As kids on bicycles we dream of downhill glides that go on forever. These fantasies become particularly intense as we struggle later to bike up a steep incline.
Haleakalā, the massive volcano that dominates the Hawaiian Island of Maui, forming more than 75 per cent of its landmass, may be the closest you can come to realizing this downhill dream. The tallest peak of Haleakalā, Pu‘u ‘Ula‘ula (Red Hill), rises 10,023 feet (3,055 meters) above sea level, looking down into a massive crater seven miles (11.25 km) across by two miles (3.2 km) wide and 2,600 feet (800 meters) deep.
In Hawaiian folklore, this crater is home to the grandmother of the demigod Maui. She helped her powerful grandson to capture the sun to slow its progress across the sky and lengthen the day. In fact, Haleakalā means House of the Sun. . . .