On the Keck 2 Dome

During the morning meeting we discuss our plans for the day. This is done to coordinate activities, to insure we will not get in each other’s way during the day. This also lets everyone know if we are doing anything that might have a safety concern, so we can watch out for each other. With this last part in mind I noted that I would be climbing to the top of the Keck 2 dome.

On the Keck 2 Dome
Andrew Cooper atop the Keck 2 Dome, photo by Denny Birch
All I needed to do was to take some photos and make some measurements. We want to install some weather instruments on top of the dome, given the harsh mountain conditions this must be properly planned and approved. This was a nice day, not a cloud overhead, warm and sunny, and no wind. A perfect day for climbing the dome.

After the meeting Denny approaches me. “Can I come?” he asks. Denny is our network manager, in charge of our computer systems, he has never had an opportunity, or reason, to climb the dome. The top of the dome is just a bit spectacular, and it is a beautiful day, I can not blame him for wanting to go.

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Election Day

Tomorrow is election day. A day so many of us have been awaiting, and dreading. This election has seen so much rancor, so much passion, it is difficult to measure by any past standards. Tomorrow it will be over in one way, and I suspect, just starting in others.

I Voted
I Voted sticker, image credit: Wikimedia
I will not be joining the line at our local polling place. Not because I do not want to vote, but rather as I have already voted. I stopped by the Waimea Community Center last week and voted early.

This election is too important and life has a way of disturbing any plans. Not that my vote will decide the presidency, that will have already occurred by the time polls close in Hawaii. But rather it is too important to me personally. I can not abide the thought of not having voted in this election, an election where so much is at stake for our country.

There is only one acceptable outcome tomorrow… That Trump loses hard. That our country rejects hate, rejects divisiveness, rejects racism, and rejects the lies. I, like so many others, will be watching the election results very closely tomorrow, sweating the results from each battleground state. It will be a long day.

Pele’s Kitchen

I do prefer a pre-dawn run to see the lava. Beside the many advantages of a morning run, there is a problem. After hiking, boating, or biking all morning you are hungry, and there are not many places available to eat in Puna that are open for breakfast.

Pele's Kitchen
Pele’s Kitchen restaurant in Pahoa
Our usual solution is to drive all the way back into Hilo and have breakfast at Ken’s House of Pancakes. But this takes a fairly long drive, and we are hungry now! Fortunately our tour guide last time out, Andrew of Kalapana Cultural Tours offered another solution. He suggested we try Pele’s Kitchen in Pahoa. Hmmm? Recommended and only fifteen minutes away. Why not?

Pele’s Kitchen is located directly in the middle of Pahoa, along Old Government Road. You need to turn into town from the bypass to find the business district. Parking is found along the main street, not usually much of a problem first thing in the morning.

While Andrew had recommended the mango blintzes I was not feeling like something quite so sweet, ordering a breakfast burrito instead. Just as well as they had sold all of the blintzes for the morning. Also available was a selection of vegan and vegetarian offereings, no surprise in Puna.

The burrito was great, filled with eggs, a couple different types of sausage, and seasoned rice. Deb had the apple french toast, also excellent. Each breakfast was served with a side garnish of fresh tropical fruit. The meals were satisfyingly filling and ran up a tab of about $30 for the two of us.

It seems completely appropriate to eat at a place called Pele’s Kitchen after spending the morning out on the lava flows. It should not have been a surprise that there were other folks eating with us that had been out to the lava. Given the convenience of the location and the quality of the food I may just have to stop here the next time I am returning from visiting Pele in the morning