September 26, 2012 – Kona, Day 3

Our goal for today is to visit the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy. Ellison Onizuka was an astronaut from Hawaii who was killed in the Challenger crash. It is at about 12,000 feet elevation on Mauna Kea.

For Jim’s musical take on the universe listen to his Cosmic Perspective.

Today’s narrative continues as captions for the pictures –

John with Clark and Lewis at the Onazuka Center for International Astronomy

John and pals watch the informative film at the visitor’s center

Outside there is a telescope that we all try looking through. Mostly we just see an orange dot.

We decide to take a hike up a nearby hill for a better look. Here are John and Eileen at the beginning of the hike with the hill behind them.

Eileen and especially Jim hike up the hill much faster than we do.

As we hike up the hill we can see the clouds below us.

Finally we reach the top! It was quite steep. However, it is always more difficult going down than up.

Eileen and Jim along with Clark and Lewis have also reached the top.

From our vantage point we can also look over to Mauna Loa.

Soon it is time for lunch. We travel over to Waimea and find Merriman’s, a restaurant that Sophie and Al have recommended.

John has the poke. He says it is delicious.

I order the mahi mahi with rice, vegetables and salad.

After a stop at Costco to pick up ingredients for tonight’s dinner, we relax on the deck with popcorn and wine while we wait for the sunset.

Once again there is no green flash but after the sun sinks below the horizon we are treated to a beautiful sunlit cloud.

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