Mauna Kea and Waterfalls

by kenji SAITO on May 29, 2019

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We woke up refreshed after sleeping at a lower altitude and had breakfast at the Crater Rim Café. Subsidized eating always hits the spot.

KMC

KMC

Our stomachs full, we returned back to cabin #23 and enjoyed the crisp morning air and enjoying the flowering lehua trees.

Mauna Loa Road

Mauna Loa Road

Matt and I drove up the tree lined road to recover his car, while everybody else got a few extra hours to pack and rest.

Mauna Loa Trailhead

Mauna Loa Trailhead

The end of the road was absent of any cars or hiker

Ke Amoku Flow

Ke Amoku Flow

Passing through an old lava flow on our way down, that dates back before 1790 at 5,630′ elevation.

Mauna Kea Road

Mauna Kea Road

We drove back to KMC and swapped out cars as Matt who was still suffering from altitude sickness decided to stay and enjoy the lower elevation, while the rest of us planned to drive up to the summit of Mauna Kea and visit Lake Waiau, which at 13,020′ is the highest lake in the country.

Mauna Kea Road

Mauna Kea Road

Driving up the winding road which would have taken us from sea to summit in less than two hours, except we didn’t have a full tank of gas. The devil is always in the details.

Hale Pohaku

Hale Pohaku

Marathon training at 9,300′ elevation.

Onizuka Center for International Astronomy

Onizuka Center for International Astronomy

We took our group photo in the nippy air and decided to check out waterfalls since our summit drive got scrubbed.

Saddle Road

Saddle Road

Going back down the road with rolling fog and driving rain.

Saddle Road

Saddle Road

I think somebody wanted to continue their training and run back to Hilo.

Pe‘epe‘e Falls

Pe‘epe‘e Falls

We drove down to Hilo and stopped at our first waterfall. Peering around the lava rock that partially obscures the hidden falls. Photo by Cisco Quintanilla

Pe‘epe‘e Falls

Pe‘epe‘e Falls

Cisco standing in front of the 60’plus waterfalls that were formed as a result of lava flows from Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea that merged back in the day.

Boiling Pots

Boiling Pots

Wailuku River feeding the terraced pools that were just simmering today.

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

We pulled into the parking lot for our second waterfall and walked past DLNR police questioning a truck of hippies for selling coconuts on state property. I guess no coconut water and rainbow today. Photo by Analyn Baliscao.

Wailuku River State Park

Wailuku River State Park

Bending over backwards to get that photo. Photo by Quan Haberstroh.

Home of Hina

Home of Hina

Cisco standing over the cavernous lava cave as the falls flow over it. Photo by Quan Haberstroh.

Waianuenue Falls

Waianuenue Falls

Watching the 80′ falls as it plunged into the large pool. Photo by Cisco Quintanilla.

Rainbow Falls Connection

Rainbow Falls Connection

Got lavosh? Photo by Cisco Quintanilla

Akaka Falls State Park

Akaka Falls State Park

Kaamaina’s get in free at the state park.

National tree of India

National tree of India

Monkey see, monkey do.

Banyan or Banian tree

Banyan or Banian tree

You’re too big! Somebody was here in spirit. We went down the lower part of the park to check out the 300′ Kahuna Falls, but it was either dry or not visible to our naked eyes. Photo by Analyn Baliscao.

Akaka Falls

Akaka Falls

Go for Broke photo with the 442′ waterfall that is fed by Kolekole Stream.

Kitty litter

Kitty litter

We didn’t see any of the endemic ‘o’opu ‘alamo’o (goby) or ‘opaekala’ole (shrimp), but we did run across a litter of feral kittens.

All pau

All pau

Met up with Matt at the end of the day at Saucy Dogs for our last meal on the Big Island. The flight back home was interrupted by the attempted smuggling of cans of Vienna sausage. Why not spam? Great week spent adventuring with good friends.

Note: I have been made aware that some hikers have been using my blog as a hiking guide and getting lost on the trails. Please note that this blog was made to document the hike for the crew(s) that did it. That is why some of my comments will seem to have no relevance or meaning to anybody outside of the crew(s) that hiked that trail. My blog was never meant as a hiking guide, so please do not treat it as such. If you find inspiration and entertainment from these hikes, that is more than enough. If you plan on replicating these hikes, do so in the knowledge that you should do your own research accordingly as trail conditions, access, legalities and so forth are constantly in flux. What was current today is most likely yesterdays news. Please be prepared to accept any risks and responsibilities on your own as you should know your own limitations, experience and abilities before you even set foot on a trail, as even the “simplest” or “easiest” of trails can present potential pitfalls for even the most “experienced” hikers.

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