Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea

It felt like an awefully late start this morning but in truth we just got up way too early!  After, laundry, breakfast, dishes, coffee, reading, and waiting for Caleb to get his school work done it was still only 9:30 AM when we left the house this morning.  We threw in the towels and boogie boards because we just never know what the day will entail and we have to leave room for some spontaneity (the suits and snorkles are always kept in the car besides for washing).  There was a few things on the to do list so really we just went eeny meeny (is that even how you spell that). It was raining pretty good in Hilo so we opted out of the activities in Hilo and headed for the mountains.  We had been asked if we had seen the Mauna Kea observatory yet and we hadn’t so we decided to do that.  One wrong turn and a 13 mile long one lane road took is to the Mauna Loa Observatory very cool.  I was so green at the gills as it was an amazing road with twists and turns, texture and no shoulders good thing on the way up at least we met no cars.  The altitude at the top was over 11,000 feet which was a huge change from sea level an hour before.  I don’t know what I have ever experienced altitude sickness, but I was a bit off balance and shakey and wasn’t sure if it was car sickness or altitude sickness.  In pulling Eve out of the car (because she has a gift for being the slowest being on the planet sometimes) I stepped off the ledge, a little one but still, and we both tumbled to the ground with only minor injuries.  

      It was a tad chilly and we were sad to be underprepared to hike at least a ways up the trail, but alas, there was no point in making the kids miserable because of my curiosity.  



 We loved the view, and the shiny glittery lava rocks.  Caleb showed us his big guns by picking up big rocks.  There is no density to them so although they are large they are not heavy.  









We hadn’t taken a family picture on an outing in a while so we took an oportunity to take on on top of Mauna Loa.  

  We broke into our lunch on the way down the mountain.   

 They may have all burst of we had gone up any higher! We then drove down to the highway and back up the adjacent road going to the Mauna Kea observatory.  

     There was a 15% grade ahead so needles to say we didn’t make it to the top of Mauna Kea.  The observatory was below this and so we turned around and went in there.  


The summit at 13,976 feet is only the measurement of what is above sea level, it continues below the sea quite a ways making its hight in its entirety the largest mountain in the world.  They do have summit tours on Saturdays and we want to go back sometime and do it.  With it being lunch time we had a long time to wait until the 6:00pm astronomy presentation.  We opted to drive down to Kona and check out the downtown and have dinner then come back.  We got some astronaut ice cream to try on the way.   


Kona was sunny and hot, there was a cruise ship in so there was plenty of oportunities for people watching.  

        Lunch was right on the water with a live band and totally hit the spot. 

     We will have to come back to this part of town and check out the shops.  This was the first ABC store we found. Probably the only one on the big island. 

We got back to Mauna Kea observatory just in time.   

    The presentation started at 6:00pm and by the time it was over at 7:00pm it was dark.  





 Now for looking in the Telescopes!!!!! 

      So totally awesome!!!!!!! We will have to go back again with our parkas on and the kids better rested.  Everyone talked about every detail of the day the whole way home.  


Categories: Family Time, Hawaii local attractions | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: