|Heart of the Mountain (click for larger view).|
Sitting at an elevation of 13,020 feet (3970 m), Lake Waiau (whose name means ‘swirling water’ although it doesn't really do anything but sit) is among the highest lakes in the world, and is one of the very few lakes in the Hawaiian islands. (As an aside, the word ‘lake’, much like the word ‘planet’ until recently, has no formal definition. So the ‘highest lakes in the world’ list can change quite a bit depending on what the person making personally considers a lake.)
|Panorama of Lake Waiau. I somehow lost the right-most photo in the transfer process.|
|Lake Waiau as seen from the trail into the puʻu.|
|I don't know what that algae is, but it sure is tough!|
|The bouncy terrain is further along the shoreline in this photo.|
|Those aren't car tracks, just two |
parallel foot-paths (feet-paths?).
|This is even more impressive when you realize each chip|
is roughly the size of your hand...and the pile is taller than you.
Mauna Kea is an interesting mountain, because it's so big and flat near the top that you can kind of forget you're on a mountain at all because you can't really see down. Around this point on the trail it starts to slope off enough that you can look down and see Mauna Loa, the Saddle beneath you, and even Hualālai if you're lucky.
Note the varied terrain to be found on the slopes of Mauna Kea.
Hualālai is just visible at the far right.
|Notice how the path drops off as we |
come to the really steep part of the trail.
|I've said it before, but “Little House on|
the Big Mountain” fits so well here. Quite idyllic.