Arriving at Haleakala Summit more than a half hour before sunrise, the large parking lot was already almost full! Hundreds of people were already standing and waiting at the edge of the crater where the sun was supposed to come out... The cold gusty winds was blowing across the arid volcanic crater, and the tourists were shivering in hotel blankets... I was wearing Alaskan winter clothing which I wore from home to the airport. The sky was still dark with millions of stars.
When I set up the camera gear at the edge of crater, the sky was starting to get lighter. The ocean of clouds were spread beyond the crater... The reddish volcanic rocks were mysterious purple under the light of dawn. A group of Hawaiian women chanted in their local language as the sun continued to rise. "House of the Sun" in Hawaiian language, Haleakala is an ancient sacred place for Volcano goddess, Pele.
Here are Haleakala Summit sunset from the night before... Sunset behind the Observatory.