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June 23rd 2021
Published: June 23rd 2021
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Last full day on the island in this beautiful house. I am already getting sad. It has been such a great trip and I have loved watching my daughters and granddaughter bonding. Amazing how much Becky and her aunt have in common and how easily all of us got along and enjoyed the same things. No sniping, anger or even hurt feelings. Anyway back to our last big adventure together. Yesterday was the first and only time we had to wear other than casual or dress casual cool clothes. We had to wear long jeans and carry sweatshirts for our trip to Mauna Kea to see the sunset and do stargazing. Little facts about Mauna Kea. It is a dormant volcano and is the highest mountain in the world. Whoa! Wait a minute, you say. We were always told Everest was the highest. Everest is measured from sea level, but since Mauna Kea is a volcano it is measured officially from the sea bed. Thought it is only approximately 14000 feet from sea level, Mauna Kea and her sister volcano Mauna Loa are so heavy they have sunk four miles deeper into the seabed, thereby making it the tallest mountain. The summit of Mauna Kea is at 40% of the earth’s atmosphere and the humidity runs between 10 and 40%, so it is very dry. All visitors must stop for thirty minutes at the 9000 foot level to acclimate to the lower oxygen level. The road up is extremely rough except for a short distance at top and bottom that are paved. The top paved part is to prevent dust from affecting the observatories on the summit. There are at least 13, owned by many countries in partnership with the University of Hawaii. There was a massive protest for several years because scientists wanted to build an extremely large telescope there. Thousands of protestors built a tent city at the entrance to the park to prevent construction. Most are gone now, because some sort of compromise was met, but there are still a couple dozen tents there. They were protesting so long that the government put up mailboxes for them. The whole controversy revolved around issues between the Hawaiians who consider the mountain sacred and the scientists who want to be able to see further back in time . Time to write next part.


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