Saturday morning, we made a quick stop at Starbucks in Lahaina and headed toward Haleakala. It seemed like a pretty good day to drive up a mountain!
We stopped at the visitor center about halfway up to use the bathroom and buy important nene-related souvenirs. I’m still convinced nene don’t actually exist, because I’ve yet to see one on a volcano.
We did see silversword, though! It blooms only once every hundred years, and the leaves are actually silver.
After a short break to help adjust to the altitude, we drove the rest of the way to the visitor center at the top. There, for a mere $1 donation, we got dated certificates saying we were there. I hope Bally was the first basketball to make it to the top of a volcano!
From the north side, you can see Kahului and the coast. It was a little cloudy, but not bad.
We drove up to the actual summit, which is only about a 20-step climb from the parking area. It’s amazingly difficult at that altitude, though; any climbing and you start breathing heavily right away.
In the distance to the south, you can see the Big Island. We’ll have to get back there next time, obviously.
silversword in bloom
We walked to the start of the Sliding Sands Trail, but decided not to attempt it this time. I’d done it before when I was in much better shape, and it’s hard work. Also, you end up with ears full of ash. I wish there was some way to express the scale of this, though… it looks so simple in photos!
We stacked some rocks before we left, too. It’s important.
We headed back down the mountain, stopping at the two overlooks along the way. The lighting and clouds weren’t right for the spectre of the brocken, but we pretended anyway. (Bally wanted to make the spectre of the basketball.)
haleakala crater with old lava flows, and the big island in the distance
clouds coming into the crater. under the right conditions, this is where the brockengespenst occurs!
On the way down, we drove through the clouds, then past the herds of cattle indicating we were back in the upcountry. (I love that there are Hawaiian cowboys!) Near the bottom of the mountain, we turned to head into Makawao, everyone’s favorite cowboy/artsy village. Before shopping, though, we needed food. We stopped at Polli’s for Mexican food and beers, and to watch the Twins’ inevitable exit from the playoffs at the hands of the Yankees. By midway through, the game was so depressing we decided to go shopping instead.
One of our stops was at Volcano Spice Company. If you visit Makawao, don’t miss this place! They have spice blends, a bunch of local coffee varieties (and our favorite, Jawaiian: half Kona, half Blue Mountain), and an awesome hippie dude behind the counter.
Post-shopping, we headed back up toward Ka’anapali. Our destination was Duke’s Beach House, at a resort north of ours on the beach. We got seats at the bar, ordered mai tais, then realized we were stuck right in front of the TV watching the Twins finish their season. At least when you have a view of the sunset like this, it makes it slightly less painful:
We talked to the bartenders for a while before heading out, because we wanted recommendations for places that were open later at night. He gave us a couple options, then joked about ‘The Goose’. We found out later it’s a local dive in Lahaina called the Sly Mongoose, so it’s now on our to-do list for next trip.
For dinner, we went up to Maui Brewing Company at a mall north of Ka’anapali. My veggie sandwich wasn’t that great, but I didn’t really care because we had the beer sampler. Via the sampler, I became acquainted with Father Damien Abbey, their Belgian Dubbel. I kind of wanted to marry it, because it was amazing.
After dinner and beer, we went back to the Lahaina Cannery Mall to check out Lulu’s, one of the bartender’s recommendations. It didn’t seem like much at first: too well-lit, too empty, too full of families. Around 10, though, that started to change. DJ Money Mike started spinning, and locals began pouring in the door. Next thing we knew, it was a club. Also, it was there that I discovered my favorite cocktail yet: a margarita rimmed with li hing mui powder. GENIUS. It’s possible I ended up licking my glass a lot.
Once again, we managed til stay out after midnight! We were on a roll.