I woke up yesterday morning only to receive news that Hurricane Iselle is slowly making its way to the island of Hawaii (great!). The last hurricane to do its dirty work here in Hawaii was 22 years ago, why of all days? The storm wasn’t expected until Thursday so the family and I decided that we should do something drastically adventerous just in case we get swept away. After some deliberation, we decided to go check out some volcanoes (yay!). Since I’m always down for an adventure, I thought “Why the hell not?” The drive to see these volcanoes is pretty long, 3 hours there and back so I suggest you bring some food. I would advise you not to bring soda since the volcanoes are at such a high altitude, that is, you like messy experiments. My Uncle had a similar experience and nearly swerved on the road just for opening a can of coke. Following the map site was a hike to one of the craters that used to be filled with lava, the sight itself is astonishing! It was the size of over ten football fields and you could even see the steam coming.
After the hike was a trip to the lava tubes in the Kilauea cavern, the longest and deepest lava system in the world. The hike to the lava tube is about four miles down and I guarantee your level of claustrophobia will increase. It was so creepy! The walls were wet, the ceiling had long strings of moss and puddles were everywhere. I highly recommend that you wear a good pair of running shoes for they will save your life.
After several visits to many volcanic craters, our road trip really got interesting when we went down to the end of the road in Kalapana, Hawaii. The drive was amazing, the whole island was covered in lava rocks from the eruption back in 1990 that had radio stations going crazy. For anyone wanting to go, the viewing site is located at the end of highway 130. Surrounding the end of the road are several lava rocks that you climb on, plus a viewing site that overlooks the entire Pacific Ocean. I cannot emphasize the sight for you must see it with your own eyes. The adrenaline runs through my veins as I post these photos. Luck was on our side that day for there was a rainbow gleaming in the distance near the cliffs. Where are the skittles though?
The adventure wasn’t over! By this time it was 7:00 and we were getting a little hungry so we went to the Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant. The menu at this restaurant was as European as it gets with its infamous Hasenpfeffer (a rabbit). It’s a bit pricy but so worth it! I ordered the meatloaf and veggies. It filled me up for the next activity.
After we fueled up, we went to our final destination: The Volcano Observatory. At this point it was about 9:00 and you think I’m lying when I say that it was freezing. The temperatures drop 12 degrees from the original temperature. I would say it was about 15 degrees but with a chill. I would suggest bringing a jacket or heavy sweater since you will once again be at a high altitude. My cousin, the science lover, grabbed me and showed me a bright red ball that was off in the distance. I asked him what it was, and he replied with the word “Mars.” I know, crazy right? We spent about 10 minutes at this observatory until we called it quits. By the time we got to the car, my hands were numb and the wind was so strong, my car door shut all by itself. The three-hour drive back marked the end of an adventurous day. We were the only ones on the road. Usually I get frightened when driving alone at 11:00 but the stars were my protectors, all seventy thousand million.