Hawai'i Volcanos National Park

Observation:  I am unable to tell the difference between the frogs, and the birds here in Hawaii.  The only guideline that I can use is that usually birds don't sing at night, and the frogs less likely to sing at day-break.  So, what I hear at night must be the coqui frogs, and the songs in the morning must be the
wide variety of birds that inhabit the forests here.

One of our goals for travel is to visit as may of our National Parks, monuments and historical areas as possible.  the Big Island presents a unique opportunity to visit the ecosystem around an active volcano.  We spent the better part of Tuesday AND Thursday visiting the park.

Thurston Lava Tube

We visited Tuesday with friends Jake and Carla.  Both have volunteered with the Friends of Hawaii Volcanos National Park and know the park well.

We started our visit with a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube providing a graphic reminder of how large these can get.  Midway through in the cold and dark it is difficult to imagine this large river of 2000º lava coursing through!
Carla, Jake and Steff

Next, Steff and Carla took shorter walks around the visitor center, while Jake and I took off along the Kilauea Iki Trail.  The trial starts in the rain forest before descending into, and then across the Kilauea Ski Crater and over the ridge just kissing the side of the Kilauea Caldera before walking through the rain forest back to the visitor center.  I can recommend the Poke for lunch at the Volcano House restaurant.  We headed down the mountain just as the clouds and rain rolled in.

Kilauea Caldera

Rain Forest Kilauea Iki Trail
Kilauea Iki Trail

Looking toward the Halema'uma u Crater
Halema'uma u Trail
Flowers in the Crater

Rain Forest Flora

We returned to the park on Thursday.  It is along the way on the South Route back to Kona.  We were on our way to visit friends Brian and Jasmin in Captain Cook.

Ribbon Lava
Pu'u Loa Petroglyhs

We took the mile long hike to see the Pu 'u Loa Petrogyphs followed by a short drive and shorter walk to see the Holei Sea Arch.

Steff on the Boardwalk
Holei Sea Arch

While leaving the sea arch, we were treated to several Nene, or Hawaiian Geese.  They are both endemic to Hawaii, and considered endangered.


Pu'u O'o Eruption from the South


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