|No, that is not the ocean...that is fog filling the crater with whipped cream waves.|
Friday, January 11, 2013
A Taste for Adventure
So...I've lived in my town for 15 years...had kids at the same school for that time. My town isn't big and I've explored a lot of it. Of course there are always new nooks and crannies to find but I know most of it very well. I've scouted out the local "big" city...visited some other favorite parts of my state and even ventured out of state several times...but I admit it. I'm ready for more. I need some adventure, people. I need new faces, new places and maybe even some wide open spaces as The Dixie Chicks liked to sing about. I don't have a death wish or even need an adrenaline rush...I just want to explore.
When my family went to Hawaii a few weeks ago, I asked out loud who would want to visit Haleakala with me. Haleakala is the highest point in Maui. It is over 10,000 feet high, a dormant volcano, and an amazing place to see the sun rise. I had wanted to go for years but no one wanted to come with me. This time, Jack was up for it. We decided to bike down from Haleakala with a group...28 miles, all downhill, ending up at the beach.
It sounded like just the adventure I needed. It included a 2am wake up call and a very long van ride up a huge mountain in the dark. I left warm and tropical Maui and entered mountain cold. Jack popped up, we gathered our things and went looking for our shuttle. We found him in the dark and for the first time I wondered, "What have I agreed to?" It wouldn't be the last time I asked this question.
After we picked up other people and made our way to the main town of Kahului, we were given coffee and a video explaining the risks of riding a bike downhill with a group. We were told it could be raining and slippery making for a treacherous ride. (Insert above question to myself here.) It was still very dark and misty so I wasn't sure what our weather was going to be like. They passed out nylon waterproof shells that we could put over our clothes and showed us their winter gloves that we could use as well. I felt like a computer that just couldn't process the information. How could tropical, balmy Maui be Canada cold?
Turns out 10,000 feet makes a big difference.
We drove our shuttle up the winding road to the top of a dormant crater, Haleakala. We all were quiet and sleepy...nobody knew what to expect. We arrived at the summit in total darkness...the first shuttle in the parking lot. We put on our shell and headed outside. The cold air outside shocked us awake and Jack and I made our way to the one warm room at the top of this mountain: the gift shop. After warming up and getting our bearings we ventured outside for the view.
We couldn't see much of anything...but it wasn't raining. :)
We had a flicker of light,
a soft stripe of an orangesicle,
We might get a real sunrise.
Boy, were we given a sunrise!
Non-stop performance is more accurate.
Mother nature went for it big time.
The dance of light, mist and mountain...truly stunning.
Now imagine a traditional Hawaiian chant greeting the new day. Imagine looking with hundreds of others at the world below. Imagine silence and camera clicks. Imagine so many sharing in such a sacred beginning.