Many places in Hawaii tend be partially indoor and partially outdoor. So, we had birds flying around at breakfast trying to eat any leftovers they could find. Here are some of the birds just waiting for an opportunity.
Mauna Kea is located in the north central part of the Big Island. We were staying on the west side of the island. I believe I mentioned before that our side of the island was the desert side getting only like 10-30 inches of rain a year. On the eastern side of the island is the rain forest area, getting something like 200 inches of rain a year. There's a road that goes right across the Island called Saddleback Road. So, we got on that and headed towards Mauna Kea.
Here's a wild turkey we saw on the way. We actually didn't see a whole lot of wildlife. Kind of disappointing. :(
You can drive up most of the way to the top, as long as you have 4 wheel drive. :) Then you hike the last bit. From Saddle Rd. it's almost 15 miles to the top. About 6 miles in, there's a visitor's center. So, we stopped there to change into our warmer clothes and to let our bodies adjust to the altitude. You start at sea level and go up to almost 14,000 ft. in a pretty short time! No one actually got altitude sickness, but there were some moments of queasiness. :)
Oh, and it was at this time that Daniel and I realized we had a miscommunication and left our jackets back at the hotel. Let me tell you, it was cold and windy! Thankfully, Daniel had a long sleeve under armor shirt in his back pack and he generously let me wear it. We had worn our pants that morning, so we were good there. Also, Brian had an extra long sleeve shirt that Daniel could wear, so it worked out. It just made us hike a little faster! :)
Here's a view on the way up looking down at the visitor center. You can see some buildings on the left side of the road.
This is what the side of the road looked like. Everywhere was pretty much shale. Not the best stuff for hiking.
We stopped a couple of times on the way up to try and let our bodies adjust. So, here's Daniel and I at one of our stops.
Since Daniel and I didn't have the best wind protection, we hopped on the trail quick, and scurried as fast we could up to the top.
Here I am part of the way up. It was so windy you just had to plant your feet with each step and lean into the wind. I had my arms hugging my body and my hands in my armpits most of the way up, trying to keep warm! Once we reached the top, the wind was a bit calmer and there was a pile of rocks we could sit behind to block it. So, it was much more comfortable.
We felt pretty triumphant once we got to the top. Thus, the next pictures. :)
There are several observatories on Mauna Kea with some of the best views of the sky, but we didn't have enough time to visit any. :(
Daniel took a picture of one from the top. You can see the other couples on their way up. A couple of dark dots on the path. :)
Here are several views from the top. It was quite scenic.
We all made it!
We headed back down and Daniel took off at a jog.....
Once I got down I headed straight to the porta potty and Daniel decided to get a picture of me with it.
So, with that accomplished, we got back onto the Saddleback Rd. and headed off to Hilo to see the rain forest side of the Island.
While we were driving along we saw something black scurry across the road. We thought maybe it was a dog or something. We came over a hill and saw this.
Needless to say, the tire couldn't just be changed. So we offered him a ride to town.
When we got to Hilo, it was lunch time. We decided to try a Thai place called Sombats. It was very good!
I ordered Pineapple Fried Rice. As you can see it came in half a pineapple and had shrimp, chicken, cashews, pineapple, onions, mushrooms, and more all cooked together. So yummy and beautiful!
The Hilo side of the island is also where Rainbow Falls is, so we decided to check it out.
We weren't too impressed, but it's supposed to be beautiful in the morning when the sun is shining on it. Still, we can say we've been there. :)
Next we went to Pe'e Pe'e Falls. (Pronounced pee-ah pee-ah falls, despite the spelling!)
It has what they call Boiling Pots. When the water is flowing strong enough, it looks like the water is boiling in these holes along the way. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough water flow that day for us to see any "boiling", but still a cool place. Some pictures of the "pots."
It was a really pretty place with lots of interesting plants. So, we took pictures of each couple there.
We couldn't resist a picture of this street sign! :)
There were lots of cool trees and plants in Hilo, especially the banyan trees.
We saw this store while we were driving through town. Notice the sign on the door. Maybe Daniel should use that sometime at the business. :)
This is the library in Hilo. That huge rock is the Naha Stone. The Hawaiian prophecy or legend of the Naha Stone stated that the person who moved the 2 1/2 ton Naha stone with his bare hands would unite and be ruler of all the Hawaiian Islands. One man did accomplish this feat, and his name was King Kamehameha the Great at 14 years old.
We decided to take a scenic route back to our hotel. Brenda and I sat on top of the seat back with the top off and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery! Here's some pics for you to enjoy, too.
We stopped at a place that was just beautiful. The waves were crashing against all these rocks and it sounded so amazing. Actually right near this cove a boat full of new Toyotas crashed into the rocks. So, the insurance company sent an adjuster there to check it all out. He insisted on a helicopter taking him right to the deck of the partially submerged boat and some strong waves came and took him with them! That was the end of him. I'm guessing the insurance company didn't send another adjuster. Here are several pictures from that awesome spot.
A path you could take to get down towards the shore. We didn't have enough time to explore this area, which was too bad. It was really cool and interesting!
Then we got back on the road and headed to our hotel. After awhile it began to rain, so we pulled over and put the top back on. :( Here are some pics of our drive into the evening time.
Hopefully the next set of pictures won't take quite so long to post. We are leaving for Missouri soon and will be gone for a couple weeks, so no promises! :)