On Day 2 of our Maui trip Jim & myself, Pop & Susie all piled into Pop’s rental car [Jim & I rented a Jeep which we decided we hated before even leaving the airport parking lot] and headed to Kula Botanical Garden & Haleakalā Volcano. Unfortunately Auntie wasn’t feeling well, so she sat this trip out. We missed you Auntie!!! ♥
Haleakalā is a massive [dormant] shield volcano making up more than 75% of Maui. The crater rises to 10,023 feet. Kula Botanical Garden is on the slopes of Haleakalā at 3,300 feet. It’s a decent day trip, as the drive from Lāhainā to Kula takes an hour, and the drive from Kula to the top of Haleakalā takes another hour up a very steep zig-zaggy road. Jim & I had visited both sites in 2015, but Haleakalā was under heavy cloud cover & we saw nothing. It was one of my biggest regrets from our first trip to Maui. But not this time!!!
The Botanical garden was first:
There’s a strange little bug in the pink flower if you look closely:
Jim’s shots of me & Susie, and Pop:
Seeing a NeNe goose is always a treat:
Some of the flowers look very alien [aka that creepy white one – it reminds me of a Star Trek episode [or maybe Twilight Zone?] where the flowers shot spores into the astronauts faces and killed them]:
Then it was up the volcano to the top! I took over 200 photos [206 to be exact, not including the pics I took at the Botanical Garden] because I was SO OVERJOYED that the weather was clear & sunny! Last time we went it was pea soup fog and I wasn’t able to see any part of the crater. It’s cold up there – we all brought sweatshirts/jackets. I was so happy to learn we could see the Big Island of Hawaii from the top of Haleakalā! Those 2 bumps out to sea are Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa – so cool:
I have tried to narrow down my photos to the bare minimum. It was very hard. It’s a total alien landscape up there:
Jim, Pop, & Susie next to the observation building – inside it tells you what you’re looking at. There’s also an observatory on top of Haleakalā:
Total alien landscape:
There was also this adorable little bird [which I’ve since learned is a chukar partridge] doing adorable little bird things in the parking lot:
We also got to see the very rare Silver Sword plant, which only grows on Haleakalā crater, and only above 7,000 feet:
As we were getting ready to leave, the mist started rolling in. I’ll always be eternally thankful it held off as long as it did!!!:
As a funny aside, Jim’s coworker Glenn Sears went to Maui with his wife in August. Jim got to work after Glenn left, & instead of seeing his zombie garden gnome [which I gave him as a gift years ago], he saw this note:
And then Glenn emailed Jim these pictures of the zombie gnome on top of Haleakalā! LOL!!!
I can’t believe he got a park ranger/policeman to hold the gnome! LOL…
I asked Jim “why didn’t we ever think of kidnapping the gnome and taking him on vacation?” LOL!!! I’m glad Glenn and his wife [and the gnome] also enjoyed a clear day on Haleakalā!
Back in Lahaina we had a fabulous dinner [I can’t remember what or where, I just remember the amazing Mai Tai & the glass it came in]:
Then gathered with everyone else who wandered over to the pier to enjoy the sunset:
Stay tuned for Part 3 where we visited Maui Winery & took a ride on a submarine!