Day 1: We landed in Maui. Upon arriving, we realized that we couldn't check into our hotel for a few hours, so we made a few changes to our plan, went to a grocery story to get sandwich supplies (kinda funny that we were doing that on the sandwich islands), then headed up to Haleakalā. We had seen from the plane that even thought it was really cloudy over the entire island, Haleakalā was above the clouds.
This picture also signaled that I was able to complete another goal for this year: visit a new-to-me national park
We went to the Hosmer Grove and saw some native birds like the 'Apapane and 'I'iwi. Then we continued driving up the mountain, stopping to do a short hike here and there.
Connor could be his own Hike The National Parks advertising campaign
We stayed around long enough to watch the sunset at the top. It was beautiful. On our way down, we decided to park for a bit and watch the stars come out. It didn't take long for a good view of the Milky Way to show up.
Day 2: Originally we were planning to give Haleakalā a full day, but after having had such a good taste of it, we decided to drive the Road to Hāna instead. It was a tough day. The road is quite twisty and an hour into the two hour drive a woman flagged us down to tell us a tree had fallen and that we should turn back. I told Connor that I had a hard time believing that there wouldn't be a local with a chainsaw in their truck. We soldiered on and were pleased to find that my hunch was correct. Someone had cut limbs off of the tree so that smaller cars could pass under it on one of the two lanes.
Our goal for the day was to reach Wai'anapanapa State Park to see the black sand beach and dip into the fresh water pools. Well, when we arrived, we found that the famous fresh water cave pool was closed. Someone had drowned a half hour earlier after they had decided to explore the underwater cave with their cellphone flashlight in a bag. They had dropped the light (and probably got disoriented). I felt sorry for them, but also a little mad that they would have done such a dumb thing and prevent a bunch of other people from getting to experience the park. We still got to see the black sand beach, though.
We also walked into a nearby lava tube.
Then we went for a hike to search for a Pictograph that was in the area.
We never did find it, but felt confident that we found the area it should have been in.
We did spot a coconut tree getting its start in life