You guys are going to be so sick of hearing about this trip by the time I'm finished. Just warning you...
We landed in Hilo on Thursday and drove about an hour up to Kilauea Military Camp. We were able to get a cozy little 3 bedroom cottage, right inside Volcanoes National Park. Since we were at a higher elevation, the temps at night got down into the 40s. It was such a novelty to wear sweatshirts and socks!
|Brumbra and her boys on the steps of our cabin.|
|We even started a fire one night and drank hot chocolate!|
Our first full day at Volcanoes was Scott's 35th birthday!
We spent most of the morning hiking the Kilauea Iki trail.
This four mile hike begins in a tropical rainforest...
...and spits you out onto the Kilauea Iki Crater, a barren wasteland of cooled lava rock.
|In 1959, this was a lava lake 400 feet deep!|
|talk about a change of scenery!|
In order to keep the boys moving forward, my mom challenged them to collect scattered rocks in the crater and stack them onto the neat rock piles already assembled to lead us across the crater. Brumbra can turn such a boring task into a fun game! The boys loved it!
|Keaton was such a trooper. He hiked all 4 miles with minimal complaining. So proud of this big boy!|
|Keaton was also our "Mud Ranger," alerting all of us of upcoming mud in the trail that we needed to avoid. He classified the mud alerts into 1) Mud Alert 2) MAJOR Mud Alert 3) Muddle Alert (this was a mud + puddle(s) of water) :-)|
Some other cool stuff we saw in/around the volcano park:
|We were able to watch Kīlauea's active Halemaumau Crater from a distance. They have closed many of the roads and hikes that get you closer to the action due to toxic sulfur dioxide gas emissions.|
|Here's a view of the lava glow from the the same crater at night. You could hear constant roar of the fire and occasional rocks bursting from the crater. Creepy!|
|Holei Sea Arch at the end of Chain of Craters road|
|At any given time during the day, you can see steam coming up from vents in the ground all around the Volcano Park. These are caused by rainwater that seeps into the earth and is heated by liquid rock (lava) under the ground. So cool!|
|Mark loved running around the steam vents - can you tell?|
The whole volcano park experience was like nothing I've ever seen in my life. We left totally amazed (again) by God's creation and how he used these powerful volcanoes to create the most remote island chain in the world!