My father-in-law signed us up for the Maui sunrise and bike ride tour, down Haleakala National Park. This was one activity I couldn't wait to take part in. We wanted to do it the last time we were in Maui, but didn't get around to doing it. With the government shut down going on all of the State Parks were temporarily shut down. When I had heard the news, that we were not going to be able to see the sunrise, I was sadly disappointed, however the timing of our vacation ended up working out perfectly. We were lucky enough to be the first group up the mountain, since the government shut down.
Our alarms sounded at 1:45 am, awaking us for an adventurous day. I had no problem waking up, because I knew we were going to make some memories for the books. We were picked up from our hotel in a shuttle bus and made the windy trip up the mountain. I was so nervous the switchbacks were going to get to me. One of the ladies in our group, luckily gave me some crystalized ginger and it seemed to do the trick. People warned us it was going to be brisk at the top of the volcano, but I don't think any of us realized just how chilled we would be. I bundled up in the warmest clothes I could find and zipped into the windbreakers the tour group provided. The second I stepped out of the van, I was instantly frozen, knee cap shivers and all.
The view however, was totally worth it. Overlooking the guard rail was the most breathtaking view I have ever seen. It honestly made me feel like the heavens were parting and were sneaking a peak of all its beauty and glory. The colors started out in dark hues of grey, blue, and red and slowly turned to cotton candy blues and pinks with pops of vibrant yellows. The first sighting of the sun peering over ocean, was like witnessing nothing I had ever seen before. I have seen beautiful things before but this, this was marvelous.
After watching the sunrise we raced back into the shuttle. We couldn't wait to warm are frozen fingers and toes. We took a short trip down the mountain and parked on the side of the road, while our bikes were unloaded. They handed us all of our gear, gave us a short safety briefing and sent us on our way. As we descended down the mountain it took me back to my cycling days. I don't know if it is the mom in me, but I was a lot more cautious than ever before. I used to fly down mountains at speeds over 50 mph. There was no way that was about to happen today.
We stopped a few times along the way for pictures. The ride continued to get more and more beautiful. The aroma of fresh flowers and the warm breeze, was enough to make me want the bike ride to last all day.
After 28 miles we were spent. We stopped for breakfast burritos and guzzled down ice cold water. It was such a glorious morning. The exhaustion was well worth it. Also, a huge thank you to my sister-in-law Jana for coming to our room in the middle of the night, to watch Penelope.