Friday, October 09, 2009

Highlights from Hawaii - Volcanoes National Park

Our first stop after 5 days at sea was at Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. Steve and I were particularly excited about this stop as we were going to visit Volcanoes National Park(we both studied geology in university). I was a little skeptical about how much of the volcano we would actually see but was pleasantly surprised. I think this had to be one of best shore excursions ever.

We met our tour guide Joe(all I could think of was Joe versus the Volcano)who suited us up with rain gear(in case), a walking stick,water and lunch. We then drove about 45 minutes to the park for a first view of where we would actually be hiking.

When we first saw this view of Kilauea Iki Crater, we didn't realize we would actually be hiking down into it but indeed we did! Follow the link for details on what happened when this volcano erupted in 1959 and the details on what we saw on our 4 mile hike.

Crater Views

Some hikers down in the crater.

But before we did that we walked through a lava tube! We didn't get good pictures of the tube but if you follow the link you will see exactly what we saw.

Me at the start of the hike.

A close up crater view and me in the crater with steam vents in the back ground.

The walking stick helped us navigate over the uneven lava. And another view of the steam vents.

Joe was explaining the creation of this crater.

Orchids we saw along the crater edge hiking trail. Seeing orchids in bloom is supposed to be good luck.

After we completed our hike we drove 3 miles to the Kilauea cauldera where we had close up views of the poisonous steam vent. Click the link for more details on this eruption.

Fortunately the winds are very predictable in Hawaii and we were upwind of the vent. Roads were closed downwind of the vent.

Steve and I in front of the vent.

Later that night the ship sailed around the Big Island and although our pictures didn't turn out, this is lava flowing from the cauldera to the ocean.

This was truly the experience of a lifetime!


Anonymous said...

Wow...what a great experience.....we will have to talk as we're looking at Hawaii for next year.
Brenda in Kit

Anonymous said...

Wow - spectacular! That's it - I'm going back! j

Stephanie said...

Looks like a great trip.

Joanne said...

It looks fascinating and beautiful!

candy said...

What a cool trip! I even like the lava photo.


Rosemary said...

The landscape seem so moon like , sort of scary to be so close to the the ordhids.