Genie and I continued the tradition of our mothers, taking the grandkids on a trip when they turn 10. We combined Miya's ten-year-old trip with a bucket list desire to see flowing lava. Check out our visit to the Big Island of Hawaii. It was a wonderful trip. Enjoy the photos and video.
We arrived after a long day's travel at the Hilton Waikoloa. What a beautiful development amongst the black lava of the west side of the Big Island.
Introduced from Asia, we saw a number of Mongoose on the island.
The salt water lagoon was the perfect place to teach a 10-year-old to snorkel. Beautiful coral, colorful reef fish, and endangered sea turtles.
We took our first look at coral through the bottom of the boat.
We spent a beautiful evening at a Luau.
The pig had roasted underground all day. Now, it's ready.
Note the outrigger canoes crossing in front of the boat.
We signed on to swim with dolphins at the Dolphin Experience which is right there at the Hilton Waikoloa. These are pictures they took of us during the experience.
Genie and I would have never done this alone. But, with Miya along, we entered into the fun with abandon.
The Hilton had an incredible display of art and sculpture on the grounds
This quiet inlet was a great place to learn to snorkel. The dark water is over the coral reef. Each day we found six or more endangered Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles swimming in the lagoon. They were close enough to touch.
Saw this guy hunting the fields as we drove up towards Mauna Kea
We drove up to the Visitor's Center on Mauna Kea to watch the sunset, and to see the stars come out. The Visitor's Center keeps a number of large telescopes set up and they host viewing from 6-9 PM.
Love how this tree framed the picture of a sea of restless clouds reflecting the colors of sunset
We climbed up to the point near the Visitor's Center where we could see the sun set
Mauna Kea is one of the best places in the world to watch the stars. That's why the observatory is atop this mountain.
This was a place like cities of refuge in the Old Testament. Anyone accused of a crime could escape punishment if they could reach the City of Refuge. As long as they stayed there, they couldn't be punished.
Although it amounted to self-exile, it was a beautiful place on the coast to spend your life.
Since you couldn't leave, I guess carving totem poles gave them something to do.
As we drove around the southern tip of the island, you can see the power of the waves crashing against black lava cliffs
There is incredible power on display when the lava meets the sea. Irresistible force hits an immovable object.
We spent a night up in the park so we could watch the glow of the crater at night.
Interesting the watch the first plants get established in the old lava flows.
on Chain of Craters Road in the park
The surface of the lava cools first, allowing the still-flowing lava to keep moving even when the surface cools and stops. As the last of the molten lava flows out, it leaves a lava tube in its place.
Fascinating to walk through this lava-formed tunnel
We went back to the overlook at night to see the glow of the crater
The active vent in the Kilauea Caldera is the Halemaumau Crater. Here you can see the glow of fire and steam.. When we got to the crater overlook, we heard that the last time the lava lake rose high enough for lava to be visible from this overlook was eight years ago.
On the night we got there, the lake had risen enough for hot lave to be visible spurting out of the cracks in the crater.
It was amazing to here the murmur of the crowd, many of them locals who had been waiting for this moment for years.
One of the primary motivations for this trip was to see lava flowing for the first time in our lives.
The hottest lava is yellow. As it turns orange, then red, it is cooling and turning into solid rock.
Here you can see into an opening under the crust where hot lava left a void with a cool shell over it.
along the Chain of Craters road
Here we can see where lava flowed across the road
This crack shows the shifting after the flow leaving a long, deep crack in the shell of lava
Some of the shapes in the lava look more like abstract art
just offshore is a volcano erupting beneath the surface of the sea. New land is formed where the lava meets the sea. While the lava can't be stopped, neither can the sea be boiled away. So, they form new land where the irresistible force reaches the immovable object.
This is how black sand beaches are formed.
You can see the different flows that have spilled out of the volcano and tumbled down towards the sea.
Most of the birds we saw on the Big Island were not native. Look at the spurs, looks like he is made for fighting.
You can see that the lava lake is barely high enough for this seam of lava to be seen from the viewing platform. The crowd was very excited, since this is the first time in eight years lava is visible here.
Kalapana was almost completely covered in lava in a 1986 eruption. Here you see a few houses that ether survived, or were rebuilt. You can buy ocean view lots for $5000 today.
Here you see two beach chairs and the remnants of a roof. The owners still come enjoy the sun on their new land.
Most rebuilding is very modest beach houses. You see people planting in every crack, trying to renew the landscape.
We left the park and spent our last night in Hilo. Very lush and verdant over here with all the rain. Quite a contrast with the western side of the island.
Beautiful Japanese Gardens
are a feature of Japanese gardens.
Guy told me they fish for barracuda from the bridge. Goodonya!
Nice little paved loop trail past two waterfalls.
We had read about the huge waves crashing into jagged lava rocks, so we made this our final stop on a drive up the coast. We got there and there was a music festival. Talked them into letting us go down and take some pictures, since we had come so far.
In 1946, a tsunami washed ashore here, sweeping away 21 schoolchildren and three teachers from the school at this point. A steep drive down brings you to the park, you can see how difficult escape from a tsunami would be.
Although we saw some crazies in the water down by the boat ramp. there were warnings everywhere not to get in the water.
The wind was coming through 20+ mph, and the surf was pounding the nearby rocks. Genie had to hold on to stand.
100 years ago, this falls and river were running through a stark volcanic landscape. Now, there's a jungle.
If you want to see lava flow, you gotta take a helicopter tour. No lava has run into the scene since 2013, so boat tours don'g work.
Done a few helicopter rides at this point. My father said, "I don't like helicopters, too many universal joints." He rode one down to a hard landing once.
then it pushes them over and smothers them so nothing of what lived there before is visible.
Some of the flowing lava looked like dragons spilling out across the lavascape.
This is the active vent on the shoulder of Kilauea
No obstacle, human or natural, seems to be able to deter the lava. Only when it meets the sea does it stop.
You see the river of lava, with a crust forming on top of it. As that cools to the edges, it will create a lava tube.
Almost looks like a piece of art
One of the most interesting forms of lava, tends to flow more as a thick liquid that can pour uphill as well as downhill, creating a huge variety of interesting shapes.
after an incredible flight.