Here’s fabulous Dustin, a new Hawaiian guide born and raised on Maui, who had somehow never spent time in Haleakala Crater. So, for his first serious trip, he decided to go up Kaupo Gap! Yikes. That’s 19 miles up, up, up all day long.

Guides Kahi, UlaUla and i all went up the gap a year ago and we took our time — we cruised out at 11:30 pm. Great night sky, but freezing cold for Maui-boy Kahi who stays on the warm seaside (he grew up in Lahaina Town).

Dustin was hurting from his all-day hiking binge, but said it was the most “breathtaking” and “wonderful experience” he has had in his life. He is now a convinced “crater hound.”  He joins a dedicated group of us.  . . .mj harden

Dustin at the end of the afternoon -- at Halekala's Summit!