Friday, September 20, 2019

Atop the Mountain

From about 9000' Elevation
Haleakala, Hawaii
September 19, 2019
Mountains are sacred to the Hawaiians. Today I was honored to venture to the top of Haleakala, an extinct volcano, for a tour and discussions. While there I was able to pay my respects to the Hawaiian peoples. From Wikipedia I learned, early Hawaiians applied the name Haleakalā ("house of the sun") to the general mountain. Haleakalā is also the name of a peak on the southwestern edge of Kaupō Gap. In Hawaiian folklore, the depression (crater) at the summit of Haleakalā was home to the grandmother of the demigod Māui. According to the legend, Māui's grandmother helped him capture the sun and force it to slow its journey across the sky in order to lengthen the day.

Haleakala Crater
Maui, Hawaii
September 19, 2019
The journey up the mountain was long and the road wound around many hairpin turns going from sea level to 10,000 feet. I witnessed the changes of ecosystems along the way from the lush tropical trees and plants at the base, through the farmlands and pastures, through deciduous forests, and then pine forests, and finally scrub tundra before giving way to the barren landscape of the summit and the crater. It was very stark there, but I was not on a pleasure trip, I was there for business and could not spend much time viewing the scenery--such as it was. 

It was another beautiful Maui day. Tomorrow? Travel begins again as we journey home.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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