Kahinahina “Road”

We began our adventure from Saddle Road around 6,000 feet to circumnavigate Mauna Kea on the Kahinahina “Road.” Kahinahina is Hawaiian for silversword .  We started our drive at around 1:30 and drove all the way to our overnight stay at Pu’u Kaluamakani arriving at around 5 pm.  After watching the sunset and then the amazing stars we fell asleep in our tents.  The night air got pretty cold!  We all awoke to a beautiful morning and had some strong coffee and breakfast all the while watching our native birds the Amakihi forage in the Mamane and plumb trees next to our camp.   The next leg our our trip would take us from 7,500 feet to around 9,500 heading around the northern part of Mauna Kea.  The going was pretty slow as the road was pretty gnarly in places.  We saw one vehicle parked during our entire drive and one vehicle on the road and a total of two people over the two days on the road.  All in all it was a great time with some great friends.

This was at the end of the trip after I connected with the Mauna Kea Access Road.  I was coming down the hill and noticed the (never before seen) penumbra or Earth’s shadow at sunset.

Almost home after our camping trip I came upon Pu’u Nohona o Hae and the crescent Moon above.

It was so dark at night and the stars were unbelievable.  You may not be able to discern the Milky Way in the small image, but you can see the lights of my 4Runner.

Our overnight stay in a Pu’u included ripe sweet plumbs.  We were at about 7,600 feet elevation.

Our “Hotel” room view was great for sunset.  Maui is to the right of the sun just barely above the clouds.

Rounding the North side of Kahinhina Road. We are at around 9,500 feet.  Below would be Lapahoehoe.  Not shown in this picture is a plane crash on the side of a cinder cone on Mauna Kea at 11,300 feet.  A Navy pilot in 1971 crashed his jet and died.

Our trip would not have been complete without seeing some Silverswords along the way!