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Have you ever been inside a volcano?

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I was only five years old when my parents took me and my sister Samantha to Hawai'i for our first big vacation.  The scenery provided undoubtedly some of the most striking and beautiful memories of my life. "Paradise" doesn't do it justice.  But one activity on our trip stands out amongst the rest, and that is when the four of us ventured down Haleakalā, the world's largest dormant volcano, on horseback and spent the night in the crater.

Please understand that my family is not very adventurous when it comes to nature.  We don't do "the outdoors".  So riding horses, hiking, and camping in a little hut in the middle of nowhere was not typically on our agenda. It was very risky for my parents, and it paid off.

I remember that my horse was named Ginger, and I remember that she and I climbed very delicately up the mountain, sometimes on a narrow shelf of a path with a giant cliff to our sides. It was scary.

I remember that the tropical climate of the islands seemed to vanish when we got to the bottom of the volcano - and so do the paradisal beauty! In fact, it looked like a desert, and we froze our noses off that night!

The views of the sunset from the summit of Haleakalā were striking, and our pictures can't do it justice.

Haleakalā's last eruption was in the 1600s or 1700s.  Hopefully the volcano will hold out for another twenty years so I can bring my own family back for a similar experience!




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First i want to say -- you and your dress are absolutely adorable!!!! :)

And second, that is so awesome! I wonder if they still do the same tours and the cabins are still the same :)

Thank you so much for this wonderful sharing and flash back :)

Beautiful images as well.


Wow Love- can only imagine how fortunate you were to have such an amazing experience at such a young age.

Your writing and pictures really made me feel as if I was living that moment :)

It was a wonderful trip!!!  I remember it well.  The cabin we stayed in had no indoor plumbing so we had to use an “outhouse.”  I held off going til around 1 in the morning when I decided to risk the freezing cold and make a dash for the toilet.  When I got outside I saw an enormous sky filled with more stars than one can imagine.  It was awe-inspiring and a sight I’ll never forget.

Star (Love's mom)