Our last evening in Haleakala: another fire, another soup. We’re getting better at it. The tent stinks, our clothes stink, we stink. Everything must be washed. We’re only allowed three nights here per month so this is it. It occurred to me that leaving the comfortable, steady climate of the coast, the hotels, the nice little tourist towns, for the relative discomfort of camping and hiking in a volcanic desert high above the clouds takes some mental discipline. I can see why the park wasn’t too crowded.
With the weekend done there was a tamer crowd in the campground last night: no potheads, no later music, no loose chihuahuas. In the morning I walked the campground’s nature trail and belatedly discovered its environs. The campground is exactly at the tree line, between a planted forest of nonnative trees and a native shrubland. I finally saw a few honeycreepers (of the more common species, ‘Apapane I think) in the shrubs.
We’re back at God’s Peace of Maui, a nice place to stay if you don’t need a lot of attention. We treated ourselves to a nice lunch at the Hali’imaile General Store (Lore was already beyond tired of granola bars and trail mix), owned by one of Hawaii’s better-known chefs who is also a proponent of Hawaiian regional cuisine. In the middle of a pineapple plantation, they have a mean pineapple upside-down cake.
We also had a good pizza dinner at the Flatbread Company in Pa’ia. I never have high hopes for pizza from anywhere west of the Hudson, and I think barbecue sauce and pineapple on pizza are separate atrocies. However, our pizza was delicious.
We’re going to the beach one more time tomorrow morning and then leaving. Lore and I discussed whether or not we would want to live here. We both like it a lot. The weather is superb (forecasts are ridiculous: 89 and mostly sunny every day). There is so much to do that we barely scratched the surface of it. The towns are pretty, the scenery is incredible, and the food is tasty. I wonder if we’re better off just visiting when we can.