Hawaii is part of the ‘Ring of Fire’. Been here twice before and have not been to the volcano. Today is the day. We cannot hike to the high peak and frankly since the big attaction is to view the sunrise I am not that interested in getting up a 2 am to make it to the top in time for the event. We opt for a trip to the Hawaii Volcanos National Park.
B and Deb want to sleep in so we don’t get started until 8 but we leave close. Two hours of driving later and we pass through the park gates. First stop, the visitors center. The displays are OK but the ranger/hosts that are very informative and give us an idea what the park has to offer. There is a loop road around the attractions but it is no longer a loop as 1/2 of it is closed. No explanation, just closed. We had spent $25 to get into the park so we thought we should a least see what there is. The displays at the Jagger Museum are really good and are quite informative about volcanos and Mauna Loa in particular.
We choose to do a 2 hour hike that skirts the rim of the Kilauea Iki Crater, created by the 1954 eruption, and then dips into the crater itself. Interesting walk. There is a very informative self guide book necessary to enhance the tour, otherwise it would just be a walk with no more purpose than to say we had done it.
At the end of the walk, when back on the rim of the crater there is a lava tube one can traverse. To me it was a dark tunnel. Frankly I did not see the point of walking through it.
Three days ago we had another brush with the ring of fire. We were under the surface of the ocean diving when we all heard the noise of a boat passing overhead. Only we were not in an area where boats should pass over head, we did not hear it coming or going just overhead, and it was unbelieveably loud making it sound like the biggest boat that had ever passed above any of us. Nothing much was said when we arrive at the surface because we all talk about what is seen and the conditions of the dive. The next day K arrives and tell us there was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake while we were diving and that is what the boat sound was. Weird.
At home we put up with cold and snowy winters but on the edge of the Pacific Ocean residents and travelers alike have to be prepared to deal with earthquakes and volcanos. We experienced both in a short span of time. Neither was life threating but both are subtle reminders of what could be.