On Wednesday, my uncle Stanley drove over from his home in Pa`auilo to pick us up and take us to Mauna Kea.
From the Kohala Coast, it took about an hour and a half to get to the visitor's center at Mauna Kea and from there it was another half an hour or so of driving up vertiginous, unpaved roads to the summit of the mountain. As we neared the top, the clutch on my uncle's car gave out, so we all piled out of the car to wander around and take pictures. The wind was strong enough to pick up pieces of gravel and fling them through the air. My father's hat was blown off his head and over the side of a cliff- my brother scrambled down the side to retrieve it. The car wheezed back to life and we continued on to take a look at the Keck observatories, looking down on the blanket of clouds below us.
It was cold and strangely otherworldly on top of the mountain. The observatories and auxiliary buildings gave the bare landscape a sci-fi feel. From the summit we could see to Maui. I was glad to have a fleecy jacket on.