Friday, June 23, 2017

the long drive and volcanoes

Monday after a leisurely breakfast we started out on another long day and once again should have started earlier. Kona is on the west side of the island and the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is on the south east side. We headed north for a scenic tour around the island...

lots of lava fields with pale tufts of grass taking hold since 2 of it's 6 volcanoes are considered active...Moana Loa which last erupted in 1984 and Kileaua which has been erupting continuously since 1983.

And older lava beds thinly covered

and into the interior across the northern end

back to the coast on the east side

my scofflaw granddaughter

where we stopped at Akaka Falls State Park and took the short hike to the falls

and continued on to Hilo for lunch and then driving to the Volcanoes National Park. We got there right about 4 PM and the map at the visitor center listed two if you had 1 – 2 hours which took you past steam vents to an observation point where you could see the erupting Kilauea in the caldera and the other if you had 3 – 4 hours which took you down the Chain of Craters Road all the way to the coast. Since we had wasted a lot of time going the long way around and it was already late afternoon, we took the short route to the steam vents

and then to the observation point for the shield volcano Kilauea, about 4,200' of elevation and downright chilly, where we saw three points of lava erupting. We were about a mile away and those small crests of fire you see are in reality spewing 80' – 100' high.

Jade took these pictures with her camera through the telescope at the observation point.

Since it had taken us less than an hour we ventured down the road that led to the Chain of Craters Rd. to another lava tube in the middle of a gorgeous rain forest (and it was actively raining lightly off and on). It was a very steep descent and an equally steep ascent so we waited at the top while the girls walked through

and then drove another short distance to the walking path Devastation Trail which we walked down until the girls had seen enough

and were back on the road to Kona by 6 PM which took us down through the lava fields

and around the southern point and back up the west coast and from the looks of the road on the admittedly not detailed map it should have been an easy drive. And it was until we turned north along the west coastal road and it became a very twisty turny road reminiscent of the road to Hana with almost equally slow speeds and were behind a very timid driver nearly the whole way so it was after dark before we got back to the hotel and then dinner at one of the close restaurants with a view of the water and the wharf.

next: our last day and the journey home

links to previous posts in this series:


  1. It's like another planet filled with wonders and fire and water. Just amazing.

  2. I had to buy a shirt up at the caldera, I was real cold. There is a bakery on the south most part of he island.

  3. Thanks for sharing pictures of paradise. Those volcano pictures are awesome.

  4. Volcanoes are fascinating. They are also terrifying. What a sight....


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