Travel theme: Parks

Pele, Goddess of Fire and Volcanoes

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.

We saw sinkholes in cooled lava, and stretches of lava that had poured over the roads right down to the sea, and wiped out whole housing developments.

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To see what parks other bloggers posted about, click here!

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26 Responses to Travel theme: Parks

  1. Coming East says:

    Love your pictures! My daughter and her family are in Hawaii right now, and I am so envious. That is a place I’ve always wanted to go, but just the tickets to get there are so expensive. Heck, just the tickets to get to Detroit are outrageous these days!


    • No doubt about it, you have to time airline tickets right! The double trouble is, it can also be expensive once you get there! This was a trip we’d been talking about for 30 years, and we decided to do it at the end of last year while we were both still working.We did half as tourists in a hotel and half staying with a friend, which helped. It was a fabulous trip. Thanks for visiting – I hope you find a way to get there! 🙂


  2. That’s some park – how wonderful to be reminded of the great things we have, like parks such as this. Deep inside I must have a thing for fire, because volcanos hold a special fascination to me – so thanks for the chance to visit:)


  3. Madhu says:

    Wow! That last shot of the volcano is awesome! Thank you for sharing.


  4. TBM says:

    What an amazing experience. I can see why you had no problem choosing a park to share!


  5. Sad about the red roof and foliage. Nature has its own plan, but what luck to be able to see all this. Neat adventure. 🙂


  6. ailsapm says:

    Volcanoes are so awe-inspiring, aren’t they? I haven’t been to the Big Island yet, just Oahu, but your photos make me long to visit!


  7. adinparadise says:

    Wonderful pics from your exciting trip. That night shot is amazing, with the red hot glow. 😉


  8. fgassette says:

    How exciting to visit a volcano. It looks exciting. Thanks for taking us along through your photos.



  9. Amy says:

    Beautiful slide show! Thank you for sharing!


  10. bulldogsturf says:

    Certainly sounds a place to visit, thanks for sharing your adventure… wonderful…


  11. Oooh, I love that! Especially the night shot!!! Thanks for sharing!


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