Haleakala, House of the Sun

Aloha from a Spring day on Maui,

Relief has come and we finally had some trade wind showers. It is raining right now and everything is greening up a bit. It does feel like spring is right around the corner.

I'm posting some beautiful pictures of one of my favorite places on the planet, Haleakala Crater.

The raw moonscape of this volcanic crater draws you in. This picture was taken by a friend of mine, David Frazier, on his early morning journey to the mountain. The dawn of this day held alot of promise as the sunlight stole away the dark blues of early morning.

The Sliding Sands trail is miles of red, black and gray lava rock dotted with the silver sword plants. The silver sword pictures posted were taken by a guest who stayed at the B&B for 5 nights. His name is Klaus Leemann and he is from Switzerland. It was interesting that during his stay there happened to be another guest from Switzerland in the house as well. Breakfast was lively this last week with some really great folks. Klaus took some beautiful photos during his stay, and it seemed that he really enjoyed the time he spent in Haleakala National Park.

Going down this trail is great, coming back up is another story. Because the climb in altitude is significant, it feels a bit like walking through cement coming back up Sliding Sands.
The tough and challenging hike through the crater is something I look forward to. I do have to spend time getting prepared for the 11 mile hike. Although it is a rewarding experience, I am definitely worn out a bit when the hike is over.

I go to Haleakala because it is visually stunning, and because it is magnificently quite. The silence of Haleakala is like no other place I have ever experienced. When you stop walking, the silence is total.......................................................... It empties you out.......... and fills you up. If you spend enough time enjoying the quiet, the layers and mind chatter slip away. The spacious feeling inside the crater, and the profound silence keeps me coming back again and again.

The last photo posted by Klaus was taken at the end of the day. Shadows are growing longer, and the wonderful day on the mountain is coming to a close.

Haleakala is in my backyard, and I am truly blessed.

Come and visit our island home, you will be glad that you did.

Mahalo for the great pictures!

A hui hou folks, see you soon.

Lana'i Island


Yesterday someone who knows me well, remarked that my voice sounded relaxed on the phone.

I agreed, having just returned from the lovely island of Lana'i. The last time I visited was many years ago in an outrigger canoe crossing the Au'au Channel, landing on the white sand beach of Manele Bay.

My recommendation for travel nowadays would be the Expeditions Ferry departing from Lahaina with 5 round trips daily. It is a comfortable 45 minute ride, with spectacular views.

From the dock, one can take a shuttle up into Lana'i City to the Dollar Car Rental to pick up a jeep, one method of transport while visiting the island, the other option being the shuttle buses that travel from town to the two beautiful resorts, and the harbor.

My brother, sister-in-law, and I rented a jeep and cruised to the windward side of the island to visit Shipwreck Beach and Keomuku where the remnants of a failed sugar cane operation lay rusting in the kiawe forest. Here is a fisherman
throwing net in front of Shipwreck.

On our return we were treated to one of the most glorious sunsets I have ever seen. We were so busy oohhing and aaahhing and taking pictures that we never made it to the acclaimed Ko'ele Lodge. The largest wood framed building in the state is an elegant country estate on green pasture land surrounded by the wonderful Cook Pines.

The beauty of the pine forest sang to me, reminding me of my childhood in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I love the magnificent Norfolk Pine in my yard at Hale Ho'okipa, and to be caressed by the alpine air in a forested landscape was indeed a special treat.

We stayed at the Hotel Lana'i, a 1923 home built by Jim Dole to house his VIP guests. Our room was comfortable with the ambiance of yesteryear. In fact, most of Lana'i City is in a bit of a time warp. Loved it!!! The pace is slow, the people were friendly, and my favorite classic plantation architecture abounded.

The Hotel Lana'i is home to the Lana'i City Grille featuring regional cuisine for a sophisticated palate. We were very satisfied and impressed with their menu , preparation and delicious flavors.

Just down from the hotel across from Dole Park, a gym, two eateries, two galleries and a few shops beckon. We visited the Mike Carroll Gallery where my family purchased a great piece of art from a Hawaii artist. Mike was fun to chat with. His gallery is tastefully appointed with quality art from all over the islands and antique furnishings from the Orient.

After breakfast, we wandered over to the Lana'i Culture and Heritage Center. Their focus is to honor the past, and enrich the future. The director, Kepa Maly, was most gracious with his time and intimate history of his beloved island. The center is temporarily housed in a small room awaiting renovations to a more worthy space.

We stopped in the Manele Bay resort on our way down to the beach. The opulence was a bit over the top for my taste, but quite stunning. If you are looking for an umbrella drink, my guess is this would be a good place to check out. It is beautifully situated overlooking the blue Pacific rimmed by a half moon white sand beach. At the beach we took a hike to view the Pu'u Pehi, commonly known as Sweetheart Rock. Breathtaking beauty that filled us up to the top before our departure on the ferry back home to Maui.

If you want an added bonus to your Maui vacation, plan a day trip to Lana'i. If you live in Hawaii, visiting Lana'i will make you sigh with nostalgia.

The trades are blowing again, all is clear and all is well.

Much Aloha,