Thursday, March 19, 2015
Haleakala National Park
Yesterday was the last day in Hawaii for Travalon and me, unfortunately. We spent a leisurely morning at the beach and then went to Haleakala National Park, on a huge extinct volcano. We drove up and up, to 7500 feet of elevation, where the visitors' center was located. They often see the state bird around there, the nene, a flightless goose, but we were not so lucky. I had wanted to see the silverswords, a rare plant that only grows in the volcanic rock at the crater, so we had to drive up a very scary road with no guardrails to 10,000 feet of elevation. That's higher than Quito, Ecuador, the highest capital city in the world! From up there the views of lower peaks rising above the clouds were amazing. We saw the silverswords, which look a little like silver agaves, but they aren't blooming now. They do that in the summer. Each plant can live 50 years, then blooms once and dies. Then we went to a cute historic town we'd seen a sign for on the highway, and then we went to Kihei, another resort area on the southwest coast of Maui. Finally we had dinner at that restaurant recommended to us our first night on the island, before taking an overnight flight to Denver. Neither of us slept on it. We had a three-hour layover in Denver, so we had a relaxed breakfast before our flight home. And now we are back to the cold. Sigh...