Mauna Kea Access Road
Porter's friend was right about the trash left behind. That was the first thing I thought when I pulled onto Mauna Kea Access Road. It was hard to believe that this was the place I had seen in photos. It had once been teeming with people praying, chanting, joining together in traditional Hawaiian dances and waving signs. There was still one sign to be found displaying “TMT” crossed out in red, attached to one of many orange cones lining the road toward the Mauna.
The sign was not the only scrap left behind. To the left was a Porta Potti and a cluster of tents crafted from blue tarps, one of which had a tattered Hawaiian flag protruding from it like a beacon. I didn’t see anyone around, though I heard from an Uber driver that some people were still camping out on the Access Road, despite the pandemic slowing down efforts on both sides of the conflict.