Xeni Jardin at 4:33 am Thu, Nov 29, 2012
ADVERTISE AT BOING BOING!
that is lovely.
Haleakala. “House of the Sun.”
That is one nice photo. And now, one nice wallpaper.
That’s a really nice picture of the Koolau gap in Haleakala. What is even neater is that the clouds sometimes spill up through the gap and fill the crater, making it look like a sea of clouds. http://www.flickr.com/photos/masteryofmaps/4409979516/
Add to the 10,000+ feet above sea level, the 19,600+ feet below sea level and Haleakala is taller than Everest.
Haleakala is the reason I tell people who are going to Hawaii to go to Maui above and before the other islands. You can take a bike ride that carts you up to the top at dawn and you cycle down to the sea. Where by “cycle” I mean “lean on the brakes the whole way”. You pedal a couple hundred yards of the entire trip. There’s a point around 5,000 feet where you watch the riders in front of you literally coasting into a cloud. Awesome.
A better way to experience Haleakala on bicycle is to start at the bottom and ride to the top. Then you have taken the time to experience the wonderful changes in the environment as you climb through the bio zones, not just seen them out a van window. You feel and breath and smell and see the differences, and have plenty of time to take in the beauty and the views. There are only a couple short sections that are very difficult and super steep, the rest is a grind, but a wonderful one. Then you get to rocket to the bottom, with much care and amazement. Next time, rent a bike at the bottom and earn the views! This is one of the best single day bicycle rides imaginable.
Haleakala crater is an absolutely amazing place to experience. The air is thin, cold, and dry. The rocks are all very light volcanic rocks, they move and sound ‘wrong’ – it really feels like you’re walking on Mars.
In addition, the crater has those two gaps, where you can just see out forever. I knew from looking at the mountain for nearly a week that we’d be above the clouds, but you don’t appreciate just how far above them you are until you’re up there – from the summit, the clouds look like they’re about halfway between you and the ground.
We hiked for a couple hours in the crater, from near the summit to the first cinder cone on the shifting sands trail. It was tough at altitude, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Yup, looking down on clouds from terrain is nice. I had some really impressive stuff from Mt. Kilimanjaro–and every bit of film got ruined somehow.
Drove up there and it was socked in, rainy, and 50 degrees. Ironically just like Washington state where I’m from. 75 minutes later I was back in Kihei floating in the water, enjoying the sun and a drink.
Mark Twain went up to that spot the photo was taken from, “It was the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed, and I think the memory of it will remain with me always.” he wrote.
I’ve lived in Kula, the next town over (under), where Crater Road begins, for a little while.
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