As soon as the sun disappeared into the horizon, our entire group just gravitated to the outside of Kapalaoa Cabin. The cold air was nice and crisp. A jacket and my slippers were enough for me. Mike needed even less. While we (Ahnate, Allison, Coty, Janice, and Joel) were busy clicking out shutters, trying to capture the night sky, Mike simply lied flat on his back on the lone picnic table and watched as Mother Nature did her thing. And he did it all in his tighty-whities. We learned a lot about Mike that night.
What started out as a discussion over beers a few months ago has finally come to fruition. The Exploration: Hawaii crew can now proudly say that we have completed Haleakala, visiting all three Haleakala cabins, over a span of 4 days. The entire trip went smoothly, until, that is, one of our 10 member crew ended up on a stretcher, in an ambulance and then the emergency room of Maui Memorial Hospital. But, I’m jumping ahead of myself. There is so much to share about Haleakala, that I will be breaking up our backpacking adventure into a couple of detailed posts. Let’s start with Day 1, which brought us from the summit of Haleakala at 10,000+ feet to Kapalaoa Cabin, via the Sliding Sands Trail.