Ailsa at Wheresmybackpack posted a fun photo challenge to bloggers this week: Parks. There are so many wonderful parks in the world, and in the US alone, that it will be fascinating to see the responses she gets.
For me, it was easy to choose. Last Fall, my beloved and I took a trip to Hawai’i. We visited a number of parks while we were there, but the most spectacular had to be Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
The last eruption of a rift was in March of last year. Since then, the flow has slowed (a month or two before we arrived) and started again (two weeks after we left!) Still, even without the active flow to watch, we saw some pretty amazing things!
Before we actually went to the Park, we took a helicopter ride overhead. We saw steam vents, some with tiny hints of pink from the lava below, that were part of the rift that opened up in March 2011. We saw equipment parked on the sides of the craters and rifts, taking measurements.
Lava Jack’s – Royal Gardens – Now gone in the 2011-12 Lava flow
Probably the most famous of these was the Royal Gardens subdivision. The last major eruption took out all but one home – fondly known as “Lava Jack’s” Here you can see the path the lava had taken around his home, leaving a house accessible only by helicopter! This last eruption took that home as well. All were safely evacuated, but the familiar red roof, along with most foliage, is gone.
At the park, we visited the Kilauea Visitor Center, the Art Center, and passed the famous Volcano House (which wasn’t open). We walked around some of the steam vents, and along the rim of one of the currently inactive craters. For avid hikers, it is possible to walk across these.
We walked through the Thurston Lava tube, and enjoyed some of the remaining rain forest in the park.
Then we went to the Jaggar Museum and learned more about the history of the Big Island, the several volcanoes there, and different types of lava. Adjacent to the Museum is the steaming Halema’uma’u Crater of Kilauea, current residence of Pele, the volcano goddess.
We were so taken with this view that we went back at night to see the glow of the lava on the steam:
I could have stood there forever watching the plumes of steam. Here’s a slightly more extensive slide show. I wish I had time to put together a video of the clips we took. Stills just don’t do it all justice!
To see what parks other bloggers posted about, click here!