Mauna Kea in the Late Afternoon

The snow from this weekend was still visible this morning, but was gone by late afternoon when we were coming down, at least from the south face. The air was very clear all day, details often lost in the haze standing out clearly.

Even more dramatic when the late afternoon light emphasized the rugged terrain. Even those of us who have seen it so many times had to stop for the photo.

Mauna Kea in the Late Afternoon
Mauna Kea in the Late Afternoon taken from Mauna Loa

Walking the King’s Trail

Rather than spend the evening obsessing over election results I opted to take a hike. Nothing dramatic, just a short loop hike close to home, along the shoreline south of ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay .

Looking north the Waikoloa Resorts along the King's Trail
Looking north the Waikoloa Resorts along the King’s Trail

The plan was to use the King’s Trail to quickly hike a couple miles out, then to take my time hiking back along the shoreline. I timed my start so that sunset would occur while I was coming back along the beach.

While this section of the King’s Trail is over 150 years old, it is in excellent condition and allows easy hiking across the lava fields. The trail cuts absolutely straight over the ridges and tumuli of piled rock, much faster than slogging through the beach sand.

I had hiked the shoreline here many times, but had not hiked any real length of the King’s Trail. The trail crosses the lava flows well above the coastline, as a result it can be brutally hot under a tropical Sun, while the shoreline offers regular shade and a cool ocean breeze.

This particular election day evening the Sun was muted by a broken overcast sky. Why not use the trail?

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An Anticipated Election

Done.

2020 Hawaii Ballot
The 2020 Hawaii county ballot section for president

Ballots complete, stuffed, signed, and deposited in the drop box at the county elections service center that just opened. While decisions on the various candidates had been made quite some time ago, we had to spend some time reading to understand a few of the county charter amendments I was unfamiliar with.

I cannot recall a ballot I was so anticipating filling out or dropped in the box with such satisfaction. Even if the deeply blue Hawaiʻi result on the presidential election is already well known, filling in that box was something of a catharsis. I may have used a bit more ink than necessary to register the vote properly.

I realize I have voted in nine presidential elections across the decades. I have always made a point to vote, even in primary elections. I look back and realize that years past I often voted without much concern for which party a candidate declared, particularly in traditionally conservative Arizona where the best candidates were usually in the GOP. Those days are gone, maybe for quite a while.

Voting in Hawaii is very easy… Get the ballots in the mail, fill out at leisure, mail them in. Deb and I opted to drop them off directly to the elections office as the service center site is just a skip and hop off the main road into town.

The elections service center for the island’s west side is located in the county office complex off Kealakehe Parkway. Around back in the multi use room, easy parking, no crowd, the kind ladies manning the center will point out the box just inside the door.

Now we just have to wait 14 days for a result, and perhaps a bit more for confirmation.

Andrea Ghez awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics

UCLA scientist and Keck Observatory user Andrea Ghez has been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. She shares the prize with two other researchers; Roger Penrose, a British mathematical physicist and German astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel, for work in black holes and galaxies.

Andrea Ghez presents a community lecture at the Honoka'a People's Theater
Andrea Ghez presents a community lecture at the Honoka’a People’s Theater

There is no Nobel prize in astronomy and the Nobel in physics has traditionally gone to scientists involved in hard physics for discoveries of some new theory or subatomic particle. It is only in recent years that we have seen a few Nobel prizes awarded to astronomers.

Andrea is the only Nobel recipient I have known personally. I can say one thing, she completely deserves it. While her scientific achievements may justify the award, her activities beyond the science are just as commendable.

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Nine-O-Nine

I was looking for another photo and came across a few I had forgotten about. In 2002 the Collings Foundation flew several WWII aircraft into Tucson International Airport and provided tours.

B-17 Nine-O-Nine
B-17 Nine-O-Nine

Each year the foundation took a few aircraft and toured the country, allowing visitors to tour the aircraft and for a more substantial donation provide sightseeing flights. For those who simply toured the aircraft on the ground they allowed something special, allowing guests to climb through the aircraft and see the inside.

As the airport was just a few minutes from work I had to take advantage of this opportunity. Deb met me for lunch and we headed over together to see the aircraft.

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