Observing the Observatories

Driving back to our hotel from Hilo took us across the center of Big Island.  This is a pretty high drive as you pass between the two big mountains of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.  Mauna Kea is the home to a number of observatories.  We did drive some way up the mountain to the visitor’s center.  You are already at quite some altitude at this point and you could feel the lack of air when you moved too quickly.  There was an option to drive all the way to the top but we had other things scheduled and didn’t make the trek up.

From the visitor center, you couldn’t actually see the observatories.  However, as we drove towards the turn for the mountain, we did come to a pull off where you could see them up on the summit with the sun glinting off the domes of the larger installations.  Another time I would certainly like to go all the way to the top.  However, I think I shall be alone on that trip as Nancy was already feeling the effects of the altitude.

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