Monday, December 13, 2010

Volcano Surprise!

Have you ever wanted to bike down the side of a volcano at the crack of dawn?

Well, neither did my kids, and neither did Sarge, the sleep-deprived spousal unit; sleep-deprived because we had to wake up at 2 a.m. to get this particular party started.

Maui Mountain Riders' van picked the four of us up from our rented condo on Maui, and we rode two and a half hours (Surprise!) to the summit of Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano. We had dressed in layers because the higher the altitude, the colder it is, and we were going to be 6000 feet above sea level. Upon arrival, we were promptly escorted to the rim of the crater, which is the best place to watch the sun rise, half the purpose of our jaunt. It was a spectacularly awesome sight, the oranges and yellows against the pitch black of night.

As soon as the sun rose, the temperature began to change, and we peeled off our first layer of clothing in preparation for the bike ride down the side of the volcano.

My daughter wasn't the only one that was afraid once the sun illuminated just how steep the side of the mountain was. How fast would our bikes go? Would the brakes be strong enough to slow such a steep descent? Would we crash into other bikers along the way? What time was breakfast? (This last question was from Sarge.)

After we were fitted to our bikes, Sarge and our son -- being the manly macho men with machismo that they were and are -- led the biking brigade onward and downward. The good news is there was not much need to pedal as it was literally ALL downhill. The bad news is, there were lots of switchbacks we had to maneuver, and one lady in our group made her way in front of my daughter, then rode her brakes, stop-and-go, stop-and-go. I gestured for my daughter to follow me around her, then it was smooth sailing the rest of the way. We went at OUR pace.

Along the 28-mile ride, we pedaled through some pretty neat towns. One was a plantation town built in the late 1800's and made completely of wood. The next town is where they served us breakfast.

We continued our ride through the town of Haliimaile, then down to the Pacific Ocean, where they packed up our bikes while we peeled off more layers and enjoyed the surf.

They drove us back at the condo by 10 a.m. where we were ready for a much needed nap, but not before I crossed Number 71 off my Bucket List, bike down a volcano in Maui.


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

How amazing!!! You guys are very cool. :)

MsALWalker said...

I'm glad you think I'm cool, Madeline, because my kids don't. :-)

injaynesworld said...

That's a pretty amazing adventure. I'm proud of you! Me? I'd be the one meeting you at the breakfast spot and carrying on from there. What a wonderful memory for your kids, too.