30: Hawaii   6 comments

Akaka Falls is 422′ tall.

Our grand tour of Hawaii was in the home stretch when we made it to “the Big Island” of Hawaii.  We had some great times, but we didn’t maximize our experience.

Kahuna Falls is just up the path from Akaka Falls. Waterfalls are everywhere in Hawaii!

Our biggest surprise was that we were unprepared to visit Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

We drove to the Volcano House and grabbed lunch.  At the visitor’s center for the Park, we learned about visiting the volcano … and were surprised to learn that it was dangerous.  Molten rock from the center of the earth?  Dangerous?  I know, I know.  But we were surprised.

We found that they recommend you wear hiking shoes, leather gloves, long pants and shirtsleeves.  Cooled lava can be as sharp as glass; you need to be prepared.  And, of course, if a shelf unexpectedly collapses, you will die.  I was surprised that the Park’s presentation was so negative about going to visit … it’s not like people die while visiting on a regular basis!  However, Velda and I had not dressed appropriately, so we did not visit the live lava flow.  We toured much of the rest of the park, which is interesting.

There was much, much else to see, and we got some great pictures, as you can see.  Click on any picture to expand it to full size.

We visited a couple of gardens.  The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden was fabulous.  The meandering path took you by many exotic plants on your way to the ocean.  This is a great place; plan on a couple of hours if you’re going to take pictures and immerse yourself in the lush shade of this exotic place.

Steam venting from the Kilauea Caldera. Shot taken from the Volcano House overlook.

We also visited the World Botanical Garden, a much younger attraction that was a bit pricey for the experience.  You have to pay their admission to see Umauma Falls.  There’s quite a bit to see, but it’s the least appealing of the gardens we have visited in Hawaii.  Maybe it will improve with age; perhaps we should visit it again in 2018.

We drove around the island (literally), and it was surprising to see the miles and miles of lava fields.  Hawaii, AKA The Big Island, is the youngest of the islands (indeed, it’s still growing as the lava continues to flow into the ocean!).  Driving the perimeter of the island is a great day.  See the sights along the way; it will be a nice leisurely excursion.

Steam rising from the ground near the volcano is an everyday event.

A very large lava tube, which happens when lava cools, and then hot lava burns a new path through it, leaving a hollow shell.

Watch closely and you’ll see a mongoose.

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

World Tropical Garden

Good to know this road is the way to leave, right?

6 responses to “30: Hawaii

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  1. Great photos — and it sounds like an awesome adventure! Hawaii is on my someday-travel list. I would be wary of visiting anything that threatens “possible death” as a side effect, too, but I’ve been in a few “dangerous” areas lately (some cliffs in Western New York; Yosemite National Park) and emerged unscathed. But you never know!

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