The Honeymoon - Hawaii (The Big Island)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

For our second full day on the island, we took the short drive to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The park houses the Mauna Loa and Kiluaea volcanoes (it's a pretty big park). Kiluaea is the world's most active volcano and has been erupting almost continuously for the past 18 years. We drove around the 11 mile Crater Rim Drive which encircles the large Kilauea caldera, or crater. The area was covered with hardened lava flows from years past. There were also several areas where steam was escaping from the earth's crust and the strong smell of sulfur was unmistakable. The lava we had seen two days earlier was coming from an area much further down the volcano so there no activity to be seen on our tour of this area. In terms of destruction, the wasteland of Mt. Saint Helens is much more impressive, but I'm sure when the caldera is filled with a lake of lava Mt. Saint Helens can't compare.

I was in the mood for a hike, but Jamie's foot wouldn't let her go far, so for fun I ran down a trail to the bottom of one of the craters and Jamie drove to a lookout to watch me. The trail took me to the floor of the Kilauea Iki Crater. It was a very eerie place. The crater was mostly flat with steam coming out of some areas. As I walked across it the ground felt very hollow, like it could collapse at any time. It was strange to think that 42 years ago the area I was walking on was a pool of lava. I got to the center, waved to a very distant Jamie and then rushed out of the area.

Halemaumau Crater within Kilauea Caldera

Jamie on the Devastation Trail

Jamie in the Thurston Lava Tube

Base of Kilauea Iki Crater

More of Kilauea Iki Crater

Me at the base of the Kilauea Iki Crater. (look very hard, I'm the white speck with the blue REI backpack)

Jamie looking down at me from the previous picture. (look hard again, she is waving and wearing a lilac colored long sleeve fleece jacket)

Volcano Village <- Big Island Adventures -> Chain of Craters Road
Wedding -> Honeymoon -> The Big Island

September 20, 2001