This is us after getting geared up at the "base camp". Our helmets all have funny little nicknames on them. Mine was Romeo (how appropriate), Kari's was Hairball and Rick's was Cornbread.
This is a six wheel drive Swiss army vehicle that took us off-road to the high forest where we would be doing our zip lining. It was a bumpy ride but the scenery was great.
Here's Rick ready to try out a zip line. His harness certainly looks snug! I don't have many photos of him on this outing as he was taking most of the pictures.
This is your intrepid blogger making a zip line run early in the day. This is a short, low run. The course consists of 8 zip lines which get progressively longer and higher. There is a short hike between zip-lines.
Here I am making perhaps my only forward-facing landing of the day. Usually, by the time I reached the other side I was traveling very fast and backwards!
Besides the zip-lines themselves, altitude-phobes will get a real charge out of the very narrow suspension bridge swinging over a deep, dark valley.
A more agreeable surprise is this lovely waterfall. This is quite remote and most visitors would never see it without taking the zip-line tour.
This is me, again, enjoying the view over a deeper canyon.
The final zip-line crosses a 300' deep canyon and requires a running start before leaping into the abyss. Here, Kari displays her grace and derring-do on takeoff. I, however, jumped a little too soon, bouncing twice on my butt before soaring over the gulch. It was fun, but I got no style points!
That's me out there. Even after the inglorious takeoff, I had a great sail over the last canyon.
I highly recommend this activity to anyone who is truly interested in doing it. The operation is quite professional and the guides are fun but thorough and put safety first. However, much like SCUBA diving, people who sincerely don't want to do this shouldn't be forced or cajoled into participating. Fear of heights, like fear of water is a powerful and (pretty reasonable) phobia. But, if you feel the need for speed and delight in flight, this is a wonderful experience.
After a late lunch, we made it up Mauna Kea just in time to catch the sunset. Mauna Kea rises 13,796 feet above sea level and is home to many observatories. The landscape is almost alien in appearance and except for the wind, it is very quiet. In the winter time it's top is blanketed in snow. The name Mauna Kea literally translates to "white mountain".
And, with that, our day of adventure drew to an end. Good times with good friends!