Sunrise from the summit of Haleakala Volcano
I had watched a special on the travel channel of the things you must do when you visit the Hawaiian Islands, and high on the list was traveling to the summit of the Haleakala Volcano to watch the sunrise. Haleakala National Park is located on the Island of Maui, near the costal town of Lahaina. So I set the alarm for 4:30am and made the 2 hour drive to the summit at just over 10,000 feet. When I left my hotel at sea level it was about 75 degrees, and at the summit it was about 30 degrees with a strong 30+ mph wind. This sent the wind cill factor to single digits. I have watched many beautiful and inspirational sunrises in my lifetime, but I will admit that watching the sun come up above the clouds at 10,000 feet gave me goose bumps and had me completely awe struck. I was so riveted watching the light come up that almost forgot to take photographs.
Haleakala in Hawaiian means "House of the Sun". I cannot think of a more fitting name.
Inside the crater of Haleakala Volcano
From the summit you look down into a massive depression some 7 miles across, 2 miles wide, and nearly 2,600 feet deep. The surrounding walls are steep and the interior mostly barren-looking with a scattering of volcanic cones. The potentially active volcano has produced numerous eruptions in the last 30,000 years, including in the last 500 years.