Today was rather rainy, but does that stop us? never. Today we hit up Volcanoes National Park. After a somewhat late start, the first stop was the steam vents where you could see steam plumes rising from the crater wall. Unfortunately due to the rain we couldn’t see into the crater.
Next we stopped at the Jagger Museum which had some nice views of the crater, some seismographs and a lot of information about the Hawaiian fire goddess Pele. As we drove around the crater rim the weather changed many times. A few times it cleared up enough for us to get a good look into the crater. At these times we could catch glimpses of steam vents and sulfur scars in the crater floor.
The most notable vantage point was the southwest riff. This scar in the landscape was spectacular in itself but it also provided us with the ability to get close to the rim for some spectacular views. We then had the opportunity to walk across the steam vent fields to get to another viewing platform. Once we got there we couldn’t help but notice the sacrifices laid out, some even set out as whole meals, for the fire goddess Pele who is said to live in that particular crater.
Unfortunately the current lava flow is much too far away (approximately 5 miles) from the viewing locations. You can, however; see the gas plume forming as the lava meets the ocean. With any luck tomorrow the weather will be nicer and we’ll be able to see things clearer from the Helicopter. We couldn’t see the active lava flow but we could see the remains of the last lava flow to cross road. It made us wonder how often they need redo the road.
The next and final stop was an old lava tube. The entrance into the tube was pretty sweet, as it was mostly hidden by the lush jungle fauna. It was neat but there wasn’t really a whole lot to see. The roots coming through from the plants above were pretty cool. Beyond that If you are pressed for time this is skip-able.
After a big day in the park we decided to take a drive to Kona on the other side of the island to hopefully catch sunset and dinner. Along the way we stopped at several beautiful areas. One of which was a black sand beach. This was a must see as there are several different colored sand beaches on the Big Island, and it is our goal to see each of the different colors.
We arrived in Kona too late to see the sunset, and pretty late for dinner. We grabbed something quick to eat at LuLu’s and hit the road again to get back to Hilo and our hotel. Unfortunately the day took its toll and we had to stop several times to take a quick nap on the way home. And now as our heads hit the pillows of our hotel… we bid you adieu.
Randy and Rachel.