Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station

Spring Break 2011 continued today (Mr A took the day off work - "you don't use em, you lose em") and we capped off our adventure filled week with one last exploration: we finally checked out Mauna Kea.

We've lived here over 2 years now and this is the first time we have attempted this.  The deterrent was that I didn't think the boys could go up that high in elevation and we don't have a 4WD vehicle.  Well, come to find out they can go to the VIS (website here) - they just can't go to the summit, where all the large international telescopes are.  Ditto for the car.

But there is plenty to check out at the Information Station.  We made it right at sunset (although we didn't actually see the sunset because it's about a five minute hike to the lookout point).  The above picture is looking toward Hilo and the pic below is facing Kona side where the sun is setting.

The reason we got to thinking about this today is because we spent the morning at the beach with Kanani and we were talking about all the things she wants to do before she moves back to Oregon in May.  So the real goal is to get a babysitter and go up here with her - check out the summit and do the whole shebang.  But I'm glad we went now because I learned some very valuable lessons that will make our big Mauna Kea adventure more comfortable (wear shoes, bring hot soup/cocoa, gloves are a must, etc).
Since Mr A works tomorrow and the boys were restless, we had to leave somewhat early (730) before all the telescopes got fired up.  I heard that later in the night they were going to be viewing Saturn.  Like 'all the rings and you can see the shadow of the rings on the actual planet' Saturn.  I am practically crawling out of my skin looking forward to going back and seeing that!!!

As a side note: all of this stuff is free but the ride up will eat your gas.

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