Saturday, September 23, 2006

On top of the world

I’ve never climbed a mountain, but seeing a sunset at 14,000 feet is a breathtaking experience. We took the Mauna Kea (pronounced Mona Kaya) Sunset and Stargazing tour by Hawaii Forest and Trail one evening. They take you from your hotel (sea level, temperature 93) on a 90 minute ride to the summit of Mauna Kea (14,000 feet, 38 degrees) to watch the sunset. The view did not disappoint as an unobstructed sunset was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.

Mauna Kea is home to some of the world’s most powerful observatories. The stargazing portion of the tour was a 90 minute talk on the constellations and how ancient Hawaiians used these stars to navigate. Then the guide pulled out an 8” telescope and let us see some of the stars up close. The view of Jupiter was striking and we saw details on the moon almost like it was coming from Google Maps.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking, but if you’re ever on the big island, you won’t be disappointed with this tour.
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Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for posting -- they brought back some fond memories. (My father was a ranger at the nearby national park when I was young.)

If you're ever in Maui, you might enjoy sunrise at Haleakala. Equally inspiring.

Jeff Hunter said...


Yes, I was there about 15 years ago and it was breathtaking as well.