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How do You Like Haleakala?

First Day in Maui


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2010 Yellowstone and Hawaii & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Maui

Maui


We were in Maui for two days and had two terrific tours

June 20, 2010-Tour to Haleakala

My grandson said he had been waking up at 5:30 so I did not set a wake-up call and of course we didn't wake up until 6:30. We threw on our clothes and went up to the buffet to eat. I had bacon and a bagel and cranberry juice. I also stuck a roll in my pocket.

He could not find his passport (he needs a photo ID to get back to the ship), so he gave me his backpack and I found it. Then I told him to put the backpack away and when he did this he stood up suddenly and whacked his head a very good one on the folded back upper bunk.
Grandson's bunk with folded top bunk bed

Grandson's bunk with folded top bunk bed

I did not know whether I should take him to the doctor or not, but decided not to.
Haleakala Tour Ticket

Haleakala Tour Ticket


Our tour today was the Haleakala volcano. I walked out to the gate on shore
Walking out to the bus

Walking out to the bus

Welcome to Maui

Welcome to Maui

Pride of America

Pride of America


but he was caught by the photographer bird.
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They put me and another lady aside to sit up front on the bus, which was good.

My grandson (with a headache from coming up under the bunk bed) sat in the back by a window. But the bus driver made him come and sit by me which annoyed him VERY much. He was having trouble taking photos from that seat.
Road to Haleakala

Road to Haleakala


Heading for Haleakala

Heading for Haleakala


On the way up to the Haleakala Crater, we stopped to give people a chance to get a cup of coffee and to to snap a photo of
Sculpture in Tom Cruise's garden

Sculpture in Tom Cruise's garden

We drove up to the top of the crater and it was an extremely windy road - filled with switchbacks. My tour ticket said that I should not take this tour if I was prone to motion sickness.

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To illustrate: Our bus driver told this joke:

A priest, a minister and a Haleakala bus driver approached the Pearly Gates. The priest was first and St. Peter told him to wait. The minister was second and St. Peter also told him to wait. The Haleakala bus driver's turn came, and St. Peter told him to go right in. The priest and minister protested. "We have given our whole lives to spreading the word of God and we are told to wait. Why does the Haleakala bus driver get to go right in?" St. Peter said, "Ah, but people often sleep during your sermons. On the Haleakala bus tour, they are all praying."

A switchback

A switchback


Our bus driver pointed several biking possibilities. (It goes without saying that I have not done either of them). One of them was bicycles. We saw one of the vans of the biking people - one of the other possible tours from the ship.Van with bikes going to the volcano

Van with bikes going to the volcano


A van takes people and the bikes up to the top of the crater and then they bike/coast down. It is basically ALL downhill. The bike ride begins at 6500’ elevation of Mount Haleakala, OUTSIDE the park, where you will descend the 21 switchbacks on the western slopes with only 200 yards of pedaling. For the regular tour (just the bike ride) the duration is approximately 4.5 hours. People say this is thrilling to do, but our bus driver warned us about the danger of misjudging one of the curves and wiping out. He pointed out that you have to sign a release agreeing not to hold the bike company responsible for anything including death.

The rules specify
- No beginners.
- NO PREGNANT WOMEN.
- At least 12 years of age and 5 feet tall.
- Maximum weight 250 lbs.

If you want to really see the park, this is not the way to do it.

The biking company provides bikes with non-fail drum brakes and comfortable cushion seats. poly carbonate ventilated helmets, the best lightweight all-weather gear, and insulated waterproof gloves. You need to wear close toed, rubber soled shoes and dress in layers. I didn't pick that as a tour because it was a long time since I rode a bike and my grandson only learned to ride a bike recently.

The other option was motorcycles. He said that the motorcyclists loved to come up on Sunday because there were no police up on the crater to catch them speeding.
x100_5477.jpgMotorcycles

Motorcycles


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Looking down - close to the top

Looking down - close to the top


I think it made my grandson feel sort of queasy plus he already had a headache, and I think he had a problem with the altitude also. My sister had me spooked about altitude sickness, but that was not a problem for me at all. Even though my ticket said "No respiratory or heart problems" both of which I have.
Cattle guard across the road

Cattle guard across the road


Entrance to the National Park

Entrance to the National Park


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Almost every national park has a really informative Visitor's Center. It pays to visit the center to find out about the park.

