Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Maui for a week, part 1

A week in Maui!  We're looking at a possible job there for John, so we went to give it a "look-see" tryout.  Happily I was able to go along to explore the area while John was working.  Without knowing for sure if we'll be back soon, I tried to make the most of it.

First impression - sure is pretty!

First trail run, up Waihe'e Ridge Trail.  Nice variety here, starting with a road through a field:

A little mud, a few small trees:

Quickly into a forest of larger trees, lots of roots and more mud.  Each section wasn't long, just working through different terrain.

It opened into a great view of waterfalls across the way:

The lush Waihe'e River valley, capped by the almost-perpetual cloud covering the West Maui Mountains:

More fun tree shapes:

Views over to Kahului, the ocean, and Haleakala mountain:

Helicopters probably on a tour route (I saw several heading the same direction) - I'm still happy we chose the Grand Canyon as THE helicopter tour for us.  I'm sure Maui is pretty from the sky too:

Now for the big one, up to the top of Haleakala.  The top of Maui is over 10,000 feet high and you can drive to the summit.  Very cool.  A little chilly, actually, but I warmed up fast in the sunshine.

Neat looking down at the clouds that tend to hang around the 6,000 foot mark, trying to get into the crater area but usually swirling just off to the side:

Nice 3-D map at the visitor center:

Silversword, an endangered plant that seems to do well in this harsh environment:

A chukar running around parking lot, friendly enough but constantly moving and possibly camera shy:

Starting down the Shifting Sands trail for a day in the volcanic dirt, looks like fun!

Pretty quickly I realized I'd found a desert environment on the island of Maui, which makes me happy!  I might be a desert rat at heart.  How that happened after growing up in Vermont is a mystery.

Amazing flower finding a way to grow here:

I ran over to check out one of the 3 cabins that people rent to stay the night.  That would be something, what a neat location for camping:

One of the many cones inside the crater:

Parts of the trail were slower than others, like this section through a lava flow:

Oh cool, a view of the Big Island!  Across the clouds, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are visible on the horizon.  Awesome.

More fun trails through the lava.  I totally enjoyed this whole day.

Pahoehoe!  I just like saying that.

The far cabin, with an amazing backdrop of green cliffs.  Here is where I scared up a couple nene's (Hawaiian geese) but they took off so fast that I didn't get a picture.

Geology rocks.  I never get tired of saying that, hope you don't mind.

Just love the trails winding through the open cinder:

Wouldn't want to fall into the pit of Kawilinau:

Almost done, just one big climb back up to the car...

Telescopes at the top, including one under construction:

What John was working on while I was off exploring - nice!  Good thing one of us knows how to be useful:

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