After the ziplining, we drove up Haleakala. Yes, that's right, yet another volcano, albeit a considerably less lava-y one. Some marvelous views from up there, too:
Honestly, couldn't you just look at those vistas all day? Well, OK, maybe not all day. Apparently Haleakala helped me to determine the limits of just how far I am willing to go for a great view when my aunt decided to drive up to the summit for sunrise a couple of days later. (I think it was a couple of days. I mentioned how time all blends together on vacation, right?) Sunrise from the mountaintop is indeed supposed to be spectacular, but it's also early. When you factor in a long drive to the mountain from our hotel, the winding drive up to the summit, and the need to get there before the parking lot fills up with other people who have the same idea, that translates to getting out of bed at something like 2:30 in the morning. Now, I may be willing to free-fall down a zipline, hand over something close to a week's pay for a helicopter ride, or trudge up what feels like half a million stairs to get a good view of what Hawaii has to show me, but I draw the line at getting out of bed at 2:30 AM. That's not morning. That's bedtime. So I missed the sunrise, and I can't quite bring myself to regret it. But never mind. It looked plenty good enough to me during the day!
Haleakala, like Mauna Kea on the Big Island (which we didn't visit but did fly past) is also home to astronomical observatories. Me being me, of course I had to snap a picture of that, too: