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Hawaii: the Big Island from Gregg Burch on Vimeo.

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.

 

Selfie with Lei

Selfie with Lei

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.

Sunset as we arrive

Mongoose

Mongoose

Introduced from Asia, we saw a number of Mongoose on the island.

Beautiful Grounds

Blue sky, blue water

Genie, Gregg & Miya

Swimming lagoon

Swimming lagoon

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.

Resort Beach

Beautiful morning

Outrigger canoe

Glass Bottom Boat

Glass Bottom Boat

We took our first look at coral through the bottom of the boat.

Green Sea Turtle

Luau time

Luau time

We spent a beautiful evening at a Luau.

Dinnertime

Dinnertime

The pig had roasted underground all day. Now, it's ready.

Hula time

Telling story thru dance

Sun sets over native dancers

Crashing waves, setting sun

Pink on the water

Sunset over a boat

Hawaiian Sunset

Hawaiian Sunset

Note the outrigger canoes crossing in front of the boat.

Fading colors

Hula under the palms

Tahitian dancer

Swimming with Dolphins

Swimming with Dolphins

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.

Miya pets a dolphin

What an experience!

What an experience!

Genie and I would have never done this alone. But, with Miya along, we entered into the fun with abandon.

Feeding dolphin

Splash

You lookin' at me?

Up close and personal

Responding to commands

He loves to splash us

Leaping with joy

Pair of swimmers

Miya hugs Hua

Give him a big kiss

Delight

I'm gonna bite your head off

Heads' up

Hugging it up

Tickle his chin

High-jumping

Intense gaze of wonder

Hilton art collection

Hilton art collection

The Hilton had an incredible display of art and sculpture on the grounds

Reflecting waters

Water & sky reflections

Foo dog

Japanese garden & pond

Sculpture alley

Reflecting on art

Protected cove

Protected cove

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.

Waves crashing at the lagoon entrance

Mynah Bird

Hawaiian short-eared owl

Hawaiian short-eared owl

Saw this guy hunting the fields as we drove up towards Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea at dusk

Mauna Kea at dusk

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.

Colorful sea of clouds

Colorful sea of clouds

Love how this tree framed the picture of a sea of restless clouds reflecting the colors of sunset

Hiking to Sunset Point

Hiking to Sunset Point

We climbed up to the point near the Visitor's Center where we could see the sun set

Setting sun

Miya at Mauna Kea

Fading glory

Hitting the horizon

Enjoying the alpenglow

Maui in the distance

Maui at sunset

Night sky

Starry night

Starry night

Mauna Kea is one of the best places in the world to watch the stars. That's why the observatory is atop this mountain.

Watching the stars appear

Thousands of stars

City of Refuge

City of Refuge

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.

Refuge

Refuge

Although it amounted to self-exile, it was a beautiful place on the coast to spend your life.

Miya and the totem

Lot of time to carve

Lot of time to carve

Since you couldn't leave, I guess carving totem poles gave them something to do.

I want a wall like this

Beautiful thatched roof hut

Big island, big waves

Big island, big waves

As we drove around the southern tip of the island, you can see the power of the waves crashing against black lava cliffs

Pipeline

Black sand beach

Lava beach

Lava beach

There is incredible power on display when the lava meets the sea. Irresistible force hits an immovable object.

Explosion of waves

Hawaii National Park

Hawaii National Park

We spent a night up in the park so we could watch the glow of the crater at night.

Flowers and lava

Flowers and lava

Interesting the watch the first plants get established in the old lava flows.

Volcanic crater

Volcanic crater

on Chain of Craters Road in the park

Lava Tube!

Lava Tube!

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.

Hiking the tube

Hiking the tube

Fascinating to walk through this lava-formed tunnel

Incredible forces of nature

Looking down the tube

Kilauea Caldera

Kilauea Caldera

We went back to the overlook at night to see the glow of the crater

Halemaumau Crater

Halemaumau 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.

Lava bursts into view

Lava bursts into view

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.

Land of fire

Land of fire

It was amazing to here the murmur of the crowd, many of them locals who had been waiting for this moment for years.

Bucket List: Check!

Bucket List: Check!

One of the primary motivations for this trip was to see lava flowing for the first time in our lives.

Pure creation at its rawest

Pure creation at its rawest

The hottest lava is yellow. As it turns orange, then red, it is cooling and turning into solid rock.

