away the clouds and we get some sun.  We have not been bothered by the rains that come in spurts.

We have two full days left to enjoy more of this lovely island.  More on that in the days ahead.

Mahalo for looking in.


  1. what a wonderful site to see from 10,000 feet, and bet it was cold after the warmth at sea level.
    Enjoy your remaning days there.

  2. Wow, what a great day! Tracy really wanted to see the turtles the last time we were there, walked the beach daily, but no luck. Glad you got to see them!