Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hawaii, Day One, continued... Inside Haleakala State Park, here is the park headquarters. Although it also says Visitor Center, there is another one close to the top. The silversword plant shown here grows only in Hawaii and is very rare. Signs warned us not to walk even close to them since it damages their roots and caused their near-extinction. Between May and October, the plants bloom with sunflower-like purple bouquets.

C and Mom are standing in front of the Visitor Center near the edge of the crater. As you can see, it is at 9740 feet. I took another photo of them at the summit, but the building is not as attractive since it is just a viewing shelter.

Before going to the top, C and I climbed this rocky hill for a view into the crater. The photo below is what we saw. There are walking trails going off in several directions through the red sand. Definitely a must-do for our next trip!

While we were at the top, we saw the clouds rolling in across the parking lot below - where Mom is waiting for us in the car second from the right in the middle row! :)
Here's a shot of C with the crater behind him. The wisps of steam are clouds - the volcano has not been active in hundreds of years.

Here is the Haleakala Observatory near the top. The domes of "Science City" can be seen from miles away reflecting in the sunlight.

The view from the top is spectacular in every direction. I included this one with the road in it to show a bit of depth. Remember we climbed from sea level to 10023 feet in a morning.


Danyelle Kessler said...

Aloha, missed you! Gorgeous photos! Looks like you enjoyed Hawaii.

Alicia said...

Wow! I want to visit Hawaii someday, that plant looks interesting!

Angel said...

Wow, it really makes me miss it! Such awesome pics! Love that whale tail!!!

Jenn said...

WOW! What awesome pictures!! I also would love to visit Hawaii someday too!!