50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration in Hawaii
July 21 to 30, 2006

Page 8 -- Haleakala and North Maui
Posted August 11, 2006
2006, Herbert E. Lindberg

On Thursday, July 27, Andy, Nadia, Jan and I each packed a lunch and headed to Haleakala, with Andy driving.  As we passed through about 3000 to 5000 feet Andy pointed out that the vegetation was very similar to that in northern California: eucalyptus intermingled with oak trees and grassy fields.  The similarity was striking.  Farther along the way there was a great variety of trees, all of which had been imported by a guy who wanted to develop a logging industry.  For the most part he failed because the soil layer is too shallow to support large, healthy trees.  However, the trees make for nice shaded trails through the highlands.  

As we neared the top of the broad Haleakala mountain, a northwest view back along our route took in the entire "head" of Maui, from Kahului on the north (back of the neck) to Ma'alaea harbor on the south (the chin).  I  took a series of shots to form a panorama but give only the left and right extremes here.  Too bad I left my polarizing filter back at our condo.

Kahului and the easterly facing coast north of it.

Crop into the above photo, showing Kahului in more detail.  I believe that's a cruise ship in the harbor.

At the left end of the panoramic view is Ma'alaea Bay

When we arrived at a lookout parking lot near the 10,000-foot summit, I took a few steps from the car and concluded something was weird.  After a few more steps it dawned on me that out-of-shape 75-year-olds are going to have a problem at this altitude.  Everything went fine, but I climbed all stairs very slowly (as advised by signs) and stayed near the car when the others went on short walks to explore the summit.  One heart attack, almost exactly 10 years ago, is enough for me!

We continued to the top of the mountain to stop first at the observatory and crater lookout.

Haleakala crater viewed from summit lookout.

A small turn to the left reveals the visitor center below at the crater's rim.

A more zoomed picture of the crater, still from the summit.

The requisite evidence that Andy and I are at the summit.

Then hop back in the car and drive back down to the Visitor Center at the crater's rim.

Only a panorama does justice to the crater on this beautiful day.

Nadia and Jan just before hopping back into the car for the trip down the mountain.

Instead of driving directly back to the roads skirting Kahului as we had come, we stayed wiggling north through Makawao and on to Pe'ahi on the north coast.  This gave Nadia and Jan a feel for some of the winding back roads and the beginning of Hana Highway, and also brought us to Ho'okipa Beach and Park, "The Wind Surfing Capital of the World."  Just as we dropped down to the coast at Pe'ahi, we passed a fence made entirely of surfboards.  We had to stop for a closer look at this!

The surf board fence in Pe'ahi near the north coast.

We then drove along the ocean and Andy stopped just outside Pa'ia at the marked lookout point to observe the wind surfers.  It was a spectacular sight, even though we were at least a quarter mile away and looking directly into the setting sun.  Dozens of surfers darted hundreds of yards out to sea just for the fun of speed, and then darted back toward shore and around here and there.  In between, many of them did 360-degree back flips by charging under full sail back into an oncoming wave, sometimes failing in spectacular nose dives into the water.  Within seconds they were back up on the board to dart around once more.

As we pulled out of the lookout point we passed the beach and parking lot at which the wind surfers were doing their thing.  This view was much closer, with the sun on our left, and the sails made a colorful madcap dance on the waves.  However, it was 4:30 p.m. so we figured we'd better begin our long drive back to Wailea and the rest of the family.

Six of the dozens of surfers darting around like fireflies at Ho'okipa Beach.

I salted all this into my mind with a thought that when Mary and I drove to the airport on Sunday we could drive on to Pa'ia and get a look at the surfers in noontime sun.  For whatever reason there were no wind surfers, even though we went back again in the afternoon after lunch in Pa'ia and a leisurely drive to Makawao to browse the art galleries.  Our consolation prize was water surfers in nice lighting.  Only one problem: I had only a 17-85 mm lens because I didn't want to lug my 28-200 mm to Hawaii and risk losing it.  Surfer images are therefore small and fuzzy but plenty good for memories.  Like the windsurfers on Thursday, there were dozens of surfers buzzing around in various stages of their runs.

Typical group of surfers trying to catch a wave.  Two of these six were successful, a typical ratio.

Three surfers on successful runs.  The guy at the top is doing a 180-degree board flip from side to side.

Same guy in another stage of his trick on another run.

After a half hour of this Mary and I drove back into Pa'ia and had a very nice lunch on the corner of Hana Highway and Baldwin Avenue, the only stoplight in town.  Then we drove about eight miles up the mountain on Baldwin Avenue to visit the little town of Makawao.  After another try to see the wind surfers we gave up and headed for the airport three hours early for our flights home.

Page 9 -- Wailea Shoreline Walk  |  Family Hub