The south east side of Maui is a place of the elements. Wind, sun and ocean meet in strong presence at that place where the vast flanks of Haleakala descend from its 10,000 feet summit to meet the Pacific Ocean at the ʻAlenuihāhā Channel, meaning aptly “great billows smashing.” A 30 mile channel of ocean lying between the Islands of Hawai’i and Maui, wind and water are funneled between the two land masses. Back in the day fire could have been added to the elements at play as the volcanoes erupted. With their huge dormant presence, Mauna Kea on Hawai’i can be seen on a clear day from Maui, fire is never far away.

Yesterday we took a little adventure and drove out there. There was no particular destination in mind, though it ended up being a favorite place of ours - Huialoha Church in Kaupo, a simple church in design that sits on a promontory where the elements feel at their strongest. Haleakala looks down from the Kaupo Gap, a gash in the side of the mountain’s crater. It’s a place where I feel as though the physical and other worldly origins of this world can be felt. Here I feel humbled in the presence of nature.

Below are some photographs from the drive out there.

While there is no ‘starting point’ for the road out to the south east side, I always bookmark this view as where the terrain changes.

The wind at this spot was as strong as I had felt it for a long while, almost blowing my phone (camera) out of my hand and allowing me to lean into it.

Looking up towards the Kaupo Gap, a ‘gash’ in the side of Haleakala’s crater. It’s possible to hike up there and then through the crater, staying over night in a cabin within the crater. That adventure is on the aspiration list for 2022.

St. Joseph Church, built in 1862 in the Kaupo region.

The rocky shoreline just below Huialoha Church.

The roof top of Huialoha Church with the Kaupo gap in the background. There was an event going on outside the church, and so I did not want to take a picture around the building. Instead we sat and watched while a couple of spear fisherman jumped into the rough ocean to see if they could catch anything around the rocks, and a young boy, obviously quite at home in those waters, went boogie boarding.