We traveled to Maui for a week of relaxation and sunshine and we got just that. The island boasts far more than I would have expected as a first-time Hawaii visiter. Truly, I was assuming the 50th State may be overrated based on the fact that everybody loves it. Well, I love it, too.
A drive to the summit of Haleakala proved the island of Maui to be among the most enchanted places I have ever been. The tropical coast boasts natural colors I have only ever experienced muted expressions of. The eucalyptus of the upcountry is a treat for the eyes and aroma-therapy drive-thru style for the remaining senses. The scrub and the red and black cones in the 'dormant' crater are as equally spectacular to view from the mountain's apex as is the world in every direction. Feast your eyes on some amateur photos and know that they do nothing justice.
Above you can hardly make out the big island, seen from Haleakala. Below is a view of the ocean from a beach of black basalt.
Above: Haleakala's debris--literally a hardened river made up of tons of rock; Below: a view of foliage with the 'Iao Needle in the background at 'Iao Valley State Park
Above: craters, beautiful craters...; Below: Maui's observatory on a day that proved to be followed by a lovely, clear night
Above: sunset; Below: tourists enjoying the beautiful day