Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mauna Kea 13,796 ft.

I took this with my little old camera, and did not a thing to enhance the color.  This is what the sunrise looks like, really and truly.
This was a sweet little place called Coconut Island.  You have to walk over a bridge to get there.
It was the oddest thing, there was a statue of my husband on an outlook off the island....

These were some of the little Banyan trees that lines the roads and parks.

Big, bright, beautiful Hibiscus.  How embarrassing had my shirt and phone not matched the center of the flower!  Pink is my signature color!

After an enormous breakfast's at Ken's we went to Rainbow Falls.  Can you see the rainbow across the water?  Again this is a trickle compared to the gushing flow that it usually is.

 Our next stop was the Wailuku River.  Did I mention my husband is a schedule Nazi?  Do you see the beautiful waterfall in the background.  I was really hoping to swim in a waterfall, but you just can't get to them.
Next stop was the World's Botanical Garden's & Waterfalls.  We walked through a rain forest and met up with a local ranger who pointed out all this cool info about the forest.  He tore off a piece of bark from a cinnamon tree and we chewed the fragrant stick.  We ate pineapple ginger right off the flower.  Everything was lush and colorful.

A gorgeous 3 tiered waterfall.

Fresh Bird of Paradise!!

My mighty man hangin loose.

The flowers and I love each other!

Notice the plant on the right is stately and straight, while the one on the left is all snaky and swirly.

This gnarly tree had lovely yellow blossoms and right in the crook of the tree a sweet iris type flower was growing.  Grow where your planted, right?
We stopped a few more scenic points and headed back to the hotel to gear up for our big night.

Mauna Kea is an inactive volcano.  It is one of the world's best sites for astronomers to view the sky.  It has the right conditions, temperature, and atmosphere.  It has a 13,677 foot elevation.  When you stand outside your house and look up at the clouds that is about 7,000 feet high.  We grabbed some Thai food and packed it in the car for dinner.  We began the 1 1/2 hour drive to the visitor center at 9,000 feet. 

 There are tour buses there that will take you to the top, complimentary parkas for a sweet $300!  You really should have 4 wheel drive going the last 7 miles to the summit.  Our little economy car didn't know what it was in for!  
This is the top of the summit.  Those big dome things are gazillion dollar telescopes that only the astronomers use to collect data and watch the big sky.  At the top of the summit your lungs are compressed and breathing is shallow.  The pressure in your eyes is heavy.

Did I mention it is rather chilly at that elevation.  When we left our hotel the temperature was in the 80's.

We remembered our dinner, it got a bit cool.  It didn't matter, we were too captivated by the sunset...

These were the colors we saw.  It felt like you could skate across the clouds beneath you.  We have never seen anything like it, EVER!

By 9:00 the volunteers ask you to begin your decent, it is a bit scary.  We drove back down to the observatory and looked through some high powered telescopes and saw Saturn, Mars, the moon, and 1/2 of Venus.  The astronomer gave a brief overview of the stars and constellations with his cool green 25mw lazer pointer.

Our ears were popping, our water bottles were compressed from the lack of oxygen.  It was a long drive down the mountain, but an amazing experience.


1 comment:

Sandy said...

Stacey-These pictures are breathtakingly beautiful.God's Masterpiece.What a blessing that you got to experience such beauty.Thanks for sharing these with us.