I just realized that I am now a full month behind on my blog. Yikes. I really don't know how I am going to catch up, especially since I still have 1,000+ photos to go weed through from my vacation. The photos from this day along took me two full days to edit, so it will be another long post.
On the 30th, we went to Volcano National Park, which is centered around Kilauea Volcano, which is actually still active and is currently erupting. First we drove around the crater rim.
Then we did what was supposed to be a quick .75 mile hike at the steam vents, but we must have taken a wrong turn some place, because I think we wound up hiking a couple of miles through a rain forest. We didn't mind, though, because it was really pretty and peaceful, and full of weird plants that we had never seen before.
Here's a steam vent:
And some of the rain forest:
I thought this plant was pretty cool. It went from this:
Next, we drove down the Chain of Craters to a Lava Tube, which is basically a cave created by lava. The first part was slightly illuminated, but the second part was pitch black, so we were glad that we had a flashlight with us.
We then continued along to the Chain of Craters until we got the starting point for the Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs hike, which was a two mile round trip on top of cooled lava.
Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs Field is sacred to the people of Hawaii. Ancient Hawaiians would hike there to bury the umbilical cord of their child in order to bring good luck to their child. They would then carve a symbol into the ground to record that they were there.
After we returned to the car, we continued to drive along the Chain of Craters, stopping at all of the lookouts along the way.
One of the things that amazed us was how life could grow out of lava.
At the bottom of the Chain of Craters, we were treated with a beautiful view of the ocean below the cliffs.
The water was pretty violent and we got sprayed while I was taking these photos.
That night, we drove down to Pahoa where we could see the lava flowing at night. ALthough we were quite far away, we decided to stay in the area that was considered safe. We felt lucky to see the lava flowing at all since it hadn't really been flowing in a few years and it had only started again a few weeks before we got there. Here is one of the lava:
This is steam from the lava hitting the ocean: