Haleakala: House of the Sun by Dan Douglas

In a few days, the Exploration: Hawaii crew, plus a few friends, will be backpacking into Haleakala Crater. I’m so pumped! And this video, shot by videographer Dan Douglas of Plug Video Productions, is making me even more excited.

On a recent trip to Maui, I had the opportunity to visit the world’s largest dormant volcano – Haleakala. The size of this volcano is massive – Manhattan could fit inside. I’m still in shock at how awesome this place is. Arriving before sunrise, I placed a few cameras out in hopes to capture what people refer to as, “The most beautiful sunrise in the world.”

People gather from around the globe to witness this kaleidoscope of shifting colors – known as the “House of the Sun”. My hope is to give you a small glimpse of the energy, excitement and elegance this natural marvel brings.

During my 4 hours of shooting, I captured more than 5,000 images from 4 cameras setup on different motion control systems. I want to thank Jeremy Canterbury from RevolveCamera.com for providing some of the cool new technology that allowed me to capture some of these moving shots. Revolve allows a fast, quick way to setup moving track shots.

Pretty amazing stuff.

How To Hike Safely In Hawaii and Other Helpful Tips

There have been a lot of bad press surrounding the Hawaii hiking community, as of late. Over the last three days, there have been four reported incidents of hikers in distress and and two of those incidents resulted in death. 70-year-old Paul Yoon fell between 20-50 feet from the scenic lookout at Mariner’s Ridge on Saturday and 23-year-old Elizabeth Tarpey fell roughly 300 feet from the steep and narrow Puu Manamana trail the following day. In another incident, a 33-year-old man and 13-year-old girl experienced minor injuries from an off-the-beaten path waterfall trail in Manoa, known as Waiakeakua. And on Monday, seven hikers had to be rescued from the Kaau Crater trail in Palolo when they were run off the trail by wild pigs. All four of these trails are non-sanctioned hiking trails.

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Cascade of Clouds Blanket Waimea Canyon

The plan was to do more than just the lookout. Joel and I had grand plans of experiencing Kokee via the 9.5-mile long Nualolo-Awaawapuhi Trail. Considered to be the most glorious ridge trail of the collection of trails that make up Kokee State Park. These plans would be scrapped, however, with the vicious rain and flash-flooding that attacked the island during our Spring Break stay. Meh. The mountains will always be there and we’re just an island away. We’ll save it for another trip. Maybe a day trip? We still found our way to Waimea Canyon, though. The drive up and the various lookouts would be our little glimpse into what we will, hopefully, experience in greater detail in the future.

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Download Exploration: Hawaii iPhone Wallpapers (Series 2)

We’ve got some fresh iPhone 5 (and 4/S) wallpapers for our favorite Exploration: Hawaii readers to download and use. Each of the four designs are bold, fun, and designed to bring out the explorer in all of us. The four new wallpapers feature the photography of the four core members of the Exploration: Hawaii crew, and includes the iconic views from Haleakala (photo by Coty), an epic sunrise from Hanauma Bay (photo by Ahnate), a turtle and his shadow (photo by Joel), and finally a stunning night shot taken in historic Waikiki (photo by Marvin). Download links are at the bottom of the post. We hope that you enjoy!

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Things That You See While Driving To The North Shore of Kauai

While en route to the Maniniholo dry cave and the Waiakanaloa wet cave, on Kauai’s North Shore, we were treated to some very lush vistas. A recurrent theme that we noticed? Waterfalls. A lot of waterfalls. With so many waterfalls around, we found ourselves making frequent stops to gawk at them and soak in the views. One of the sweet spots was near Hanalei Elementary School. The students of this particular school are indeed very lucky. On any given day, they are able to step out of their classrooms and experience the majestic views of the three peaks that form Hanalei Valley: Hihimanu, Namalokama, and Mamalahoa. On the day that we were there, these mountains were free flowing with waterfalls. On your next visit to Kauai, look mauka (toward the mountain) from Hanalei Elementary, and you might see Waioli Falls, one of Kauai longest flowing waterfall. I didn’t have nearly as great a view from my elementary school in Kalihi.

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Short Trek On The KST Via The Hahaione To Kuliouou Loop Trail

A short trip along the Koolau Summit Trail (KST) would be how Exploration: Hawaii would kick off the recent Memorial Day Weekend. The previous week, fellow hiker, Allison, suggested that we do a short non-grinder type hike. I like non-grinders. I mentioned Hahaione, a little known trail in Hawaii Kai that quickly leads to the eastern portion of the KST. Waianae Ahnate, as he has been nicknamed, thought that it would be a good idea to use this hike as a meet and greet for the group of people that would be joining the usual Exploration: Hawaii suspects on an upcoming backpacking trip to Haleakala. New hike and new hikers. I was in.

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Turtle Spotting at an Abandoned Beach on the North Shore

While most people spent Memorial Day Weekend with family and friends at one of many crowded Hawaii beaches, Exploration: Hawaii decided to get away from it all and headed to a rarely used beach on the North Shore. After parking our car, Joel and I walked about a mile into this abandoned beach and looked for the perfect spot to swim for turtles. We found an area tucked between some coral and set up our beach mats. Almost instantly, we saw a couple of turtles swim near the shore. Joel pointed out the turtles and I quickly grabbed my GoPro HERO3: Black Edition and Bobber by GoPole and gave it to him. He then ran into the water and snapped these photos. These were taken with the first five minutes of setting up our beach mats. We then spent the next few hours swimming with more turtles than we could keep count of. Pretty amazing, indeed.

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