The day begins clear and beautiful – there are no clouds obscuring either the mountains of West Maui or the peaks of Haleakala. A perfect day for touring the island!
It takes awhile to reach Haleakala from our hotel and it is only as we actually begin to approach the mountain that I realize how truly massive it is. . . . and, of course, I can only see what is ABOVE the ocean. Wow! That is an impressive pile of rock.
Once we really start to climb, we seem to rise forever as the road swooshes back and forth between hairpin turns.
As we climb, the most interesting view is not of the land around us, but the continually changing clouds below.
We get out of the car to follow the trail to the Leleiwi Lookout, urged on by the promise of a surprising view of the crater. (It is the wrong time of day to glimpse a brocken spectre, so scenery is all we are looking for today.)
I’m about ready to turn back when we come around a bend and . . . ta da! The guidebook was right.
As we continue toward the summit, the view changes subtly.
At the summit we are greeted by a small garden of glorious baby silverswords! We have seen a few along the way up the mountain, but now these wonderful rare plants can be examined close-at-hand.
Of course, we also have weird, beautiful, and otherworldly views of Haleakala’s crater and the distant peaks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.
What an amazing place.