Our last day. We pack everything up into the car, to head back up the volcano mountain of Haleakala to hike. Our flight doesn't leave until 8:45pm, so we have most of the day.
Adam in the parking lot at the hotel. Both of his back packs are on here, as well as his hip pack (to the front) and his water bottle. He didn't trust his things in the car while we were hiking, and also wanted more of a work out, so he hiked like this the whole day-- with all his luggage on his back!
On Haleakala. There is a Chuka bird with her young here. For some reason this photo didn't quite turn out.
Here's an internet image of the Chukar that I was photographing above.
This is looking down the trail inside the crater of Haleakala. I am standing next to a silversword plant, but you can't really see it-- sorry!
Here is an internet image of a silversword. This is exactly what we saw, and what the one looked like that I'm standing next to above. This plant is only found naturally on Haleakala Volcano. It grows like this, then develops a stalk later in life.
When the stalk is ready, it blooms. It usually takes the Silversword 50 years to grow and then bloom. Once it blooms, it dies, and shrivels up. We only saw young ones and dead ones, none in bloom. I read that their roots go out 6 feet from the plant to collect whatever minimal rain falls in the area. Because of this root growth, and the rarity of the plant, it's strictly prohibited to hike off the trails in Haleakala.
Looking farther across the gigantic crater. The trail is visible in the distance. To cover all this trail, it would take at least 2-4 days. There is camping permited down here in certain areas, with no facilities.
This is looking into one of the cindercones in the crater. We had to start hiking back, due to the length of time we had been on the trail, and how long it would take to get back going up-hill.
We made it to the airport with plenty of time. This time I got to carry-on BOTH my bags, so we didn't check any luggage. We ate dinner in the terminal at a nice little restaurant called Stinger Rays.
Our flight was through the night, we got to watch a bloated moon rise over the ocean from above-- it was breathtaking. Our movie was In Good Company (with Dennis Quaid). We arrived around 4 am or so in LA.
This concludes the Crazy Beautiful Vacation to Maui, Hawaii.