Thursday, July 14, 2011

Volcanoes, Tsunamis, Warning Signs and Black Sand

Well, I'm back with more vacation pictures from Hawaii! I had no idea how many of you lucky bloggers have had the chance to live in this beautiful state!

  Now we're on the Big Island, well, really we are at home in Florida.....I wish we were on the Big Island right now, but we are in these pictures.  

Moments before this picture was taken it was really raining hard. We had traveled so far from Florida to see lava and volcanoes and it was rainy and cold......Really??  A small meltdown and $160 worth of Volcanoes National Park windbreakers later, we were ready to go see the park.  Here we are by a steam vent.  It was rainy, but the mist you see is hot steam from boiling water just a few feet below in that hole.  Yes, it was hot by the steam vent.  I am the second to the right in this picture. Not the second tallest in the family anymore.  Before I know it I will be the shortest....maybe I'm shrinking??  Surely those boys are not growing that fast?     

 More steam from the ground.  It was amazing.

 This is a crevice where lava once shot 1900' up in the air.  In 1974, I believe.

An interesting spot in the lava flow.  I expected to have to look to find lava.  Boy was I wrong!  There is hardened lava everywhere you turn!

The end of Chain Of Craters Road was covered by a lava flow in 2000.

 No caption needed!

 The sea arch, also at the end of.....well now it's the end...... of Chain Of Craters Road.  An amazing sight!

 Cliffs of lava.

 That night we came back to the park to see the glow of molten lava in the crater. Maybe a once in a lifetime view.  Can you believe that people used to go right up to the crater believing they could determine when it would blow?  Yikes!!  We saw pictures of wedding ceremonies being performed by the edge!  

 Yes, this picture is very similar, but it was such an amazing sight to see at night I had to put them both in.  You can't see any glow during daylight hours.

 Back at our resort, birds were up chirping outside, loudly I might add, before the sun came up!  They weren't doing all of the activities that we were to be getting up that early!

 I had never seen a sign like this before.

 Note the surfboard.  I'm sure that wasn't the original purpose of the sign!

One evening we took the Saddle Road to the Mauna Kea Visitors Center, elevation 9,200', to watch the sunset and see the stars after dark.  We didn't go all the way to the summit because anyone under 16 years old was not advised to go any further than the Visitor's Center due to the lack of oxygen at the high altitude, and the drive was treacherous for our 4x4 rental SUV.  The most sophisticated collection of astronomy facilities in the world are located at the top.     

The view from the Visitor's Center is amazing!  It is above the clouds! After dark we could see more stars than I ever thought there were in the sky.  There was absolutely no light pollution. Volunteers from the University of Hawaii had telescopes set up for visitors to use.  The night sky was just unbelievable.    It's location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean makes it an excellent place to view the night sky.  Mauna Kea is 13,796' above sea level and is sacred to Native Hawaiians.   When measured from the ocean floor, it is significantly taller that Mt. Everest.

 Should you really be seeing this many warning signs while you are on vacation? One day we hiked down the Pololu Trail to a black sand beach.  It was very, very steep, but totally worth it! 

The view of the black sand beach from the beginning....or top...of the trail.

 Didn't I say it was worth it?

A black crab on the black sand beach.  The sand was just amazing.

  At some points we were the only people on this beautiful beach.

 This was the scene behind the beach.  Beauty everywhere you turned!

 A view from the trail of the northern end of Hawaii. We thought the land in the distance was youngest son was sure it wasn't.  There was no convincing him.  It's a good thing we didn't change his mind because he was right!  It was still Hawaii!

I'm glad so many of you are enjoying memories of times in Hawaii through my pictures. I hope you share pictures of your travels this summer too.


Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Great photos complimented by your descriptions Michele! Thank you for sharing. I have to get back's been 40 years!

Linda said...

Super awesome photos!! :-) We have some of the exact same photos from our visit!! LOL! :-) So fun to see them here! I actually burnt my palm on one of tiniest steam vents. Stupid me couldn't take anyone's word on how terribly hot the steam is. Learned my lesson!!!!!

Samantha said...

Gorgeous pictures! You have cemented my belief that I absolutely have to make hubster take me to Hawaii in January and now I know the different places we have to go! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. :)


Gretchen said...

WOW! Wonderful beautiful photos. Such an amazing place. I hope I get to go someday. I just love odd signs and took photos of some when I was in the Pacific Northwest. You found quite a collection:)

LeAnn said...

I'm pretty sure I stood in the exact same spot as you did on a few of those photo ops - LOL. It looks like you had so much fun and enjoyed all the beauty so much. I am so happy for you all.

Lois Evensen said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing even more of your images of your trip. They are wonderful. Thanks again for taking us along.

Needled Mom said...

It looks like you guys really made the most of your trip. The pictures are just glorious and will be so much fun to look back at through the years. That was a long trip for you, but it looks like it was well worth the time you spent getting there.

Houseelf said...

What a geologically amazing place to visit. We watch Hawaii 50 new series on TV at the moment, so see things like the beach and sky scrapers as well as the jungles but don't think of the volcano being active or the island getting so much rain. I know lush trees and vegetation so I should've realised. LOL

Cheryl said...

Great pictures of what must have been a great vacation!

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

WOW! Super pictures! Thank you for sharing with us!

Carol said...

Those are absolutely the most amazing pictures! Thank you so much!

em's scrapbag said...

Thanks for sharing more pictures from your fun trip.

AnnieO said...

Thanks for all the photos and stories! I may never get to the Big Island and it is great to have a first hand encounter. I would love to see all those stars! Sounds like you have many many special moments to remember always.