Day 52 – Blue Moon Crater Hike – Haleakala, Maui

A full/blue moon hike through Haleakala Crater. What a way to end my yearlong journey of learning to have fun!

Yep, that's where we're headed.

Yep, that’s where we’re headed.

 

Haleakala, Hawaiian for “house of the sun.”

 

 

 

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Kim and Wray - the beginning of the hike

Kim and Wray – the beginning of the hike

Driving up the crater we passed through a layer of clouds that were blanketing Kula, and into the sun, 10,000 feet above Maui.

Up top, the weather was perfect; the sky was clear, the colors from the setting sun were beautiful, and the rising full/blue moon was spectacular!

Happy to have experienced it!

We started our hike on the green dot and ended, it many hours later, on the red dot.

We started our hike on the green dot and ended, it many hours later, on the red dot.

Over the years I have hiked at Haleakala Crater many times; done day hikes, as well as staying at the cabins.

One time I started the hike at Switchback, then crawled up Sliding Sands…I fiercely do not recommend hiking that direction! (I know, who uses the word fiercely, but I really want to make a point.)

 

Blue Moon Rising

Blue Moon Rising

 

And now, I have finally done my once in a blue moon nighttime hike 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Kim, Steven, Wray, Tanya, Jamie, Noah - at the beginning of our journey.

Kim, Steven, Wray, Tanya, Jamie, Noah – at the beginning of our journey.

 

Our trekking tribe consisted of Steven and me, Tanya and Jamie, Kim and Noah.

We started at 4:30 P.M.

 

About an hour later we bumped into Andy from Edmonton (unfortunately for him, he hadn’t read this blog and he was hiking up Sliding Sands);

Tanya, Jamie & Steven, starting down Sliding Sands

Tanya, Jamie & Steven, starting down Sliding Sands

he’d run out of water 5+ miles earlier, and was grateful to learn that Tanya had 100oz of water with her and she was more than willing to give some away, versus carrying it through the crater.

 

 

 

 

 

Tanya, and Andy from Edmonton

Tanya, and Andy from Edmonton

Our hiking companions were the best! We had the perfect mixture of laughter (very necessary on a hike like this) & silence (also necessary).

 

Steven and had never seen so many Silverswords.

Steven and had never seen so many Silverswords.

 

 

 

As you can see, the Silversword plants, found only in Hawai’i, were abundant.

 

 

 

KimRocks

 

We stopped at the bottom of Sliding Sands for a snack, then again at Holua cabin—where we connected with a group of hikers (they were staying the night at the cabin, hence the name cabin dwellers), and like Andy from Edmonton, they looked like they’d been dropped into the crater to do an ad for the Patagonia catalog; all very nice people, and all very beautiful. (Click the photo & see for yourself. Seriously, they were stunning; originating from Fiji, Australia, Delaware and Haiku.)

Cabin Dwellers

Cabin Dwellers

 

Click on the photos to enlarge.

 

Had dinner...time to head up Switch Back

Had dinner…time to head up Switch Back

By the time we reached the bottom of Switchback, it was going on 10:00 P.M., about our bedtime.

 

 

We watched as 15 year-old Noah (15 years-old, just wanted to stress that point in self-defense) practically jogged up the hill, with his mom, Kim, close behind; while the rest of us were ready to lie down on the trail and sleep, until the beautiful cabin dwellers came by to wake us on their climb out the next morning.

 

To bruise our tired egos a bit more, a couple that sounded British came bounding past us; they’d started hiking from Sliding Sands at 7:00 P.M. (if you recall, I posted that we started at 4:30 P.M.); oddly enough, they looked like models too—but I was too tired to take their photo.

Several hours later, Tanya, Jamie, Steven and your’s truly, dragged our bodies to the parking lot, where we found Kim and Noah, wrapped in blankets that we’d left in the truck, shivering, waiting for our arrival.

Noah & Kim tucked into the back of the truck.

Noah & Kim tucked into the back of the truck.

Kim said she wasn’t even sure if it was Steven’s truck, but they didn’t care, it was the only one with blankets and they were cold.

Online the temp said the floor of the crater was 49 degrees, and up top, where Kim and Noah had to wait…forever…it was in the high 30’s.

 

The end of not only a long day, but of my yearlong journey of learning to have fun...and I did :)

The end of not only a long day, but of my yearlong journey of learning to have fun…and I did 🙂

 

Right now, in this moment, Steven and I do not feel we will be making a trek through the crater again.

Over the years, we have done it enough times, and there are other hikes, other places we’d like to experience. Time will tell.

But, if you are up for it, it’s a spectacular hike, and we highly recommend it.

It took us two days to recover from all the fun that we had. Now I can walk up and down our stairs without my calves rebelling.

So, this is it…the end of my yearlong journey. If I never have a day of fun again, at least I know that I’d taken the time to do almost everything on Maui that I’d been missing out on all of these years.

AfterDanceUs

I want to thank Kim, Noah, Tanya, and Jamie for making our trek through the crater so enjoyable; it’s always nice to share the pain with people that are willing to laugh their way through it.

Next week there will be one more posting…just when you thought you were rid of me :)

Until then, Aloha Nui Loa