Haleakala Crater wasn't on our agenda when the four of us arrived on Maui, but we soon learned that a pilgrimage to see the sun rise over the dormant volcano was a must-do.
We'd been warned that at an elevation of 10,000 feet, it would be cold. We didn't have even a sweater between us -- this was Hawaii in August, after all -- and we didn't really believe it could be that cold, but when the hotel wake-up call came at 2 a.m., we pulled the blankets off our beds and took them with us.
It was a two-hour drive up the winding mountain road. We walked to the edge of the crater, wrapped in blankets but still shivering as we joined a small crowd. If the temperature was above freezing, it was only by a few degrees. Many of the other tourists, as ill-prepared for cold as we were, toted hotel blankets. We all huddled together, waiting.
The sky lightened, and pink and gold light began to illuminate the clouds and dance across the crater. And then the sun was up. It was indeed a lovely sight.
But the more glorious sights came during the first part of the drive back down, high above the rest of Maui. We would come around a curve, and a spectacular view would open before us. From different angles, we saw one breathtaking snapshot after another of Maui and the ocean beyond, and sometimes a glimpse of another island. Those are the views from Haleakala that stay with me.
This is one in a series of postcards by Marjie Lambert, assistant Travel editor, who has been to all 50 states.