Power on display

Sheer force of nature

Collapsed lava tube

Collapsed lava tube

Here you can see into an opening under the crust where hot lava left a void with a cool shell over it.

Volcanic crater

Volcanic crater

along the Chain of Craters road

Signs of earlier lava flows

Road buried in lava

Road buried in lava

Here we can see where lava flowed across the road

Cracks and seams

Cracks and seams

This crack shows the shifting after the flow leaving a long, deep crack in the shell of lava

Lava......or art

Lava......or art

Some of the shapes in the lava look more like abstract art

Patterns in lava

Lava coast

Lava coast

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.

Crashing against the lava

Crashing against the lava

This is how black sand beaches are formed.

The islands of Hawaii begin here

Genie & Miya at Lava Arch

Lava flows towards the coast

Lava flows towards the coast

You can see the different flows that have spilled out of the volcano and tumbled down towards the sea.

Erckle's Francolin (from North Africa introduced to Hawaii in 1957)

Erckle's Francolin (from North Africa introduced to Hawaii in 1957)

Most of the birds we saw on the Big Island were not native. Look at the spurs, looks like he is made for fighting.

Halemaumau Crater in daylight

Lava seam

Lava seam

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.

Smoke & fire from the crater

Lava town

Lava town

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.

Roof and deck chairs

Roof and deck chairs

Here you see two beach chairs and the remnants of a roof. The owners still come enjoy the sun on their new land.

Outpost in a devastated town

Rebuilt tiny house

Rebuilt tiny house

Most rebuilding is very modest beach houses. You see people planting in every crack, trying to renew the landscape.

Sunset over Hilo

Sunset over Hilo

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.

Moonrise over Hilo

Our last day in Hawaii

Liliuokalani Gardens

Liliuokalani Gardens

Beautiful Japanese Gardens

Reflecting pools

Reflecting pools

are a feature of Japanese gardens.

Fishing from the bridge

Fishing from the bridge

Guy told me they fish for barracuda from the bridge. Goodonya!

Web of life

Akaka Falls

Akaka Falls

Nice little paved loop trail past two waterfalls.

Akaka Falls

Steep drop to a pool

Lush undergrowth

Water everywhere

Laupahoehoe Point Park

Laupahoehoe Point Park

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.

Site of tsunami disaster

Site of tsunami disaster

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.

No surfing

No surfing

Although we saw some crazies in the water down by the boat ramp. there were warnings everywhere not to get in the water.

Genie hangs on

Genie hangs on

The wind was coming through 20+ mph, and the surf was pounding the nearby rocks. Genie had to hold on to stand.

Panorama of waves

Tide rolls in

Pee Pee Falls

Pee Pee Falls

100 years ago, this falls and river were running through a stark volcanic landscape. Now, there's a jungle.

Pee Pee Falls

Churning waters

Rainbow Falls

Genie & Miya at the falls

Multiple falls

Blue Hawaiian helicopter tour

Blue Hawaiian helicopter tour

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.

Time for some fun

Pure excitement

Off again

Off again

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.

In cockpit cam

Things are heating up

First lava burns the trees

First lava burns the trees

then it pushes them over and smothers them so nothing of what lived there before is visible.

Creeping dragons

Creeping dragons

Some of the flowing lava looked like dragons spilling out across the lavascape.

Fresh seam oozes lava into the forest

Puu Oo Crater

Puu Oo Crater

This is the active vent on the shoulder of Kilauea

It goes where it wants to

It goes where it wants to

No obstacle, human or natural, seems to be able to deter the lava. Only when it meets the sea does it stop.

The edge of fire

Fresh lava cools in pools

Spilling forth from the earth

Finding the path of least resistance downhill

Collapsed lava tube

Tongue of fire

Tongue of fire

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.

Abstract

Abstract

Almost looks like a piece of art

River of lava

Coming to the crater

Lava bursts forth

Explosion of molten rock

Raw power unleashed

Fire and brimstone

Flaming vent

Let's take another pass

Flowing dragon of lava

Flying over the vent

Lava pulsing out

Looking into the eye of God

Yellow heat at core

Cools when exposed to air

Explodes violently

Pahoehoe Lava

Pahoehoe Lava

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.

Lava seeps out of cracks in the earth's skin

Beautiful, raw expression of power

Farewell, lava

Back on the ground

Back on the ground

after an incredible flight.

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