Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 12 - TO MAUI!!! | Day 13 - Walking Amongst The Clouds

Good-bye  Big Island in Hawaii.

Hello new Hawaiian Island of Maui!

On Day 12, Monday, we traveled to Maui from Kona. Ah the open style airports are a dream!

Waiting at our Gate to go to Maui at the Kona Airport

When we arrive on Maui, which was a very short flight, we headed straight away to West Maui for the Ioa Valley, which is the place where King Kamehameha defeated the Maui warriors to gain control of Maui. It was one of the bloodiest battles ever fought on Hawaiian land. Now there stands a remnant of the massively eroded landscape, the Ioa Needle and a beautiful park dedicated to outsiders, immigrant groups who came to Hawaiian from distant lands. Each group had structures similar to their home lands and a plaque that describe when and how and sometimes why they came to the shores of Hawaii.

Ioa Needle

Having fun in the valley
Those that are represented in this park are the immigrant communities of Korea, China, Japan, The United States, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Portugal, and other Hawaiian Isalnds

Portuguese style garden
Banyan Tree
Japanese garden area

After this wonderful time, we went and found our accommodations and settled in for a huge next day (and thus my need to sleep and I was unable to update our blog yesterday). So now let's share this wonderful day with you.

DAY 13 - Walking Amongst The Clouds

Waking up early at 4:30AM we set off for one of the traditional and common activities of those who visit the island of Maui - the sun rise at the Haleakala Volcano.

Driving from sea level to 9,700 feet took a little while. Sunrise was at 7:06 and it was spectacular!

Sunrise on Haleakala at 9,740 feet  @ 20.714915,-156.2497
Visitor Center on at Haleakala

The sun in full swing at the place known in Hawaiian legend as the House of the Sun

Jenna and Brianna enjoy the new rays of the day above the clouds
It was a wonderful moment for all of us. And then we began ONE AMAZING HIKE!!!

Perhaps the longest hike of our trip, the 11.6 mile journey was to take us to the floor of the Haleakala crater, which is really more like a valley. It once looked similar to Mauna Loa as a shield volcano. Through erosion processes the shield was diminished significantly and then other volcanic events occurred on the floor and left vents, cinder cones and fields of amazing lava basalt. Professor VanKooten took the lead and we learned so much today! Let me share some of our incredible day!

Our hike started at 9740 feet above the sea shore

Hiking down through the clouds. It was 41 degrees at the top but so worth it!!!

Part of the former caldera wall in the distance

The erosional landscape in the foreground with Calvin students headed down toward the massive cinder cones.
Photo shots like this one prove that the Shifting Sands hike through Haleakala has to rate as among the top 5 hikes possible on Earth. See the clouds coming right at us up the valley and overhead.
Professor VanKooten truly in his element
For the geologists out there. Check out that dike in the center that curves down to a sill
(See Professor VanHorn is taking good notes).
Endangered Silver Sword
Inside a vent feature
Haleakala is just massive as Calvin College students show
Yep shifting sand is present on the Shifting Sand trail
At lunch, Micah shared about the Slack-Key Guitar and we even had a multimedia iPod with speakers to hear a nice little ditty!  Then Steven shared from his heart a devotional about trust in God. It was a wonderful time at lunch!  With a little rest we headed on!

Micah and Drew making their way through the crater

A Silver Sword that has blossomed and now is dying
An incredible hike on an incredible day
One last look at the basalt lava field before we go over the ridge
Professor Gerry VanKooten: "Well, should we go over that cinder cone?"
Professor Jan VanKooten: "I don't know, is there something else we can do?"
Professor Gerry VanKooten: "Well, let me think.....YES..I just need to find this rock.... (See the next image below to find the rock he found)
A good find, once lost can be found again!
I know there is a cloud we can walk into somewhere around here?
Hawaii's State Bird. The Ne Ne (pronounced Nay Nay). This was at a fine resting place before we ascended the mountainside with a massive 1200 foot climb over 3 miles
The start of the switch back climb on this incredible caldera wall

Switch backs up and up and up. The clouds were rolling in at this elevation
Near the top at 8000 feet
The first finishers: Chad, Ty, and Grant @ 1hour 6 minutes. Bill and Jacklyn were 9 minutes behind. Great climb! (Don't worry, it was NOT a race - but these Calvin students were very motivated!)
Professor VanHorn at the top, finished 6th, and just was thrilled to have made it. I can say that it was the hardest, longest and most elevated hike I have ever accomplished!
Sunrise to Sunset - an end to a perfect day taken from our lanai in Kihei, Maui

Miles Hiked today and yesterday 11.8
Miles Hiked in Hawaii: 44.2 miles
Miles on the car: 1087 miles
Number of U-Turns: 17
Number of times we said "Wow!" today:  about a million

Whale watching tomorrow with coastal views of the landscape. HELLO!

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