24.09.2010 - 24.09.2010 26 °C
We arrive at My Island B&B to spurge on a nights accommodations. It's the old cottage like home of Gordon Morse who is 84 years old. His daughter Kii helps by cooking wonderful baked goods for the breakfast and tending to the coming and going guests. Gordon give us a briefing on everything “volcano” related in the area and other hot spots to pass the time.
Out the door we go, on our way to an awesome hike through Kilauea Iki Crater. The hike starts and ends in lush rainforest, but the middle consists of crossing the entire length of the crater floor. The floor is covered with Pahoehoe (smooth) lava and is easy going and still hot to the touch. The lava floor is 360 ft thick, but the bottom 120 ft is still fluid. We pass a couple steam vents that are supposedly great for wiener roasting, if only I had a wiener.
Our next mission is the Chain of Craters Road. The road passes through past lava flows and cinder cones on its way to the newest flow (1983-present) that caused a permanent barricade in the road. Along the way we check out some tree molds, a very cool lava formation where a tree dies as a result of lava flow, leaving a hole in the lava after rotting away.
We also stop at the Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs, a series of pictures etched into a lava flow about 500-700 years ago. This area remains a very sacred place for Hawaiians. After reaching the end of the road and seeing the steam rising up from the current lava flow off in the distance we head back to the inn.
After darkness falls, we return to Halema'uma'u Crater to see the active craters deathly red glow at night. During the day, the smoke looks thick and colorless, but at night the mass of smoke over the 130 m wide crater is lit up to bright reds and oranges from the flowing lava below. The lava does not emerge here but flows through a lava tube which enters the ocean near Kalapana (foreshadowing).