HOLY COW, IT’S COLD. They said it would be, but when you are sauntering about Maui in your flip flops and the coldest thing you can imagine is the frosty beer in your hand, you tend to take warnings to bundle up with a grain of salt. I make the drive to Mt. Haleakala in the pre-dawn dark, up precipitous switchbacks to 10,000 feet, and recoil when I open the door to the frigid mountain air. Small groups of people are already at the rail. Some women are wrapped in blankets, one guy has socks on his hands. It is black save for a smudge of grey along the rim of the horizon, but even in this dark the dim edges of mountains and coastlines can be traced.
This is a view of Hawaii I never expected to see.
This isn’t just some tourist gimmick — as much as it is talked about and touted, this is the real deal. Ancient Hawaiian astronomers would ascend this mountain to map the stars and bring apprentices to study and no doubt shiver their asses off.
You remember that people naturally speak in whispers just before sunrise. All you hear is the click click of cameras and the not quite audible movement of copper gilded clouds into deep shadow. The sky is blooming now. It seems like it is taking forever and moving too quickly all at the same time.
Josh was a guest of the Maui Visitors Bureau during his visit to Maui.
All photos by Joshywashington and Bridget O’Neill.