Monday, January 30, 2006



Haleakala is Hawaiian for "House of the Sun" and it's the name of the highest volcanic peak in Maui. It got its name from Hawaiian legend, which states a demigod forced the sun to slow down as it passed over the peak of this volcano, and for the shape of the shadow it casts on the lower valley at sunrise. (It looks like the outline of a house. An incredible picture, but one that I woefully forgot to take due to a momentary brain-fart.)

Nathalie and I drove up to the peak of this volcano to watch the sun rise. Then afterwards we hiked into the crater to have a closer look at the aftermath of a volcano.

As expected, there's a gazillion volcanic rock pieces everywhere, with the occasional bush scattered about. We were surprised to find a few birds that were running around up there. "Up there" being 10,000 ft above sea level. It was also a frigid 45 degrees, made considerably worse by the high wind.

These are pictures of the inside of the crater. The volcano had several smaller scale eruptions after the "big one", and that's why you see those smaller craters.

Anyway, after about an hour and a half of hiking down the crater, we decided to get back up to the car, back to the warmth, and back to someplace with food. However, this was much easier in theory than in practice, for Nathalie and I were used to living in New Orleans, which is about an average of 3 feet BELOW sea level. So at 10,000 feet above sea level, our bodies weren't prepared for the demands of hiking back up to the crater's edge. The artic temperatures didn't help much either. It wasn't long before our bodies raised up the white flag and just quit.

It took us awhile, but we made it out. We nicknamed this event of our honeymoon the March of Death.