THE 50th STATE
Mar 31 2015
Today we decided to go to the top of the highest mountain in Hawaii 13,700 feet Mani kea . This massive ancient Volcano has on its summit some 20 different observatories from countries around the world that due to its location on the earth and clarity have contributed greatly to our understanding of the universe. Currently a new and more sophisticated telescope is being planned. There is a point where 8 miles from the top the pavement ends and it becomes a dirt road. Here we found native hawaiians protesting the new telescope? I did not even bother to converse with them. They claim the mountain is a “sacred” place and it should not be allowed. First of all there are observatories on top already, whats one more? Second, native Hawaiians prior to the advent of “non native” probably never even made it to the top. I won’t go any further with this its not worth wasting time on. The thing that really irked me was the cautions and attempts to stop people from venturing up to the summit. They tell everyone they need a 4WD and even then it is soo dangerous fear fear fear. Having come from Colorado where this is a second rate mountain it was appalling. We went anyway in our rental 2WD car. Unfortunately the trouble we had was the car overheated after the first 2 miles and it was not even steep nor was the road anything but wide and smooth. How else do you get cement mixers and equipment up there? A wonderful couple our age Bruno and Marie from Switzerland picked us up and took us in their car to the top. Guess what, the last 4 miles to the top were newly paved!! All that BS, mis information and fear mongering. It was a wondrous sight despite the clouds below us obstructing our view of the sea. Going from sea level where we have been living for almost 3 months to almost 14,000 feet in a matter of an hour left me a little dizzy. When we got back to our vehicle on the road it had cooled down and started right up. We went past the discontents and found a grove of trees to stop and have a picnic. Here on the slopes it is fine grassland and the trees were coniferous. Mullen was growing and the scent of sage came from somewhere. I lay in the sun and for a moment I was home again. We came across some wild goats and Rajni when walking towards them flushed a pheasant. It was a very wonderful day. Tomorrow we leave for our next digs a small town near the south point of the island and the count down to returning to Colorado.