Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 11 - Iao Needle & Haleakala

January 22, 2010 - Maui

We started the day with breakfast at a local restaurant named Tasty Crust. It was written up in Frommers Travel, so Sigrid wanted to try it. We all had Loco Moco. This is a Hawaiian favorite for all times of the day. It is a bed of steamed rice covered with a hamburger patty and brown gravy. All this is topped with two eggs any way you like them. It is really good and a must eat if you come to the islands.

The Iao Needle.

A great battle was fought in this valley between King Kamehameha and the King of Maui. Remember him from and earlier post? This was the first battle between the two. Many were killed but Kamehameha won. This added another island to the Kingdom of Hawaii that Kamehameha was building. I guess the Maui King survived this battle because Kamehameha kicked his butt again on Oahu and finally united all the islands. Some guys learn slow. This photo shows the valley leading to the city below and eventually the sea. The stream running down this valley was blocked by dead bodies after the battle.

Just below the needle, they have a nice park with memorials to all the Korean, Chinese, and Japanese immigrants who worked the sugar cane fields and helped build Hawaii.

Sigrid enjoyed the park.

There are lots of strange but beautify plants and trees in Hawaii.

Edel in the Korean pagoda.

A Nene (Hawaiian goose) on the way to the summit of Haleakala.

Haleakala is a dormant volcano that makes up the eastern side of Maui. It is 10,023 feet high from sea level and continues down for many thousands of feet under the sea. As I recall, it is actually taller than Mt. Everest when the under water portion is considered. We are above the cloud level in this photo and still had 2,000 feet to go to the summit.

The government has a tracking station on the summit where they monitor all the space junk that floats around the earth in orbit.
You can see the volcanoes on the Big Island from the summit.

Sigrid & Edel at the top of Maui.

I was so proud of myself for being old and getting my lifetime National Parks Pass. Once you are 62 you pay $25 for the pass and never have to pay at any National Park again. Those in the car with you also get in free.

These strange bushes are the Silver Sword plant. The only place in the world that they grow is at the top of Haleakala. The plants live for up to 50 years and bloom only once before they die.

Haleakala's crater.

A panoramic view of the crater.

Edel's new drinking buddy.

We went back to Paia Town for dinner. Paia is an old plantation town. It is now a series of shops and restaurants. A pretty neat little town. We ate at Milagros Food Co., a Mexican eatery. We all loved the food. I had a seafood enchilada that was unbelievably good. It was the best enchilada, of any kind, I have ever had.

Later that evening, I realized that I had made a big mistake as the day began. I figured that after 10 days in the sun and planning a day without lots of exposure, I could do without the sun screen. I was so wrong. Not only did we spend the entire day in the sun, we also spent lots of time above the cloud cover and haze while on Haleakala. Days later, as I write this, I am still peeling.

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