Hi Everyone. This is Rusty. Let’s take a break from the sappy family moments to see some cool pictures of the “big island”, Hawaii. I was there to visit Gemeni Observatory, which is a 25 ft diameter telescope on top of a dormant volcano at an elevation of 14,000 ft. By comparison Timpanogos mountain in Utah is 11,749 ft. I’ve taken to tackling Colorado’s 52, “14ers” so the idea of working on top a “14er” was intriguing… and it’s Hawaii after all.
This is Hilo (at sea level) with Mauna Key (at 14000 ft) rising above it.
Everyday the workers at Gemeni Observatory meet at 7 AM and hop into company SUVs to begin their ascent of Mauna Kea. The terrain quickly changes from a rainforest to a lava filled grassland.
At 10,000 ft all the six active observatories ontop of Mauna Kea have chipped in and built a cafeteria. All employees are required to stop and eat breakfast there for a half hour to acclimate. The food was pretty good.
The top is covered with snow- some people ski this crater.
Finally you get to the top- it’s amazing to see these huge structures up this high.
So then I tried to hike Mauna Loa, which is Mauna Kea’s wicked (still active) step-sister. There is no road up to Mauna Kea – it’s a 21 mile hike, so needless to say my one free day didn’t cut it.
Next trip. Any takers?