Atop the House of the Sun

Greetings, faithful reading friends! Apologies for the silence on this end--I've been vacationing the past 10 days in the Hawaiian islands with my family. It was a great trip--and a return to the birthplace of my faith, believe it or not. Twenty-six years ago in August I visited the islands of Oahu and Kauai and during that two week period, many things converged to erode all my resistance to following Christ. I left for Hawaii a seeker and returned a believer. Seeing the lush beauty of Kauai again reminded me of the power of God's goodness and artistry revealed in creation--a strong factor in tipping the scales toward belief for me. There's something about Kauai's unspoiled majesty, particularly along the Na Pali coastline, that bears witness to God's creative genius.

The trip also gave me the chance to do something off my personal "bucket list"--to ride a bike up Mt. Haleakala (literally "House of the Sun") in Maui. Steve Hawkins and I (along with our faithful sag driver, Linda Hawkins) summitted the extinct volcano on June 11. It's the only place on the planet (that I'm aware of) where a cyclist can ride a continuous paved road up from sea level to over 10,000 feet--and do it in just 36 miles! It was a tremendous ride: unrelenting and visually stunning (until a constant downpour obscured our views above 5000 feet). It's an optical illusion: from a distance the slope to the summit looks very gradual, but the mountain forms the entire eastern half of the island and it's much bigger that it looks. For those interested in doing this climb, Steve and I recommend Donnie Arnault's bike shop in Haiku for rentals--excellent bikes, well-maintained, at a great price. It doesn't hurt that Donnie's the go-to guy for people like Lance Armstrong, Andy Hampsten, Floyd Landis, and others who do the ride too!

Since pictures are worth a 1000 words, here are a few:


Steve Hawkins said...

I mirror your excitement about our ride up Haleakala and thank you for being with me. The ride has been on my list forever and I'm thankful to have done it with you.
Your writeup of the day perfectly captures the whole experience.

Steve Hawkins

mbpbooks said...

Talk about camaraderie captured by a camera ... but who took the photos?

Carl Hofmann said...

Mitali and Steve,
Thanks for checking in. Steve, you're an animal--thanks for your inspiring athleticism. And Mitali, those pictures were taken by Linda, Steve's wife and our faithful support driver.
Blessings, you two!

Wendy Redal said...

Looks like you hit some rain on the way, from the last photo -- ? Wow, what an ambitious ride. I have not been to the top of Haleakala but remember when I was on Maui that there were companies who offered van rides to the top, with cycles for rent to ride down. Now that's about my level! But I would never have the satisfaction of having earned it the way you have. We want to hear about your Kauai adventures, too. Think we must aim for a date to have the Hofmanns over for dinner once we are all settled into our early fall routines...yes?