Happy Sunday, y’all! I’ve got a big week coming up with a midterm, the outline of my senior thesis due, meetings galore and two visits from parents (my dad and Eric’s parents), but I’m taking a couple hours right now to relax and travel back in time to Hawaii. I still haven’t finished sharing our trip with you yet. So today, pictures from our day trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!
The park is two hours away from where we stayed, so we hit the road early on our second-to-last day. We stopped to take a picture at the entrance when we got there… I promise I was happier than I look. It was SO windy!
After a quick stop at the visitor center to picnic and grab a map, we headed off on our first hike of the day, the Kiluea Iki trail. It was half a mile to the trailhead and the trail was a four mile loop, which doesn’t sound too bad, right? I laughed at our guidebook for telling us that it was going to take two hours…
… Until we started hiking. It’s the equivalent of forty stories to hike down into the crater and then forty stories back up to the parking lot! (This number was confirmed by the health app on my phone.) So, yeah, it definitely took us the whole two hours, and we were huffing and puffing a good part of the way, too.
But the trail was very beautiful. The walk down into the crater is through the rainforest. There weren’t many animals–besides lots of songbirds–but the diversity of plant life was incredible! Lisa and Jacob were always the fastest, Eric and I fell behind taking pictures (#typical), and Mary and Doug brought up the rear.
Once we got into the crater, the sun came out and it was hot. I mean, the crater is entirely made of hardened black lava! The crossing is a short walk, but we were sweating hard by the time we made it to the other side.
After we got back to the parking lot, we grabbed snacks before heading out on part two of our hike: the Thurston Lava Tube.
The lava tube was very cold and damp inside, like a cave. A little bit creepy, but cool!
Our last destination of the day was the Halema’uma’a Crater Overlook and the nearby steam vents. We drove to yet another parking lot (the park is huge!) before stopping to take pictures. The crater has steam rising out of it during the day and glows red at night. (Also, advice for future visitors: never smell a steam vent. They smell awful, like burning plastic. I learned this the hard way. :P)
The overlook is right next to the Jaggar Museum, where you can read all about the history of recent volcanic eruptions in the park (scary) and the origins of Pele, the goddess of fire, who is believed to have created the island of Hawaii.
By the end of the day we were so tired, but gosh, what I wouldn’t give to be back in Hawaii right now. It just frosted here this week and it was in the 30s when I got up this morning… um hello winter, you’re not supposed to be here for another month!
But it’s your turn! Have you ever seen a volcano in real life? Smelled a steam vent? And what’s something fun that you did this weekend? My mom came down to Carleton this morning and took Eric, my sister, and me out for breakfast. 🙂