My 2014 Retirement Trip Hawaii travel blog

Our bus parked at the Visitor's Center for Haleakala National Park -...

Visitor Center from the road up to the peak (9740')

Silversword - very rare plant found only on the higher slopes of...

Some information on the Silversword plant

"Science City" at peak - includes telescopes and monitor devices for the...

Haleakala caldera and cinder cones

map at visitor's center showing road to the top of Haleakala

Sliding Sands

Way, way above the clouds

Coming down the switchback roads

Haleakala means "house of the sun" in Hawaiian.

Once again, pictures cannot capture the majesty of this area. We drove up a series of switchbacks to get to the 4000' elevation on our drive to the top of the volcano Haleakala and stopped at the first visitors' center. Historians believe the last eruption of this volcano was around 1790. They use two distinctly different maps done about 20 years apart (one about 1780 the other about 1800) and because a bay is filled in with lava by the 1800 map argue the volcano must have erupted between 1780 and 1800. All the data collected by geologists; however, shows the eruption occurred about 1700. Regardless of the actual year. The volcano has not been active in quite awhile.

We then proceeded on up to the second visitor's center at the 9,740' elevation. For this site you can see the caldera of the volcano. It erupted and eventually collapsed on itself. You can also see the "cinder cones" left when, after the collapse, portions of the volcano continued to spew out lava for a time.

After walking around the mountain top for an hour the bus went back down the mountainside. Our bus driver gave us a lecture on the history of music in Hawaii.

We ate lunch at the Kulu Sandalwoods: pork sandwich and cole slaw and then stopped in at the small town of Makawao to visit a small museum of the history of that area (at one time it was a ranch town for cattle and horse ranches in the area. There were "cowboys" here about the same time that cowboys controlled the west and mid-west on the mainland.

We then went to Paia, a beach town that has become popular for surfing, wind surfing and kite surfing. We stopped at an overlook of Ho'okipa Beach Park to watch surfers try to take on unusually high waves.

We returned to the Maui Beach Hotel and after a two hour break we had dinner, a very filling fish/potato and vegetable cream soup; glazed chicken; rice; very much undercooked vegetables (Dad would send them back for more cooking) and chocolate cake for dessert.

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