The other day we packed up the whole family and our friends Richard and Chenoa into the little rental car and drove up to Kilauea.. Our first stop was the visitors center where we watched a video about the 1959-60 eruption and checked out information about the eruptions that have been happening ever since. When we left the visitors center we drove up to the crater rim where there are steam vents all around the actual crater. It is a little surreal to stand on the edge of a real volcano and feel the heat and watch steam rise all around the crater itself. In the distance there is a crater within the crater where the lava lake is actually a broiling liquid lake.
We drove down the mountain to Kilauea Iki which is the site of the 1959-60 vent eruption. There is a huge lava tube there which was formed when superheated, fast flowing lava was encased in hardened lava all around it. Once the lava had all flowed out of the tube the tube itself was left and looks like a perfect tunnel.
We continued our drive down the mountain to the area where lava has been flowing into the sea for the past 30 years. There is no lava flowing into the ocean on the surface now but we hiked down the road to where the lava flow has completely wiped out the highway. It is quite a thing to see and sure makes you think about the insignificance of man. Things we think are so permanent can be so easily wiped out by that volcano and other forces like wind and waves. One serious hurricane changes the face of the planet. Tornados rip paths through cities leaving nothing behind but ruin. I cannot help but think that humans tend to overstate our own importance when it comes to our permanent effects on the Earth.
From the ocean we drove back up to the crater to watch the glowing lava lake after dark. Our family has thin blood from years living in the Caribbean and after dark, at 4091 feet of elevation, we were FREEZING. We had one beach towel to pass around as a blanket. Needless to say, we didn't spend a lot of extra time up up there! We were laughing about what wimps we were being in Hawaii at a volcano and shivering.
Our next trip was to Kona. I stayed on the boat fixing the seams on our mainsail (by hand) while Richard, Chenoa, Rebecca, and the kids all drove up to Kona for the day. They were amazed that on that side of the island it was dry and there were actual prairies. They went to the buy some actual 100% Kona coffee but opted out because it was $50.00 a pound!
If all goes well we will leave tomorrow evening to sail to Maui for the next stage in our adventure.
Thanks a ton to Jim V. for lending us the whole Lonesome Dove series. To those of you who used to send us messages everyday on the Iridium phone while we were offshore, although the sat phone is off while we are in port feel free to message us on Facebook anytime. We still like to hear from you!
Remember, we still have almost 3000 miles left in our voyage. We will save Alaska for next summer and head to Washington state in a little less than a month from now.
Stay tuned for our time in Maui!
Kristofer, Rebecca, EmilyAnne, Kanyon, Kaleb and Benny