My number one desire while here was to visit Haleakala, the crater of the volcano that is Maui. Yesterday we decided to venture up, despite what seemed like a perpetual halo of clouds at the summit. We began the drive up a long, straight incline through miles of sugar cane fields, which, prior to the Captain Cook's initial European contact with the islands, were lush fields of taro. Soon the road began to zigzag, and the sugar fields gave way to fragrant eucalyptus groves, which in turn gave way to low scrub and red-and-black volcanic debris. The clouds hung like voile curtains which offered a hazy vista of the West Maui Mountains and the infinite blue of the Pacific.
There were few other cars, to our delight. The summit, at 10,023 feet, was illuminated in glaring noontime sun. Spectacular!