H a w a i i



Maui is shaped like a non-symmetrical peanut shell. The mountain on the north end of the island, the West Maui Mountain, is a product of separate volcanic activity than the mountain of the south end of the island, the Haleakala Mountain.

During our last visit to the island we never saw either peak. The peak to the north is the 5,788 ft. Puu Kukui. It receives about 400 inches of rainfall a year and is considered one the wettest spots on the planet. The photo above looks north at Puu Kukui. You can see the mountain engulfed by clouds as it snatches moisture from the North Pacific Trade Winds.

However, what prompted these two photos was what can be seen below. The un-clouded 10,023 ft. Haleakala Mountain peak, Puu Ulaula. According to Polynesian legend, this is where the demigod Maui captured the sun to give his people more daylight hours. Now there are observatories on the mountain's crest capturing starlight.

In 1998 we took the early, leaving the hotel at 2 AM, ride to the top of Haleakala to watch the sunrise and bicycle down the mountain. However, it was raining and near freezing at sunrise. So, much for the biking. The beach and ocean felt very good that day.

© B. Green & L. Brown 2000

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