One of the premiere activities on Maui, the Haleakala Crater sunrise has been toted to be one of the top things to do on the island.
Jason and I roused the children at 3:30am to pack up and drive the crazy switchback road in the pitch dark to see the 6:09am sunrise. Well, we were only off on our timing by about 9 minutes. No matter how much you try, between the elevation gain, the crazy drop offs on the side of the road, and the 180 degree turns, you just can't go any faster.
Nevertheless, by inappropriately parking in the No Parking Zone... quickly throwing the extra layers on the kids, we were able to dash to the crater face to view the sun making its first peek through the clouds in a truly biblical fashion. We made it!!
A quick trip to the loo and the car and we were going to head off on a hike with the kids to view the islands and check out all the interesting sights and enjoy the splendour of the volcano.
In the 50 meters between the bathroom and the car, I lost the keys. Really. I did it. It was all me. I had them... and then they were gone.
Common theory is that I flushed them down the toilet, but I want to continue to believe that someone picked them up and did something with them. Anyway, after an hour of searching everywhere (and ignoring the breathtaking vista)... we finally called the Car Rental dude and he offered to bring us a spare key (begrudgingly I am sure... this drive is not one executed by locals that often). And to boot, there was a bike race going on up the highway... which drastically slowed down what could be already deemed a slog up the hill.
Needless to say, we enjoyed the views of the Haleakala Crater for a total of 7 hours... with two kids and two adults and 4 croissants and a baggy full of macadamia nuts. Oh, and they don't sell food at the top of the mountain.
Well, with my tail between my legs, I have professed to have flushed the keys. Not sure how I did it, but I am still hoping the keys will turn up at some point just to prove that I am not as clumsy as that.
Happily, we acquired many photos of one of the most beautiful places on earth... Enjoy.