On our last full day in Hawaii, Stephanie and I woke up at 4:30am so that we could get to Haleakalā in time for sunrise. Not only was the drive to the top one of the shortest drives with the highest elevation gains in the world (from sea level to 10,000ft in a mere 38 miles) the temperature also dropped from a tropical 70°F to an alpine 40°F. Brrr.
Once the sun was officially up, we began to hike down into the volcanic crater, an awe-inspiring landscape that made us feel like we’d been transported to another planet. We’ve been on some great hikes and seen some amazing things together, but this was a whole ‘nother level of expansive desolation. Our minds were blown at every turn. We hiked down to the rim of Ka Luʻu O ka ʻŌʻō, one of many “smaller” cinder cones within the crater, and then began the long, slow process of climbing back out.