A beautiful drive. Windy on top.
Don't remember much except that the sunrise was excellent.
Drove up the road and started at the top and went all the way to the end of the valley at Paliku cabin. Great workout and awesome views. About 19 miles and 3,700' vertical. Man, it's tough to run in loose sand!
Drove to the roads end to witness the sunrise with the crowds. It was rainy, windy and cold. Just at sunrise the clouds actully lowered just enough so the entire summit area enjoyed fantastic views. It was incredable. Then I hiked down the Sliding Sands trial to the crater bottom passing the KaKu'oka'Oo and Pu'uoPele craters. I walked all the way to the Halemau'u trail junction, nearly to the Kipahulu Gap. On my return hike out I took the Halemau'u trail all the way back to the Haleakala Hwy. The weather was perfect inside the crater but once I was back up on the road it was pouring rain. I ended up hitching a ride after walking up the road for about a mile in the wet weather.
I went to Maui with my parents when I was a freshman in high school and this was my fondest memory. Granted we took a tour van up most of the way, but I climbed the remaining distance to the summit. Twenty two years later, I need to keep my promise to take my wife back here. I can still remember the smell of the euchalyptus (spelling?) on the way up.
On a family trip to Hawaii, we drove up to the top and walked around a little bit, then biked down all the way to the beach. Fun ride, but would have liked to explore the crater a bit, probably like walking on the moon.
A group of us got up at 3a and drove to the summit in the dark to witness the renowned "pink sunrise." It was freezing cold before the sun came up (and of course we weren't wearing anything appropriate for the temps), and when it finally did it was a disappointing gray sunrise I wouldn't have minded to miss. The best part though was a several hour hike down into the crater - very cool. Would love to go back and spend a whole day exploring around there.