Thursday Feb 21.
Not a lot of my pictures to choose from.
We all went to Haleakala National Park. Our drive this morning started much more favorably than Monday when basically the park was shut down. Those of you who read the Smithsonian magazine may remember the article in the December 2011 issue. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/Descending-Into-Hawaiis-Haleakala-Crater.html?device=ipad
The weather varies dramatically at different elevations and at different times of the day. So, each of the three groups had different experiences.
Deb and Rebecca went horseback riding down to the crater floor from the summit. Or at least they tried to. The group got started but were only out for about 30 minutes before the guides had to call it quits due to bad weather. They came back up and did some hiking around the summit. Rebecca was unable to take many decent photos. Their ride started after 9:30 so the weather was already different for them than the rest of us.
The two Sarahs set out for their 11 mile hike at 8 AM. Chris and I drove a second car so their car could be dropped off at a lower elevation at the end of the hike. We then drove them to the summit for their hike. They managed the hike from 10,000 feet down to 6,000 feet and then back up to the car at the 7500 foot elevation in 5.75 hours. The normal is 6-8 hours.
They got some nice shots, not sure yet if I will be able to post them here or if you have to check out their Facebook pages. However, the weather was never great. Sometimes okay, many times wet. (More later on this.)
Chris and I planned to do a hike from the trailhead where they were going to finish. It was about 2-4 miles depending on when you stopped but most importantly the elevation is around 7500 feet. We had discovered previously that hiking at elevations over 9000 feet caused us altitude sickness.
After dropping off Sarah and Sarah, we explored the summit area which gave us brief short views before cloud cover eliminated all views. We went back to the 7500 foot trailhead and discovered it was raining. The rain continued off and on, sometimes drizzly and sometimes very hard. We waited around for over an hour and then headed out. We only made it out for a mile or so before turning back. Few views were possible and cold rain made the journey unpleasant. It also made us concerned about the toll the weather might be taking on the two Sarahs.
We visited the ranger station and did buy some hoodies and t-shirts for them to get warm in when the hike was over. We did not remember if they had packed a change of clothing (they had so we have souvenir clothing from Maui.) We hung around the finish trail head joined by Deb and Rebecca who had finished their partial ride and hiking.
Sarah and Sarah emerged from the crater trail at 1:50 to cheers from the family. They were wet and chilly so it was important for them to get warm.
The three groups all headed back through heavy rain to Makena where it was warm, dry and relaxing. Friday we head to Kailua-Kona on the big island.
Sarah L sent me great crater views which I can not figure out how to insert here. We will have to do a separate post just for some of them.
Ed Feb 21, 10:15 pm