Thursday, August 30, 2012

Favorites | Day 4

I know, I know. Another sunrise. What can I say? This was one of the joys I looked forward to each morning I opened my little eyes.





Following a very quiet and relaxing morning, as you can see by the pictures above, seven of us headed up to Haleakalā National Park. Haleakalā is truly one of our favorite Maui spots. This beautiful national park stretches across the east side of Maui and rises to over 10,000 feet above sea level. You can see Haleakalā from just about anywhere on Maui. The word Haleakalā actually means house of the sun. According to legend, the demigod Maui lassoed the sun from its journey across the sky as he stood on the volcano’s summit, slowing its descent to the make the day last longer.

The drive up is curvy, scenic and full of surprises. The sun will be shining then suddenly, boom, clouds and misty rain. At a certain point, when nearing the summit, you can actually see over the cloud cover. The blue-green ocean, the west side of Maui and even the Big Island. On a really clear day you can even see the summit of Mauna Kea with the naked eye.



This just melts my heart. Cupcake Girl at 10,023 feet about sea level. So awesome! I think she was pretty impressed with Haleakalā. The clouds were covering the crater, but she could see a glimpse of it.


The views from Haleakalā are spectacular. This was early afternoon. I can only image what a sunrise or sunset would unfold.


One of the unique plants found on Maui is the Haleakalā Silversword. You can start spotting them around an elevation of 6,900 to 9,800 feet. This plant has sword-like succulent leaves covered with silver hairs. They actually shimmer in the sunlight. These lovely plants will flower between July and October. They can reach up to over 6 feet and will have tiny sticky hairs to prevent crawling insects from causing damage. This potential damage can interfere with the seeding of the plant. As the plant goes to seed the leaves will dry up and the plant eventually dies. There are other species of the Silversword that grows on Mauna Kea on the Big Island.





Descending Haleakalā, there’s a certain point, about halfway down the summit road, that is my favorite view. You can actually see the figure 8 that Maui makes. Love this view!


Back at the house it was time for swimming and sunset viewing from the pool.


And best of all, swimming with Cupcake Girl!

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