City Girl Gone Wandering
Tomorrow marks two weeks to the day that I left New York City. It also happens to be my one week anniversary of arriving in Hawaii. None of these things make sense to me. New York feels so long ago, and life in Hawaii feels even longer.
I’ve managed to squeeze a lot into a single week: beaches, bays, cities, beer, and even a volcano.
On Sunday, we drove to Mauna Kea to see the snow that has accumulated there in the last few weeks. Hannah (my coworker) and I are both from the northeast, and have come to Hawaii to get away from winter rather than return to it. However, watching the Hawaiians react to seeing cold white powder for the first time was well worth the trek. One group of guys came down the mountain with a truck full of it. Others packed it into coolers to bring back home with them. Hannah and I were less astonished by the experience, and thus just used boogie boards to sled down the slippery slope like the winter pros that we are.
The drive to Mauna Kea from Captain Cook takes about ninety minutes. Approximately the first half-hour is spent going through the small Hawaiian towns that I have grown accustomed to, but after that the road heads into the hills and the land becomes desolate; we drove miles and miles without seeing a single house. Empty space is something that—having been raised in overcrowded New England—I am always in awe of. The landscape was beautiful and raw, with varying tints of green, grey, beige, and red.
We climbed up Mauna Kea and soared through the clouds. I haven’t been to such an elevation in quite some time, and it was wonderful to stand on the peak and look down at the valley through a blanket of white fluff.
Supposedly it is one of the most magnificent places in the world to star gaze, which is no surprise since it is also host to a ton of observatories. I geek out at space things, so it was pretty great to be standing next to the study centers that I’ve only read about in articles.
I definitely didn’t come to Hawaii expecting to frolic in snow, but it was such a majestic space that the familiarity of the cold white burden didn’t phase me at all. And now I can say that I’ve climbed a volcano (even if it was just in a car)!