Journey to the Top of the World

Saturday and we started out with a lovely breakfast overlooking the garden. We started our day with a drive to The Puna area, the south coast, very jungely and local. We went for a morning swim in a hot springs pool called Alahani. Remember the place Jess? It was heaven. Our goal for the day was to go up Mauna Kea to see the Keck telescope, this is 12,000 Ft above sea level. I was a bit nervous but we had our 4-wheel drive vehicle for the trip.
We stopped at the Lava tree State Park and looked at the sculptural formations that remain after the lava flow covered trees and cooled. Stopping in Pahoa was like going to Bolinas in 60’s. They call it the outlaw town. Unfortunately, lava is flowing into parts of the town. Not a good place to buy real estate.
We wandered around Hilo until time to drive up the mountain, a long drive but we wanted to catch a talk at the visitor center by an astronomer at 6. We made it to the visitor center at 9000 ft. where we had to acclimate for 1/2 hour before driving up to the summit. There was a big protest going on there. The native Hawaiians are protesting the building of another telescope on their sacred mountain. It’s not only the age old argument of religion against science but the desecration of Hawaiian lands and culture. They can’t seem to agree. 12 people were arrestedimage

imageimage Friday for blocking the road.
We drove the 8 miles UP to the top, me hanging on for dear life. Once up there, it was spectacular. We were above the rain and clouds below. On the way down we drove into a huge rainstorm. Whatzzat?
Back down to sea level. What a day!

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