While researching his latest book, Hawai‘i’s Mauna Loa Observatory: Fifty Years of Monitoring the Atmosphere, Forrest Mims spent hours searching for a small, unmarked beach near Hilo Bay. It was here in December 1840 that the U.S. Exploring Expedition began its long and difficult journey to the summit of Mauna Loa to make the first scientific measurements from atop the volcano. Read about the expedition in Mims’ weekly science column in the San Antonio Express-News: http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/article/Expedition-collected-data-on-Hawaiian-volcano-2517912.php.
For other interesting history tidbits from Mims’ book, check out this post from Raising Islands, written by veteran Hawai‘i science journalist Jan TenBruggencate: http://raisingislands.blogspot.com/2012/01/mauna-kea-in-kamehamehas-time-it-was.html.