I left the ziplining, and had tea and lunch in Hula, before driving to Haleakala State Park, for hiking and the sunset. Hiking fairly easily at 8000 feet -- and, for me, it was easier going up than down -- I was given another reminder of the blessings of the weight loss.
The first part of my journey in Haleakala was amazing! Here are the sites of the cinder cones and crater views I had on my journey on the Halemau'u Trail, as well as other spectacular sites:
In the parking lot, I realize I will be hiking above the clouds!:
The views of the clouds are visible throughout the hike:
I've reached the point where I can view the craters and cinder cones:
More clouds below:
And the sunset from the summit later:
The sun is saying goodbye :( :
A couple of warnings about this hike -- this was the first experience I had on Hawaii of several where it was important to have done my own research beforehand, because the assistance that I got from staff and fellow hikers -- which was significant -- was not always sufficient to prepare one for the journey. I still had trouble with another planned hike, having trouble reading their signs, and not all directions from staff were completely clear to me when I arrived at the park.
Next, even with fair warning from staff, I was friggin' COLD up there at 11,000 feet, even though I had a sweater and jacket on. Now, remember, I am 140 pounds lighter than I was 19 or 20 months ago, so that played a factor, but not everyone was as prepared as I was. This is important. Temperatures dipped to the low 50s on this summer day. Be prepared to be cold, but the sunset is worth it.
Finally -- and this is no one's fault but my own -- I only recently decided I don't want to be sunburned anymore, and was wearing sunscreen on this hike. The problem was, I didn't know if you put it above your eyes, then exercise as I was during the hike, it would get into your eyes. Oops! I would make this mistake the next day, too, as I'll describe. So it was tough for me to see, and the sun was GLARING!
There was also the steep descent down by car -- quite a travel for which I have no pictures -- I was driving.
All things considered, I have some great memories, and wouldn't have missed it for the world. You live and learn. Here is the link to the park, with information on the hikes:
I had a lot of difficulty driving with the pain in my eyes. I stopped by the airport for my final meal of the day, finding a highly recommended restaurant, Marco's Grill and Deli, which was fortunately open until just a half hour after my arrival:
My waitress, Chantal,was wonderful! She took time to answer all my dietary questions, and made sure to be clear that her most recommended sandwich -- The Meatball Parmigiano Italiano -- was too big for my diet, as good as it might have been. No matter -- the pastrami sandwich with salad below was quite sufficient and excellent!:
I highly recommend the restaurant. Here is a link with their menu, without the prices:
The drive to my accommodations from the restaurant was difficult, as my eyes were still in pain, but I look back fondly. Haleakala provided me with great memories I will never forget, and I thank Chantal for her excellent service at Marco's Grill and Deli during a tough time for me physically! Hopefully, your trip to Halekala is even better!