Sunday, January 15, 2017

Driving Saddle Road

On Dec. 4 the itinerary item was to drive the scenic Saddle Rd., which connects the east and west sides of Big Island.  We had wanted to go up to the summit of the Mauna Kea volcano, but we knew already that it was still snowing up there and the road would be blocked.  Still, we headed out to see what we could see.

That's the slope of Mauna Kea ahead of us ... and yep, there's weather up there.

We passed over many old lava flows, this is one:

Lots of volcanic hills:

Heading up Mauna Kea towards the visitor centre.  Yep, that's snow!

And ... this is where it ends.  If we had been collecting photos of places we'd been weathered out, this would be #5 or so by now:

We did a little short hike up the cratered hills, instead:

Yep, it started actively raining again, such that one layer of rain gear wasn't enough:

Back down towards the saddle, passing some craters on the way:

Below is Mauna Loa in the distance, the other volcano, it's got snow happening up at the top too, but you can't see it from the saddle, it's clouded in at the top.

We stopped at a pullout and it happened to be where the Hilo-Pu'u'o'o trail crosses the road.  This trail crosses an 1855 lava flow, but the route roughly follows more ancient trails.  We would have walked part of it except it was, yeah, raining:

Our rental car awaits back at the highway.

We stopped at Rainbow Falls on the way in to Hilo.  Ironically, due to the rain, no rainbow today, but on a clear day I guess it habitually has a rainbow in the spray.

There were banyan trees near the falls:

And, since we had shortened and reduced our stops of the day due to the rain, we got to the hotel early.  Here's Ed sitting in the open air lounge:

Here's hoping for some less miserable weather tomorrow ...

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