This was a minor highlight of our
Sunrise at Haleakala trip.

The rain at the volcano, which held back any visualization of the Sun's rise, had been a totally unwelcome event--a highly disappointing nasty of Nature.   A real show closer.
    So what was left?
    Not all that much.  Really.
    Though, quite honestly, the drive down the mountain through an ever-changing landscape was certainly inviting.  The fact that the volcano lifts so high above the ocean floor caused our drive to take us from desert like volcanic rock, through forests and lush green hillsides.
    What else was left?
    Well this stop before breakfast.
    If we'd driven to the volcano on our own, during the daylight hours, we probably would never have found the flower farm.  So, I suppose, something was gained by this early morning trip.  I don't know if it was worth getting up at 2 AM in the morning just to see flowers and eat a nice breakfast at the local golf club, but, certainly, we got more beautiful pictures here than at the cloud enveloped volcano.

    Probably the most interesting thing one can say about the protea farm, outside of the pictures, is that these amazingly shaped and beautiful flowers originally came from Africa.


Then breakfast time!
And conversation about the rains that came.

Once again the golf coffee shop.

 The verbal sharing went something like this:

*Based on a "somewhat" true incident!**
**Highly fictionalized for purpose of protecting the not so innocent.

    Have you ever seen a bunch of people gathered around a table in a huge cavern? Well, consider Snow White's seven little friends--especially Grumpy--and you get a concept of the mood of these travel weary folk.
    While we ate, the conversation between my fellow passengers went something like this:
    "Well," one woman said, "I'm terribly disappointed.  Not seeing the sunset.  I was really looking forward to it.  Our travel agent said it was the Must of Maui!"
    "Must of Maui?  What's that?" the man next to her asked.
    "Well, you know, one of those things you must do--like seeing a Luau, at least once.  So, I'm just disgusted about this rain.  Seems like they could...well, do...something.  All things considered."
    One serious faced man said: "Can't blame the tour bus guide. He was wonderful."
    "Who can we blame?" the woman pushed her point.  "After all we expected a show and it was closed down because of rain.  Broadway would give you a refund on your ticket!"
    Mr. Serious Face said: "Well this isn't Broadway, in case you didn't notice."
    "Who cares, I want my money back!" someone muttered.
    "Yes," another announced. "They should refund our money."
    "They knew in advance about the weather!"
    "And didn't tell us anything about that!"
    Somebody thumped the table, rattling dishes.  "It isn't fair!"
    "Well, life isn't always fair," Mr. Serious pointed out.  "You have to be reasonable about such things.  They do the best they can.  Look at this wonderful place we're enjoying right now--and the great meal we've had!"
    "And the flower farm," somebody else offered up.  "That was lovely."
    "The trip down the mountain was stunning!"
    Mr. Serious, delighted at having changed the mood of the conversation, said: "See.  Things aren't as bad as you all are making it out.  I've personally had a grand time this morning!  A real adventure to remember."
    "Some adventure!  No volcano.  No Sunrise at Haleakala.  No deal!"
    Grumbles rumbled. Then somebody thumped the table, dishes were desperately grabbed.
    "Right. I went on this tour to see the Sunrise.  And it didn't!"
    "Sure it did," claimed Mr. Serious.  "We simply couldn't see it."
    "Maybe we should demand another trip!"
    "And get up this early in the morning?  Again?!!"
    "Well...consider. A contract is a contract. We bought our tickets to see the sun--they knew it would hide in the rain--they didn't tell us--"
    "Maybe we should take them to court!" one mild voice muttered.
    Mr. Serious shook his head, announcing with finality: "They can't be held legally responsible for what the Maui God doth do!"
    "Are you saying the Maui God is on their side?"
    "Maui, pooee!  Ain't fair!!"
    By this time it felt as if I was at the table with a bunch of mad ants about the have an unholy tantrum.  Yet to some extent, at least emotionally, I had to agree with many of these points.
    "I'm going to have my husband call the office and complain!" one woman announced, fist coming just short of smashing the table in open defiance.  "We'll demand our money back or another drive up the mountain."
    "Luck be with you," I managed to choke out. "They'll say, 'sorry,' but couldn't be helped.'!"
    "Acts of God," Mr. Serious groused.  "Beyond their control.  Read the small print on the contract!"
    And so it went.  All of us were frustrated. Tired.  The tour to the mountain had been but a drive into the embrace of the maui rain gods.  We were glad to get in the bus and be driven back to our hotels.

    Since then!

    I've turned these facts over in my head.
    What if they had known, in advance, the sun would not perform its function in their show?
    Did they owe the public a refund--as any good Broadway ticket agent would pay out?
    Should they, like any manufacturer, back up their produce?  Simply as a matter of good public relations?
    Eat their losses?
    Perhaps they are morally, legally, and literally off the hook if the following is true:
    The ranger at the Haleakala station told me, when I asked if the sun would be breaking through the clouds:  "You never can tell, for certain. We sure hope so."
    And so did we.
    I wonder if that woman ever made her call; and did the tour company claim no fault, refund the money, or give them a second try at a Sunrise at Haleakala.

Perhaps I should contact them.
Ekahi Tours
And see what they have to say.

Wanna see more?
Then check out:
Sunrise Protea Farm

To continue click on

The Maui Man.

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