Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quiet | Haleakalā

This spring Matt Mallams and I went on an adventure, an amazing two day hike into Haleakalā Volcano on the island of Maui, one of the quietest places on Earth. On assignment for Hana Hou! The Hawaiian Airlines Magazine, searching for silence in the crater of Haleakalā, we went to discover and illustrate the quiet solitude found there.
It was such an unique and incredible experience, spending days in a surreal, barren world high above the clouds, watching the most vivid sunrises and brightest stars in the night sky, and hearing only the occasional gusts of wind or insects buzzing by. Inside the crater we saw only a handful of people and could really feel the massive landscape as we listened to Pele. We hiked 12 miles and over 3000 feet of elevation down the Sliding Sands Trail, around Ka Moa Pele and Halali'i cinder cones, camping in a meadow of yellow flowers at Holua, and then up the Halemau'u Trail. It was grueling carrying 30 lbs of camera and camping gear on my back, but oh so worth it. See more photos from our journey and the full spread that ran.
The writer, Edward Readicker-Henderson, has traveled the globe listening for quiet. His story is beautifully written, truly illustrates the feeling being there, excerpt below...

"The paper crackles loud as thunder as I check my map: I’ve reached my destination. And so at last, five years after I should have come, at a spot where there’s nothing around me but multicolored cinder cones rising, I stop. The wind does not touch me, and nothing moves. I stop shuffling, find a comfortable way to sit. The sky is empty. The landscape, empty. It takes a while to hear through myself, my breath, my heartbeat, the ringing in my ears. Louder yet are my thoughts: Is this really as quiet as it’s supposed to be? What am I doing here? Is it different from the other places I’ve gone?

But as time passes, my body quiets, my mind slows to match the stillness and I start to hear something else. The crater. The island. The sound comes not as sound, but through the rough sand under my hands, the slow gradations of color.

When I can’t hear my body anymore, I touch my wrist. My heart moves in time with something at the edge of sensation, a disturbance of the field. Maybe it’s the vibration of distant waves coming ashore. Maybe it’s just the island breathing. I’ve never heard anything like it; I probably never will again.

I sit for as long as the quiet lasts, feeling my pulse, or maybe the pulse of Haleakalā. Or maybe, just now, they’re the same."

Space on the Sliding Sands Trail

Curve of the crater near Kawilinau

Rocks, cinder, and blue skies

Sunrise at Holua

Stars in the Night Sky at Holua

Sunrise from the Summit


Park Ranger

Red Cinder along the Sliding Sands 'Keonehe'ehe'e' Trail

Twilight in the meadow of yellow flowers at Holua

Trail near the Halali'i Cone

Hiking towards Ka Moa o Pele

Sliding Sands zig-zag trail

Pele's Paint Pot

Above the Clouds along the Ko'olau Gap

Last rays of the sun

Golden flowers at sunrise

Beginning the Halemau'u Trail

Clouds entering the Ko'olau Gap

Walking along the edge of Earth


Mikayla said...

LOVE the backed up photographs of Life.

Cayce Smith said...

All beautiful. I especially like the night sky one, and the ones of the flowers.

katie said...

love these... the skeleton and and the soft looking spiky plant are my favorite...