Saturday, March 28, 2009

House of the Sun.

Through the wide angle lens of my camera this morning, you get a pretty good view from my vantage point from 10,023ft up.

From the above photo to my left was one of the impressive ridges that make up Haleakala Crater. BTW-the last 'a' in Haleakala should have a macron over it and if my keyboard has the ability to do that......I don't! 

The weather can be very unpredictable at the summit so as I soaked in the majestic quiet of one of the most glorious places on the planet, I kept my eye's on the cloud bank that threatened to push up the crater wall. 

Years ago I had a friend told me that the first time he went up to the summit with his girlfriend his fantasy was of romance, tranquility, a spiritual connection, your basic full blown magical experience. So he was in shock when instead of just the two of them kissing, cuddling and sharing the dawn's breathtaking arrival, it was the two of them and coach loads of parka wearing, camera clicking, shaka signing tourists......not quite what he'd had in mind. So this morning I was pleasantly surprised to find the parking lot half empty and people in quiet reverence which is easily accomplished with a view of a broader perspective on the world. 

Here's the live webcam It's  pretty nifty because you can type in any date and it gives you a short timelapse clip of that days weather.

I could have watched the clouds spill over the peaks all morning.....

....but it's cold as shite up there and when the wind kicked up, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (or more correctly because I can't roll my 'R's -BUR). I've always maintained the opinion that when travelling it doesn't matter where you are or how long it's taken you to get there, it is so easy not to be present. You could be at one of the seven wonders of the world but if you need to pee or are bloody starving guess what you'll be thinking about?. Such was my case as my fingers got numb with the cold my desire to cloud watch diminished. 

The park is home to many endangered species, the most famous being the Silversword. It only grows above 6,000ft elevation on the slopes of Haleakala and can live as long as 50 years, but (as with so many magnificent creations) it blooms just once then dies.

Death by blooming. 

Not a bad view from the office but it's just a bugger of a commute. What's up there? Well here's the best copy/paste I could find:

 The LURE facility, for example, bounced lasers off reflectors left on the moon, to measure tectonic movement on earth. Another, an Air Force observatory, is part of the USAF Ground-based Electro-optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) system. In 1996, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab installed a system using one of this station's 39-inch telescopes to monitor space for asteroids that might pose the threat of a collision with Earth, as part of NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Tracking program (NEAT). Over 5,000 asteroids have been detected by the system already. The Air Force also maintains a large satellite tracking and monitoring station here, part of the Air Force Research Lab called AMOS, or the Maui Space Surveillance System, which includes a supercomputing center elsewhere on Maui, and one of the most powerful optical instruments ever designed to identify and "characterize" enemy satellites. Also on site is a solar observatory. 

"lady in the back with the blue hat....yes you, oh I'm glad you asked" The dormant volcano has not erupted in over 200 years and is 3000 ft deep, 7.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide, a total of 22 miles in circumference. 

I'll shut up now and let you have a moment.


Tulsa Gentleman said...

Wow, great camera, eh? I'm loving mine.

Sharon said...

TG; Yahoooo! This 'am I got most of these shots with the TV on it's highest setting as the sun was rising in front of me and it worked a treat.

Anonymous said...

Gosh those pictures take me back to your Dad and I getting up at 3.00a.m. for the journey up Haleakala. We had absolutely no idea how COLD it would be - even the duvets from the beds wrapped around our shoulders couldn't keep out the cold. BUT the sunrise, my God, that stays in the memory forever.
Great hat by the way, you surely didn't cycle up there?

Mater x

Alexandra said...

I was trying to find some pictures on the net and I discovered your blog! I don't know you, but you seem to be very funny! And your pictures are amazing. You have a great eye and looking at your blog it reminds me that I should take more often my camera out and be a bit more creative too. Not sure if I have seen you, but I live on Maui. I worked 5 years for Goya and Quatro and I always shop at Mana as my hubby works there too (if he isn't taking pictures at Ho'okipa). If you don't mind, I will follow your blog too! Aloha

Sharon said...

Mater: No I definitely didn't bike to the top, but many do every year in 'Cycle to the sun' and they start in Pa'ia!

Alexandra: Pop on over any time and see what I'm up to. I just took a quick peak at your blog and I don't think I know you either, but we're bound to bump into each other in Mana-looking forward to it!

enricowave said...

I'm a new follower, sorry for my bad english, I'm Italian.
I follow you 'cause with your beautiful images I can dream about the Islands...
My name is Enrico, (alias enricowave for my attitude & love for the watersports, surf and windsurf). This is a little shortcut of me...I hope you understand me.

Sharon said...

Ciao Enrico
Mi dispiace, la mia Italiano molto male, ma ho bisogno di practica!
Mi capisce?

enricowave said...

Hi Sharon, thank you for the welcome post.
If your Italian need practice you can write me when you want, if you want in italian, and I can reply you in english...
maybe the risk is a big casino (ask GP Cammar what means in italian casino...) but whe can try!!!
see me in my blog: