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Snow in Hawaii
7 February 2011


Snowman Hello, my name is Sarah.  If you don't know me I am Farmer Gary's oldest daughter.  This week I am writing a web post about our vacation to the snow.

To many of you this is probably an unusual sentence since the Kona Earth coffee farm is located in Hawaii, and being the good farmer my father is we usually do not leave the farm completely alone for over a day.  Both of these facts are true but there actually is some snow in Hawaii.

On the Big Island of Hawaii there are five volcanoes:  Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Mauna Loa and Kilauea.  Of these volcanoes the tallest is Mauna Kea, it is 33,000 feet tall starting from below sea level, making it even taller than Mount Everest.  Starting from above sea level, Mauna Kea is 13,796 feet tall.  The top of the volcano is known for being the best spot to see stars because it is above most of the water vapor in the atmosphere (above the clouds), the air is cleaner, and there are few buildings with lights to get in the way of seeing the stars.  Mauna Kea also will get snow.

Green Last week we (my Mom, Dad, Emily, and I) all got our stuff together and went up to Mauna Kea for the day.  The trip can take several hours in both directions, making the trip to Mauna Kea an all-day thing.  We have only gone to Mauna Kea a couple of times.  Usually there is either very little snow left in clumps or no snow at all but this time there was much more.  We lived in New Hampshire about nine years ago now so for Emily this is the first time she could remember being in snow.  It wasn't long before we began to make snow balls to throw at each other and make a small snowman out of a clump of softer snow.

Although we do have snow on Mauna Kea on the way up there was greenery and a clear view of the ocean.  So as my dad drove, Emily and I took photos.  Once we got up there we headed to the Lake Waiau, which is the highest lake in the Pacific Basin.  It had been frozen through so while we were there we slid around on the ice enjoying the snow (and not having to shovel it out of the way or scrape the ice off the car windows was a good bonus).  Once we got tired and were done playing in the snow we all hiked back up to the car to go eat dinner and look up at the stars through the telescopes at the visitors' center.

It had been a good mini vacation but now we are back to grow more coffee and raise more baby animals.

Snowball1 Snowball2
It didn't take long for a snowball fight to start.
Snowboard Dog
Click on the snowboard picture for a larger version.  In the background, between the two boys, you can see the smoke plume for Kilauea, Hawaii's active volcano.
The ice was slippery but too bumpy for a really good slide.

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