Sunday, April 12, 2020
February 26, 2020 Hiking Across a Volcano and Partying With the Locals
We got an early start this morning and here we are at the 31st National Park that Christy and I have visited between the two of us.
We were warned that parking is limited and getting here early paid off. We found a parking spot along the Crater Rim Trail...
...then headed out on the Kilauea Iki Trail through the rainforest...
...along the rim above the Kilauea Iki crater.
Christy was practicing social distancing long before everyone else. I don't blame her we've been together 24 hours a day for six days.
I'm a sucker for scenic overlooks. To be honest this isn't the most scenic landscape to photograph but it is very impressive to see the size of this "little" volcano.
Just in case you thought our friends decided they had enough, here's Tom walking through the rain forest almost 4000 feet above sea level.
This volcano last erupted in late 1959. The highest lava fountain ever recorded in Hawaii was 1,900 feet from the cinder and spatter cone, Pu'u Pua'i pictured here.
Christy still hiking alone.
Several trails are in this area.
Tom & Laurie enjoying a hike on a beautiful day.
After circling around about half this volcano, the trail takes us down onto the crater floor.
The trail is less obvious down here but the NPS does a great job placing cairns or as the sign reads "the Ahu" to guide you.
Somehow plants are growing on this volcanic rock.
Chrissy is still avoiding everyone.
We saw lots of colorful plants along the trail across the crater.
Tom & Laurie hiking down to the crater floor.
I almost caught up with Chrissy but then I saw something to photograph...
A blue sky above Tom & Laurie still climbing down into the volcano.
This is the area where the main vent was during the eruption in 1959.
It was a long hike down to the crater floor.
Eventually, I caught up to Chrissy.
Nice color contrast with the sunlit leaves.
Almost every crack in the lava rock had something growing out of it.
The crater floor has some major upheavals and cracks from several earthquakes over the past 60 years.
Yet, Mother Nature finds a way to survive down here.
A chilly morning has turned into another beautiful day.
Ok, this pile of rocks tagged with a #13 sign has a backstory. I love hiking anywhere I go. I also love to learn about the places I visit. When we stopped at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Visitor Center this morning, I bought the Kilauea Iki Trail Guide. I usually buy a trail guide for any hike that has one. So as we hiked along this trail, I stopped and read the information for each number. Since you've already seen a bunch of photos with Chrissy ahead of me, I can tell you that whenever she yelled "Hey Guide Boy" I knew she found the next number for me to read out loud to our group. Marker #13 was about boulders from unstable walls tumbling down to the crater floor and the scientific drill holes in this area. Yes, I know I am a dork.
Once we passed the halfway point on the crater floor, the trail was relatively flat with not much growing on it.
I did find this where a triangle piece dropped about two inches and somehow seeds and water mixed to create this plant.
As we started our 400-foot climb back up to the rim, I took this picture looking back toward where we just hiked.
Hiking through the rain forest again.
I'm always amused by signs with uncommon warnings.
We stopped at the Thurston Lava Tube on our hike back to the car. It wasn't worth the time or a photograph.
After a picnic lunch on the grass near the trailhead, we drove down the Chain of Craters Road to the Pauahi Crater.
There was lava everywhere along this road. We didn't have time to drive the entire Chain of Craters Road so we turned around and drove to the Kilauea Caldera
The size of the Kilauea Caldera was impressive.
So were the steam vents along the top edge of the Caldera.
Photographing steam vents with a 30 mph wind wasn't easy.
But these turned out okay with Tom & Laurie glad the fragrant steam was blowing away from them.
We drove back to Pahoa and stopped at Uncle Robert's Awa Bar & Farmer's Market. We were told to get there early. We did, found a parking spot and still walked about a half-mile to Uncle Robert's at the end of the road.
This was a huge party with live music, lots of local food booths, food trucks, artisan booths and a huge bar.
We enjoyed some good food, bought a few items and relaxed with several drinks, a great atmosphere, a fantastic band and a cool ocean breeze. Mahalo