The top of Haleakala was always cold and often windy. I learned to dress appropriately including keeping my ears covered. Hosmer’s Grove was where the campgrounds were at about the 700 foot level. It was cold here too at least in the morning and by the standards of someone who lived at sea level.
In the trunk of my Mustang I carried a pizza box with charcoal and newspaper. It was an instant fire. I would come down after watching the sunrise and cook myself breakfast each time. One sunny morning I was getting my cooking gear out when a man came up to me and implored me in very broken English that I didn’t need to light my own ire and that I was welcome to use theirs.
I thanked them and moved my car up to his location. He was in a group of about six or so and I heard them speaking German to each other. I nodded in thanks to them as they were gathering up their stuff and I got out my stuff. Then I heard a chuckle. I had just gotten out my portable tape deck and set it on the roof of my American car. It had race car stickers on it and I could imagine their amusement. I figured they were saying to look at the American Teenager with his radio where he will now play Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen songs.
So I reached in my car and pulled out one of my favorite tapes. I knew if was cued to the beginning when I popped it in and pressed play. When the music started I continued to prepare my breakfast. But there was a start from my observers. I noticed their surprise and enjoyed music and the moment.
The group kept packing up their stuff but eventually a woman broke off and came up to me. She pointed to my radio.
“Wagner,” she declared.
“Yeah,” I answered. “Wagner.”
Ride of the Valkeries played on. She gave me an approving look and we both went on our day.