Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hilo and Volcanos National Park

The next day we drove to the other side of the island with a goal of getting to Volcanos National Park. We packed our lunches and took off. Looking again at our guide book we decided on what we wanted to do that day. Driving along we saw a beautiful pull off along the shore and saw some boogie boarders hit some big waves. Further on we stopped at Hilo, a small college town, and very old, to get flashlights so we could explore the lava tubes. (a lava tube is when lava is flowing but the outside of it begins to cool down and harden while the inside is still very hot and continues to flow. The out side eventually creates a solid and the inner flows out creating a tube.) the tube we explored went on for ten miles, however we only went about a half mile in. Walking into complete darkness with only a flashlight can be a little spooky, especially when there are many parts that require crawling.

Driving further on we finally made it to the Park. We stopped at the visitor center to look around, get advice from the rangers, and grab a map. We decided on a scenic drive first to get an idea of what the park was like. There was an active volcano erupting while we were there, however we couldn't see anything because that area of the park was closed due to hazards. Next on the agenda was a hike. We chose a 4 mile loop that was so diverse and interesting. Kilauea Iki Trail starts in the rain forest on the crater's rim. The trail descends 400 feet through the rain forest, with native birds in the canopy, to the crater floor. We crossed the still-steaming crater floor, past the gaping throat of the vent that built Pu'u Pua'i cinder cone, and returned to our starting point via the crater's rim.
(pictures to come) and more on Hawaii

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