Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hawaii ::: Haleakalā Summit

After the lavender fields our plan was to drive straight up to Haleakalā Summit. 

Well straight is kinda of misleading, because the entire trip takes about one hour on one road, going about twenty five miles per hour in a steady circular incline. all leading up to the highest point - 10,023 feet above sea level.



This photo was taken at about two-thousand feet above sea level. It was a pretty cloudy day (as you can see from the lavender field post), but the moment we passed about one-thousand feet, the sun was shining against a blue sky above the clouds.



At about five-thousand feet above sea level, we pulled over to take in the view and get acclimated to the drastic change in sea level. 

We also pulled over to throw on layers since the temperature drops the more you ascended the mountain.


Wearing: Jumper (Forever21), Sweatshirt (FlyArt), Jacket (Forever21), Sunnies (Rayban)


Haleakalā is the larger, younger volcano compared to it's older sister Puʻu Kukui on the west coast of the island.

The volcano peaks at 10,000 feet making it one of the world's tallest mountains aka you need to take your time getting to the top.




The higher we drove up the mountain, the more Haleakalā begins to look like another planet.


The moon. Or are we on the moon?


One of the coolest parts of driving up the mountain was checking out the silversword; a rare plant that only grow on the mountainside of Haleakalā. 

The silversword is easiest described as a succulent whose leaves are covered in little silver hairs, which protect the plant from the extreme heat during the day, and extreme cold at night.


The Haleakalā crater.

In Hawaiian folklore, the depression (crater) at the summit of Haleakalā was home to the grandmother of the demigod Māui. According to the legend, Māui's grandmother helped him capture the sun and force it to slow its journey across the sky in order to lengthen the day.



We read the best time to visit the summit was during sunrise, however that would have meant waking up at 3am to make it for 5.

So sunset was our second best option. Although, it was too incredible to tell.


Walking around the moon.

...I mean lava-sand at the top of the summit.






Elevation: 10,023 feet! 

One hour of driving in circles later, and we made it!






I'M ON TOP OF THE WORLD!!!
(well Maui)

At around 7:30 the show commenced:


The transition of colors was astonishing. 



My third outfit change of the night, was from my jumper to these white jeans (Loft) and a windbreaker (Nike), because the temperature dropped from about 80 degrees before sunset to about 40 degrees at about 8pm.


The sun always shines above the clouds.

Those colors. That view. This island. 

This was a moment.


Admiring the view above the clouds, looking down on the earth and thinking how grand it is.

Then looking up and thinking how grand the universe is. It's pretty humbling reminder of how we are all made of the same material.

Teeny tiny me, in a sunset orange jacket.



We are all made of stardust.



We decided to stay as late as we could since we knew the stars would looking amazing from the top of the summit.

However, by the time the sun was completely set, the temperature dropped to 20 degrees without the windchill. By 10pm I had to jump in the car and throw the heat on, and was ready to get back to sea level and tropical weather.





night scene.


Journeying up to Haleakalā was one of the best experience I've had to date.

Incredible.

- Stephanie

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