Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Trip of a lifetime- Day 4 (part 2)

After rushing home and throwing on our "cold weather" clothes- jeans, we left the kiddos with Megan and headed to our Mauna Kea Summit Adventure- a sunset and stargazing tour.
We were super excited for the opportunity to go! Stef mentioned that she had always wanted to go and we jumped at the chance to go with her.

We made our way up the mountain and drove through some beautiful countryside...with some cool craters now and then.

This is the silversword - it is endangered and we saw them when we stopped to eat dinner.

Our guide was pretty awesome- he explained all about the land and history. He explained that when a volcano erupts it is rarely at the top, but out the side instead. So, really, we were safer at the top of the mountain than in our condo...something to think about.

Here are Stef and Ashley! The sun was blinding! We were told we were above 80% of the earth's atmosphere and that astronauts will come up here to train if they are headed to the moon. Apparently this is exactly what the terrain is like.

Here are the observatories. It was neat to see how so many countries have observatories up there!
This is where we stopped for the sunset...

You can go here to check out what the web cameras look like right now! So cool!

It was incredible...and freezing. They provided parkas.

As the sun was setting, we turned behind us and watched the moon rising.

When the sun was totally down, we drove down to the spot where we would do the stargazing.
Chris got out his tripod and the guides pulled out their telescopes. It was a full moon, which impeded our viewing and it was a little cloudy, but they were still able to show us some neat stuff! We got to see the Southern Cross, which we can't see from where we live, Saturn's rings, Jupiter's moons and several other things.

What a cool, cool experience. We are so happy that we went.