Monday, June 8, 2009

Na na na na na na na na Native! 6 of 8

Day Six: To the Mountains

On Wednesday of our week long Honeymoon we ventured into the mountains of the Big Island. We took off early in the morning to head over to the Hilo side of the island. We were able to search out two waterfalls, Akaka Falls and Umauma Falls, that even put Feather Falls to shame. A ton of water poured over the cliff sides with the thick saturation of tropical vegetation.

Akaka Falls is a 400 foot waterfall that flows into a small pool as seen from an overlook on a short trail. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

Umauma Falls cascades through Hilo, Hi in April, 2009. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

With a light sprinkle overhead we went to a botanical garden where we were greeted with an assortment of flowers. There were hundreds of beautiful natural decor. As we were looking around Cassie stumbled upon a frightening discovery. Right in the midst of our path was a huge spider. The spider was about 5 inches long. Cassie, who is terrified of spiders, was frozen in place. She turned around to walk back from where she came and turned into the view of another huge spider. They were everywhere. Then we saw the webbing dangling above our heads. We decided to leave the botanical garden knowing that as nice as the flowers were, the spiders were much more scary.

A spider sprawls out on its webbing in the botanical garden in Hilo, HI in April 2009. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

Later that evening we made our way up the mountain to an observatory. This observatory was above 13,000ft located atop Mauna Kea. Being so high in elevation, allowed the mountain top to be covered with snow. Yes, snow! You don't really think of snow being in Hawaii, but it is true. There is often snow on Mauna Kea. We were able to go around sunset to the top where there is an observatory. This observatory is one of the best because the islands have some of the least amount of light pollution. We actually have to leave the top a half an hour after sunset so that our headlights don't give off light pollution to the telescopes. We descended down to an visitors center where we were able to use telescopes to see the stars. It was such a difference to go from the sea level hot beaches to the high cold mountain.

Snow covers the mountain top of Mauna Kea above 13,000 ft on the Big Island. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

An observatory sits atop of Mauna Kea above the clouds as the sun sets on the Big Island. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

The stars shine above a visitor's center at Mauna Kea. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

The stars shine above Mauna Kea. (Jason Halley/ProPixelographer)

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