Pitch black, coffee in hand, and sleepy women in the backseat, we proceeded silently down the road. After about five minutes the cackeling of the hens began. Doesn't take long to warm up and the laughter begins. Mark deserves a big medal for putting up with all the women.
We arrived at the state park in about two hours. It was so early that even the park rangers weren't working. We paid the machine and finished the trek up the winding road, and discovered we were the third car to arrive! Yahoo...we had prime real estate! 10,023 feet up and we could choose our ground for viewing. We learned that we were higher than than Mt. Everest, and began to "suit up".
The moon was full, and glorious. The wind was silent, and it was cold, but no wind. We climbed the stairs to reach the obsersvatory, pulled out the compass and staked our ground. Only two hours to wait. What were we thinking???
We were thinking that in our 10 plus trips to Hawaii we had never made the trek. Some related it to a highly spiritual moment...we are all four so glad we made the trip, even if I groused at Mark for setting the alarm for 1:30 am instead of 2:30! We were tired, but the trip was new, and we did so much in our first 7 1/2 hours of waking.
We saw chuckars, nene (the state Hawaiian bird) and pheasants. The countryside was so beautiful as we came down the mountain. We had breakfast at the Kula Lodge, and we loved the view and of course the company.
The funniest part of the morning, was as the sun was rising, the fog rolled in, as thick as we've ever seen. We were all dripping with condensation and decided it was time to call it and head to the car. When we reached the car, looked up the stairs, it was a pink glow. Patti and I were sure we were missing something amazing. Frozen toes, long johns, wool socks, coats, scarves and all we did a Rocky move, sprinted up the stairs, to see the people who's backs I captured, pink fog and nothing more. Patty could barely breathe, I thought I was going to burst a lung, and as I do with most things, my lessons are learned the hard way. Don't try to run at high altitude. Mark and Susie were smart, sitting in the car with the heater on, but this little cat, who's known near and far as "Whiskers" would always wonder if she missed something.