Here I am, in my own little room at Hale Pōhaku. I'm here on Mauna Kea for the first time as more of a visitor, than as someone with things to do and places to be. Well, I do have things to do, but I also have worlds more free time than I've ever had up here before. It's kind of strange -- I hardly know what to do with myself.
|Isn't it cute?|
It's really nice being up here. With the sun out, the wind blowing across the mountain's flanks reminds me of the prairie wind in Nebraska, a memory for which I have an especial fondness. I was startled earlier by a strange sound coming from outside my window, which I discovered to be emanating from a pair of Francolinus erckelii (Erckel's francolins) wandering by.
The four of us who came up -- Dr. Takamiya, myself, and two more astronomy students working with her -- got here about one `o clock. After we checked into our personal, hotel-like rooms in the Hale Pōhaku dorms, I realized I had absolutely no responsibilities until dinner time. I thought about doing a little hiking, but ended up resting in preparation for tonight. We're going to try and get a ride up to the Subaru telescope with the astronomers going up this evening, not to oberve (that's tomorrow night), but to spend a few hours up there getting acclimated to the high altitude and lack of oxygen.
Well, it's nearly dinner time, so I need to head off and bulk up on some calories. My one complaint with my room is that the thermostat seems to be incapable of raising the temperature to a comfortable level, so I'm going to be burning a lot of calories tonight. (I'll measure the temperature tonight with my watch thermometer and see what it is.)