Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kilauea Iki Crater

In Volcanoes National Park, we enjoyed more generous weather... more blue sky, more comfortable temperatures.  And also spectacular volcanic activity.  It's a place that makes me appreciate the scale of planet building! It also makes me feel respectfully, mindfully small!

In one epic adventure day we were up before dawn to see the lava glow within the Halema'uma'u Crater, then on a double hike down into Kilauea Iki Crater, up again and around the rim, and then through the Thurston Lava Tube!  It was such a treat to share this with the children, who were enthralled and each uniquely engaged in the adventure.  
Down into the Iki crater, through lush rainforest.  William has become an avid photographer. 

Suddenly we see the crater floor.  The depths and heights and distances make it impossible to know the scale.  

Banana break.  We reached the bottom, and paused to take in the scene.  We are sitting inside the caldera of an active volcano!
Basalt.  Magma. Shield cone.  We've been reading and absorbing lots of great information, but basically it all just makes you say, cool!  The formations, colors, textures and environment are amazing. 

We started at the rim, over toward the right side.   Now we are in an alien world. 

The beautiful and determined ohia lehua. 

Looking back as we begin our ascent. 

Taking a moment, to catch my breath, to marvel at the scenery and to be utterly astonished at how much better the cell reception is in a caldera than back in our home!

Back up on top and we can see over the next ridge, where the gases from Halema'uma'u rise above the crater. 
Anxiously awestruck... the drop is sheer and unforgiving!
Max, Geoff, Alex, Maria and William. 

Next:  Thurston Lava Tube!

We like the free Blogger app enough to add it to the iPad, so soon I can post pictures from my Big Black Beautiful Camera.  Although, all this posting might slow down, too... we're in Kona, now, and the ocean is calling!  

*thank you, iPhone, for taking remarkably worthwhile images!


Cat said...

You could walk through a lava tube? Wow! That does give me a much better idea how big the area is you were going through. If it is an active caldera, was it warm to sit? Obviously, it wasn't blistering hot, but I would suppose it would be possibly noticeable? The pictures are excellent! (And I hope all of you are having a blast!)


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Yes, it's tall and long, damp and cool. There are even roots growing through the ceiling!
The black lava, under the tropical sun gets hot enough, but there are open vents, too where steam and gases are rising. It's very hot in these places. Some vents are dangerously large... And people have perished in them ( yikes, right?!). It's not a park to go off the path or lose sight of where you are! Thank you, Cat, we really are having a great time!

judy in ky said...

Hawaii is magical, isn't it? The ocean calls me all the time, all the way home. I love experiencing these things through your pictures and words.

Kim said...

Whaaaaaaaat? you guys are here? Awesome! Any side trips planned to The Gathering Place?

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Kim, for sure I would have _stalked_ you if we were on Oahu.
This is an all Big Island visit. Aloha, friend!

ArtyZen said...

I am in awe of where you have been - what a place! I've been picking up your photos on Facebook and really enjoying the sights. Truly amazing! Enjoy - what an experience.

Kim said...

Oh well, maybe next time. This Big Island does have a lot to see. Next trip, come over to Oahu and check out Iolani Palace maybe? Huge waves on the North Shore? Enjoy the rest of your trip!