We quickly went back to our cottage, got some hiking gear and rushed to the general store to get a flashlight since it would be getting dark by the time we got on the trail. To reach the lava, we drove down to the southwest corner of the island. We drove to the point where we couldn't go any further due to a lava flow that had crossed the road a few years back. On the way, we saw a house in the middle of the old lava flow, somehow it had survived.
By the time we got to the trailhead it was dusk, but we could see the plume of steam created by the lava hitting the ocean a half mile out. As we hiked across the solid lava to the ocean we could see thin streams of lava flowing down the hill behind us.
The sun had set by the time we reached the viewing area and the sight was spectacular. About 200 yards out we could see the lava actually flowing into the ocean. The lava and water created large plumes of steam lit with red and orange colors. It really was a one-of-a-kind sight and we snapped all kinds of pictures. Unfortunately, neither of our cameras fared well with the dark sky and bright red cloud. The best we could get was a red blur.
Despite a partially healed broken foot, Jamie did a good job hiking in over the hard uneven lava. The dark night made the hike back more difficult. Jamie fell once, but fortunately survived with only a few scratches and volcanic glass embedded in certain areas.
September 18, 2001