Actually this park has three visitor's centers. All are open daily year round, subject to staff availability. I have only been to the two at the top of the mountain. I have not been to the Kipahula Visitor Center which is not connected to the other two locations by road. It is on the Kipahulu coast near the pools of 'Ohe'o (sea level). Restrooms, public telephone, picnic tables. Hawaii Natural History Assoc sales area. Backcountry camping permit station. Exhibits on the Cultural and Natural Heritage of Kipahulu. Front country camping available. NO Drinking water, Food or Gas Available

The Park Headquarters are one mile from the park entrance at 7,000' elevation. Restrooms, public telephone, picnic area, Hawaii Natural History Assoc sales area. Backcountry camping/ cabin permit station. NO FOOD or GAS available. Two Haleakala stamps

Two Haleakala stamps


This was the first of the two visitor's centers for me to get stamps in my passport book (which I had brought), and my grandson bought a passport book too
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and got stamps in it.

The endemic species that are special to the Hawaiian islands are endangered by the mammals that people have brought to the islands. They tell us that the only mammals native to Hawaii are a species of bat and marine mammals.

Invasive species

Invasive species


Rats, cows, pigs and the like eat the plants and animals of the islands which then become endangered. The National Park has cattle guards to keep the cattle that are raised on the lower slopes of the volcano out. They also have a lot of information about what species of birds and other animals are native and what species are endangered.

Because the island arose as a volcano from the sea, all of the plants and animals arrived after traversing two thousand miles through the air or sea. Once theses organisms got there, they adapted to the harsh environment to make the species unique.
Extinction is Forever

Extinction is Forever


More endangered species live in in Haleakala; National Park than any other national park in the United States.
Local plants and endangered bee

Local plants and endangered bee


Endemic insects

Endemic insects


Once man arrived on the islands and particularly tourism became common, native species were endangered or destroyed. There were signs saying

No feeding of the Nene. Feeding them makes them tame and tame ones often get hit by cars not

We didn't see anything but a stuffed Nene, or any of the various endemic birds.
Stuffed nene

Stuffed nene


Exhibit case of endemic and endangered species

Exhibit case of endemic and endangered species


We did see the endangered hinahina (Haleakala Silversword, Argyroxiphium sandwicense macrocephalum), which used to cover Haleakala Mountain to a degree where the mountain looked as if it were covered with snow.
Silversword

Silversword


The plant has a wide shallow root system to catch any small amount of rain over a large area. This worked well when the only mammals around were bats. But when cattle, pigs and goats came to the island their feet crushed the roots and their teeth ate the silver foliage.
Silversword

Silversword

Silversword at the summit

Silversword at the summit


Case with display of flowering silversword

Case with display of flowering silversword


At some point during its life it sends up a spectacular flowering stalk that can reach six feet in height. Each stalk can produce hundreds of maroon sunflower-like flower heads. But the silversword flowers only once, at the end of its lifetime, produces seeds and then dies.

In an effort to prevent the species from becoming extinct the park rangers are hand pollinating the flowers, collecting the seeds and raising seedlings.
Silversword with two spent stalks

Silversword with two spent stalks


Silversword that has flowered

Silversword that has flowered


I didn't see a silversword flowering stalk - only plants that had flowered. But the plant itself was sufficiently astonishing.
Stay on the trail

Stay on the trail


Warnings

  • Stay on designated trails. Off-trail hiking can kill plants such as the silversword which has wide shallow roots
  • Enter on foot - no bikes allowed on trails. Other prohibited activities include: hunting, use of firearms, rollerblading, and skateboarding
  • Be alert for signs of altitude sickness - nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, headache. The summit is 10,023 ft.
  • The weather can change suddenly - dress in layers and bring rain and cold weather gear
  • Wear a hat, sunscreen and sun glasses

