Monday, January 20, 2014

Volcanic Beauty

For our last three days in Hawaii, we flew over to the "Big Island" -- Hawaii. Formed by Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, the island is also home to Kilauea, an active volcano. The landscape is scarred and carved, but weirdly attractive.

Look closely, we get our own lane!  Woo-hoo!

We flew into Kona and then drove over to the volcano park. Along the way
we visited the "Southern most point" in the United States. It was a remote area, without
any facilities. At the end of the road is the Pacific Ocean.

Just short of the ocean is a sea cave that has fallen in, so it's a hole to the
land above. Incredibly, and dangerously, there were young men (why are
we not surprised?) who were waiting for the waves to come in, 
jumping into this hole, and then swimming out through where the water comes in
and emerging in the ocean. This water coming in was NOT gentle. The violence
of the waves, and the sharpness of the lava rocks made this a
VERY.STUPID.IDEA.  But young men are young men.

Did I mention there were no facilities or services anywhere around? As in EMERGENCY response? And very poor cell coverage?  Nor were there any warnings posted. My daughter said the guys sounded like they were from Australia.  Sigh. If their mothers knew ...

You can just see his legs disappearing into the tunnel area.

 And now the tunnel is closed off as the water comes in.

Insane, yes?

Here is what the southernmost point of the US looks like:

Those structures are tethers from which scuba divers
and snorkelers tie off.

I will admit that the water was beautiful, but really ...

So then 

There's a 19 mile road (4000 ft drop in elevation) from the top of the volcano to the
coast. It's desolate. Yet, when we stopped at one of the viewing
platforms and looked back towards the top, we saw this in the sky.

Looking down to the coast.  Those black streaks are old lava flows.

This sign needed to be back at the other place!

The sea arch.  Beautiful, deadly.

Life returns pretty quickly near the coast. These succulents looked
robustly healthy!

Looks like cracked pavement, but it's a particular form of the lava.

This is from the 1983 eruption.

Uh, yeah.

Okay, tomorrow will be the last Hawaii post and will show
something I never expected to see!


The Bug said...

This has just been so fascinating! And yes, those guys were CRAZY!

SouthLakesMom said...

Thanks, Dana! I could have spent weeks there exploring the volcano and surroundings. So weirdly attractive.