Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hawaii Part 3

I'm not trying to draw out the posts of pictures from our vacation in Hawaii in January, but here is part three (see part one here and part two here), capturing the fourth day of our trip (if I still have your attention).

On this day, we jammed our itinerary with another trip around the island including Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Punalu'u Bakery, South Point, Volcanoes National Park, Hilo, Rainbow Falls, and Boiling Pots.

Our first stop was Punalu'u Black Sand Beach where, if you didn't guess, the sand is black. Like all other days on the island, it was hot and sunny the day we visited and when we took off our sandals to walk along the shore, the sand was so hot we had to walk in the water so our feet didn't feel like they were being burned.

After catching rays on black sand beach, we stopped at Punalu'u Bakery and picked up some donuts and delicious lunch.

Then we cruised on down to South Point, the southern-most point in the U.S. As one of the windiest places on the island, we held on to our hats and watched the waves crash into the cliff shore. Justin told me that if I was to conveniently fall in, the current would take me to Antarctica—thanks honey! The water in this tidal pool was the most beautiful cerulean blue I have ever seen.

To reach South Point we had to drive down this narrow road that was surrounded by grazing cows and wind turbines. As you can see from this picture, the constant force of the wind has permanently altered the growth of this tree and all others around it. We thought it looked like it had gotten a bad buzz cut. Ha!

Finally, around lunchtime we arrived at our main destination, Volcanoes National Park. Unfortunately, part of crater rim drive was closed due to elevated levels of sulfur dioxide gas, but we were still able to hike up to Kilauea Caldera. Here's the view looking across the crater from Pu'u Pua'i Overlook.

Then we hiked through the Thurston Lava Tube, which is one tube that did not collapse after the lava had flowed out. (Most lava tubes cave in after the lava leaves because they have no support holding them up.) Can you image this thing filled with lava? It looks like a giant snake burrowed through the earth.

I snapped this photo on the trail leading to the Thurston Lava Tube. It's one of my favorites of the two of us from our trip.

After seeing all the sites at the top part of the park, we drove down to the coast where the most recent volcanic activity has occurred. Unfortunately, just a couple weeks before our visit, the current volcanic activity stopped flowing. In the photo below, you can see how the waves of lava engulfed the land and road that used to be there. See the road sign? It says ROAD CLOSED—no kidding!

After viewing so much devastation in the park, it was pleasant to see some beautiful things along the coast. One of the many sea arches we saw on our trip, this one was created when the water punched a hole in the land and kept wearing it away.

There is also a ton of new foliage growing out of the cracks in the lava. This particular succulent's vibrant green caught my eye surrounded by all of the weathered black lava.

On our fourth day, we also visited Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots in Hilo, but by the time we got over to that side of the island the sun was setting and I couldn't catch a good photo. So, you'll have to go see them for yourselves. Aloha!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a great trip, I've been all over the world, but never to Hawaii.
    Can't wait to read the last part

    PS: I found your blog through the comment on Young house love


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