Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More 4x4 fun: Mauna Kea

After getting the yummy curry, we got onto the real business of the day. We were driving up to the top of Mauna Kea. This is a nearly 14,000 ft volcano with some of the best telescopes in the world on top. To sum up now, we were at sea level at noon in the Waipi'o Valley, and were going to be at over 13,000 feet by sundown. Let the challenge begin!

This adventure started with driving the Saddle Road, and narrow and shitty road that runs between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in the interior of the island that crests at over 6,000 feet above sea level. Most rental car companies specifically forbid taking their cars on this road, but the Jeep was allowed.

We wanted to see the sunset from up there and then attend the nightly astronomy program at the visitors' center back down at 9,000 feet. I get goofy at high altitudes, so my Amazing E did the driving. It's a good thing too, because I did get goofy. (Stop, I can hear the giggles of "How do you know the difference. Believe me, there is one.) Here's me goofy at the top of Mauna Kea.

And E was a champ up there.And this is that sunset we wanted to see, from above the clouds.

Then I said "Uncle" and we drove down. Like I said, I get goofy up there. In fact, we went all the way down to sea level to make me happy. I couldn't stay up there for the show.
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