Hiking Haleakala Crater

For our first trip together to Maui in 2016 we decided to do some hiking and overnight in the Haleakala National Park. With the help of some friends who had experience in the Crater we decided on our route and place to camp. Our route went as follows:

  • Pick up our camping permit at the Park Headquarters Visitor Center
  • Park at the Haleakala Visitor Center
  • Hike the Sliding Sands Trail to the first junction
  • Turn left at the first junction and cut across the crater
  • Join up with the Halemau'u Trail turning left
  • Camp at the Holua Campsite
  • Hike out the next morning to the Halemau'u Trailhead
  • Hitchhike back to our car at the visitor center

You can view a map of the park HERE which will help put this into perspective. There are a lot of different routes and combinations of hikes that you can do. You can also spend much more than one night in the crater, which we hope to do at some point.

A few thoughts from our hike.

You'll feel like you are on another planet. You'll also completely forget that you're in Hawaii. No beaches in the crater! We heard from other hikers that inside the crater is one of the quietest places on earth, and we can attest to it's eeriness and calmness.

We had beautiful weather for most of the hike. On our way out the next morning we ended up in misty clouds that drenched us from head to toe for our hike up the ridge. Luckily at the trailhead where we finished we were out of the clouds and the sun warmed us up and dried us off.

Something we completely neglected to think about was sunscreen. Because of the elevation you are closer to the sun and we both got sunburnt pretty good on our faces. It's fairly chilly when you start the hike, but as you get lower into the crater it gets much cooler and at night the temperature was in the mid 30's so pack warm clothes and have a good sleeping bag!

For the photographers; I made the huge mistake of thinking I only needed one battery, since my Canon batteries usually last me a full day of shooting weddings. I think it was a combination of the elevation and the cold, but my battery was blinking red by the time we set up camp. Nothing worse than having to hold back on taking photos trying to conserve. What did help a bit was keeping the battery next to my body and in my sleeping bag to get a little extra out of it.

Other than that it is an amazing hike and one you should add to your bucket list. Enjoy the photos!

New Zealand | 11 Days in a Campervan

In April 2015, my wife and I spent 11 days traveling through the South Island of New Zealand in a small campervan.  As a couple who loves fresh air, big views, and exploring new areas, New Zealand was a dream come true. We knew it would be a fun adventure, but we never imaged how quickly we would grow to love the beautiful, diverse landscape of this country. 
Though we only had enough time to visit the south island of the country, we’re both looking forward to someday going back to explore the north island as well. In the meantime, I can’t help but recommend the South Island of New Zealand as a bucket list destination.
For those who are planning a New Zealand Campervan Trip and are interested seeing the itinerary we used, please feel free to reach out to me directly. I would be happy to share it with you or answer questions if I can.

Campervan Rental: Wilderness New Zealand
100% Pure New Zealand

We made a VIDEO! Click here to watch it!

In cased you missed it, we created a VIDEO of our trip. You can watch it here:

Papua New Guinea | Medical Mission Trip

In February of 2014 I was fortunate enough to join the hospital I work for, Castle Medical Center, on a medical mission trip to Papua New Guinea.

For the past 4-5 years, Castle Medical Center has been sending a small group to a town called Porgera, which is in the western highlands of Papua New Guinea, quite literally at the end of the road. It takes roughly three days of travel to get there, with one long grueling 7 hour ride over a bumpy treacherous road that shakes your body to pieces. Once there you are treated to a beautiful valley where the temperature is cool and life slows down. Our work centered around Porgera hospital, a small hospital serving the valley and surrounding areas run by mission doctors. We brought medical supplies and equipment, and our nurses and doctors assisted throughout the hospital as needed. We also ran vision clinics the entire time we were there, as there is no easy access to vision care for the people of Porgera. With hundreds of donated glasses and purchased reading/prescription glasses, we were able to see over 500 patients during our trip. The hats and blankets that you see in the photos and video were hand knit and donated from all around the world for us to give to the people in Porgera.

The whole trip was such a rewarding experience for everyone involved, and I was so happy to be able to capture some of it on camera. Most of the photos below are from the hospital, a school we stopped by on our drive, and walking around the town where we stayed.

Below is a short video I put together when I got back from footage I captured during the trip.