Muse by David Teitsma

My attempt to understand and be understood.

Today we left our hotel just after 4 in the morning. Uggh, I hate morning, but the promise of what we're going to see should be worth it!

The first hour of driving brought us to the base of Halaleakala. The second hour we made our way up the switchbacks up 10,000 feet. I got sick from all the turns, so we switched drivers. Once I was driving I was fine.

We were headed to see the sunrise on the peak, where the sun rises above the clouds, yielding brilliant and magnificent colors. As we meandered up the switchbacks we weren't sure if we'd make it before the sun rose.

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When we got to the top we were greeted by deep orange colors on the horizon breaking the dark of night.

We were warned about how cold it would be. I brought several jackets, hat, and gloves. It was cold but the frigid wind was unbearable, at times almost blowing you over as tears stream from your eyes.

As it got closer and closer to dawn the sky grew brighter revealing the outlines of the hills and the soft wavy clouds below us. The sun rose bringing more beautiful colors as the clouds blew south below it. In the distance we could see the big island peeking above the clouds.

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Also when we turned around we could see the whole other side of the island, along with the shadow of the mountain. Pretty cool, huh?

It was glorious to see this even if it meant waking up in the middle of the night.

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After we had our fill of the sunrise, we went in the little shelter and warmed up.

I really wanted to hike the sliding sands trail, however it takes several hours, so I don't want to make my parents wait. We came up with the plan that they could go sightseeing down by Big Beach while I hike for 5-6 hours.

So, I set off on my 8-9 mile hike. It was still frigid and dark when I started, while the landscape was barren rock with an occasional silversword.

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I've often described this part as what I would imagine Mars to look like. Just lots and lots of rock. As the sun rose, the colors in different layers of the rock came out.

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As I went along and the miles ticked off, I shed my layers started sweating. The first 5 or so miles were spent descending from around 10,000 feet down to 7,000 feet.

Below is a silversword.

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I took in the scenery every moment, enjoying the bushes, different outcrops of rock, and a old crater. It was easy to see far ahead where the trail was leading but took long to get there.

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There weren't many other people except a family of three that I passed several times.

The different colors in the sand were amazing. Even though it looks like a lot of rock, every mile was vastly different than the next.

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Around mile 6, I knew that something was wrong. I was only half way done according to the map, but my GPS had said that I had hiked 6 miles. I knew that I misjudged the distance that I was going to end up going so, I put some speed on so that I could meet my ride on time.

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As I descended further there were more and more shrubs and plants. It was beautiful, just off the ridge several hundred feet ahead was a cloud that I was going to hike through in a little while.

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Below is the coming cloud.

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I pushed ahead and made it to the rental cabin that had outhouses. Unfortunately there was no potable water, so I had made sure early in the day to ration my supply. After a quick rest and some snacks, I went onward.

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I descended down to 6500 feet and came to the bottom of a ridge full of switchbacks. The trail was steep heard and progress was slow and required lots of panting and stops. I envied the many people going the opposite way. As I climbed at a speed averaging 1-2mph, I had 4 miles to hike and 1500 feet to climb in the next hour.

The views were more wonderful the higher I got. I could look back and see everywhere that I had been. At points it felt like rain as the clouds hit the ridge.

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As I rounded the corned to the north side of the ridge, I could see a rainbow not twenty feet below me, with my shadow right in the middle. The cloud that i was in caused this phenomenon that was considering a blessing in earlier days. I was excited to experience it.

Do you see my shadow below? (This picture about a dozen pictures merged together, that’s why there are black spots).

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What a truly magically hike.

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After a bit, the traffic picked up a lot as many people ventured to view only a glimpse of what lays ahead.

I made it back 40 minutes late and found my parents in the parking lot sleeping. It was so nice that they went out of their way so that I could spend my day exploring Halaleakala.

I ended up hiking just over 13 miles (possibly a record for me) in 4:47 moving and 1:24 stopped. The total ascent was about 2517 and descent was around 4000. Needless to say, I was tired and hungry. I had planned on hiking 9 miles, but ended up doing an additional 4 miles, which I was unprepared for.

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After we descended down the mountain we watched windsurfers ride the waves in on the North shore. They were incredible skilled. It was great to watch.

Even though we headed back to the hotel around 4:00, I laid low for the rest of the day and didn't do much. My parents went to Moose Mc Gillycuddy's for the Friday fish fry and brought me back a pizza roll from Gaby’s. Supposedly, Moose was out of fish for the all you could eat fish fry, however they still could order fish. Odd huh? Seems like a bait and switch to me.

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If you want to see more of my pictures, go here. Or view my pictures on a map here.


Anne said...

Wow, these pictures just keep getting better and better, they are so pretty!a