The lower visitor's center had bathrooms.
Men's room

Men's room


The upper one (11 miles up the road) had less comfortable bathrooms.
Road into the cloud

Road into the cloud

View from the top

View from the top

Looking out from the side of the mountain

Looking out from the side of the mountain

Haleakala Visitor Center - Sunrise to 3:00 pm
Near the summit of Haleakala, 9,700' elevation. Ten miles from the park entrance off the Park Road. Interpretive exhibits on the natural, geologic and cultural heritage of Haleakala. Restrooms, Hawaii Natural History Assoc sales area. NO Public phones, NO Food or Gas available.
Visitors Center

Visitors Center


House of the Sun certificate

House of the Sun certificate


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You are here

You are here


The next eruption

The next eruption

DSCF0379.JPGSculpture of the islands

Sculpture of the islands

Model of the islands of Hawaii

Model of the islands of Hawaii

Another endangered species habitat sign

Another endangered species habitat sign


There was a ranger explaining the various kinds of lava, with examples to show.
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Peak in the crater

Peak in the crater


The crater was amazing, It looks like the surface of the moon. The ticket for the excursion we took from the cruise ship to the summit said "Not for those prone to motion sickness" (because the the extremely windy road to the summit), and "No respiratory or heart problems". Fortunately there was no medical release form to sign so I didn't have to lie. While I was not pregnant, I do have heart and respiratory conditions. I have no motion sickness problems and. I am apparently not subject to altitude sickness. My grandson was and my sister also is (even though neither of them are pregnant and my grandson does not have heart or respiratory conditions.
Views from the top

Views from the top

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I am not able to hike, but even if you can't hike, the view from the summit is amazing. The summit area of Haleakala; National Park has over 30 miles of hiking trails. Trails range from just 10 minutes to multi-day overnight trips. Trails are strenuous in the Summit Area because the high-elevation causes a lower concentration of oxygen in each breath. Altitude sickness is a concern. Be on guard for symptoms: nausea, headache, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Pregnant women and people with heart or respiratory conditions should consult their doctor before visiting and hiking in the Summit Area.

The ship offered a sunrise visit to the volcano crater at Pu'u Ula Ula (Red Hill), the pinnacle of Haleakala, at 10,023 feet. Continental breakfast is served, prior to sunrise. The pick-up time is at 3:30 am.
Observatory

Observatory


There is an observatory up here (not open to visitors) because the air is very clear up here so another activity that is possible is to come up here to see the stars. The visual horizon in many places in the Summit area is up to 115 miles out to sea which means you can look over to the volcanoes on the Big Island.
Observatory

Observatory


The National Park website says:

With world-class night sky conditions, Haleakala also offers one of the most easily accessible places to watch planets, stars and moons after dark. Rent a pair of 10x50 or 7x50 binoculars at one of the island dive shops, pick up a star map at the Park Headquarters Visitor Center or the Haleakala Visitor Center, and see if you can find the moons of Jupiter.

Top of the crater

Top of the crater


Looking across the crater

Looking across the crater


Looking across the crater

Looking across the crater

Looking into the crater

Looking into the crater

We saw these horses up at the summit. Apparently a company called Pony Express Tours does rides both at the Crater and lower. They also have a ranch down lower on the volcano that offers ziplines.
Trail ride horses at the top

Trail ride horses at the top


These horses were probably for the Ka Moa O Pele Junction Ride. This ride descends Sliding Sands Trail to the Crater floor 2500 ft. below where a well deserved picnic lunch is served featuring our delicious croissant sandwiches! Round trip is 7.5 awe inspiring miles taking around 4 hours. Prior riding experience is recommended. Check in first at the ranch office, then continue up to the Visitor Center Parking lot just past mile marker 20 to meet your guide. Reservations required.

"This is an outdoor ride at an elevation, so sprinkles and wind can come and go. We provide full rain gear and are looking for people ready for an adventure!"

This ride is not for first time riders. Children, especially, between 10-12 years of age should have been riding a minimum of 6 times and be on the athletic, adventurous, and mature side

Our crater horseback tours take place at the world famous Haleakala Crater, approximately 10,000 ft above sea level. We suggest that you wear long pants, closed toe shoes like a sneaker, dress in layers with a warm outer jacket, hat, and maximum sunscreen. Rarely do we have a rider that has a problem with the elevation, but it is something to consider before going on a crater ride.

There was also a gift shop - the Hawai'i Natural History Assn Bookstore: National Park Gift Shop
Sweatshirt Hoodies $39.95

Sweatshirt Hoodies $39.95

CDs and T-shirts

CDs and T-shirts

large_4863357-DVD_2495_Haleakala_National_Park.jpgDVD $24.95 and Coloring book $4.95

DVD $24.95 and Coloring book $4.95


This shop has items to purchase for gifts or for greater understanding of the Hawaiian volcanoes. Proceeds from the sales in park visitor centers and the web site are returned directly to the Park Service. There is also an on-line store.
My grandson bought his little sister a
100_5499.jpgStuffed `I`iwi Bird -  Present for his little sister,  It squeaks when you push a button on the bottom

Stuffed `I`iwi Bird - Present for his little sister, It squeaks when you push a button on the bottom


It was made in China
Headquarters of the trail ride ranch

Headquarters of the trail ride ranch


On the way down we stopped for a snack at a roadside stand,
x100_5493.jpgSunrise Country Market

Sunrise Country Market


Rest stop

Rest stop


This was the place where we had a bathroom and snack stop - we got here right about noon. They advertise hot coffee, breakfast, sandwiches, gifts and the Protea Flower Gardens. I understand that some of the cycle tour people also stop here.

Flowers

Flowers

Flowers at stop

Flowers at stop

Roadside flowers

Roadside flowers


I didn't go in and buy anything, but I did take some pictures of flowers in the vicinity. We saw horse farms
x100_5509.JPGHorses  from the bus

Horses from the bus


and the sugar cane factory.
Sugar cane

Sugar cane


100_5517.JPGSugar cane factory

Sugar cane factory


We got back to the ship about 1300.

When you get back on the ship, first a guard comes and has to see a photo ID and the ship card of everyone on the bus (my grandson has been carrying the copy of his passport photo instead of the passport, and I have been using my driver's license), and then you have to go through a full security scan like at the airport, except you don't have to take off your shoes. I forgot that I had my cell phone the first time and had to be wanded. After we got on board again, we had lunch in the buffet as the dining room is never open for lunch.
Lunch from the buffet

Lunch from the buffet


My grandson went up and participated in a soccer tournament and got the second place trophy which was a sports drink cooler/bottle. (Orange).
Orange drink bottle

Orange drink bottle


I went to Trivia and won a deck of cards. My grandson likes to see the food before he decides what he wants, so he ate in the buffet. I ate in the dining room and had cheese cauliflower soup, beef stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff


and Dark Chocolate Orange Bavarian Cream.

The cabin steward gets to our room quite late - I have to stay dressed longer than I would like. When he got to our room he made a cobra out of the bedspread (which is just kind of a scarf thing across the bed and not a full bedspread).
n100_5542.JPGBedspread cobra

Bedspread cobra


I asked him what the round thing in the bathroom was and apparently it is where you put a sharps container if you need one.

The other thing that happened to my grandson this evening was that he missed a step and fell. He landed on his pocket where he had put his camera and smashed his camera screen (it still works - you just can't see the pictures until you download them). It is fortunate that I took all my cameras with me as he can now go back to using the one that he had in Yellowstone.

The second cruise I took to Hawaii Disappointing Maui - 2 November 2017

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:08 Archived in USA Tagged sunrise maui hawaii horseback endangered endemic silversword haleakala

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Comments

Beautiful views from the top of the volcano. Pretty spectacular.

by irenevt

Yes - I was really happy to have seen it. I had no idea of what I was going to see when I signed up for the trip.

by greatgrandmaR

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