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A milo leaf floats in the hands of healer Mahealani Kaiwikuamo'okekuaokalani Henry.photo by Linny Morris Cunningham
Vol. 8, No. 3
June/July 2005


Ain't No Mountain High Enough 

story by Stu Dawrs
photos by Kirk Lee Aeder


You may have already heard: Measured from its base on the ocean floor, Mauna Kea is the world’s tallest mountain. Looking down from the summit on a clear day, up where the air is thirty percent thinner than at sea level, it’s possible to see the earth’s curvature on the horizon. On such a day, Kilauea’s hyperactive Puu Oo vent will be visible, sending volcanic smoke and ash up from neighboring Mauna Loa’s southeast flank. More directly to the east shines Hilo Bay: It’s a mere forty-four miles from that bay to this peak, making the Big Island one of the few places on earth where one can go from sea level to 13,000-plus feet in a matter of hours.

Even on a bicycle.