|CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
|I parked at Thurston Lava Tube and went south on what is called the "Escape Road" that leads straight uphill from
Mauna Ulu. The Escape Road is exactly that, providing an alternate route up the hill in case the Chain of Craters Road
gets cut off by future lava flows and eruptions. Anyway, it's a beautiful walk. One thing I find interesting on the map on the
right: at the bottom of my loop, you can see the grey line that is given as the route for Crater Rim Trail and then the bright
green track of my hike. Kinda weird. I've noticed this before. Either I'm entering a time warp of some kind or my GPS goes
wacky or something. Their map's screwed up...
Speaking of screwed up, check out the spaghetti of my track at *124 near the end of the hike. My GPS got lost when it got
into the thick rain forest with the fog and mists and rain mixed in just for fun... I was puffing pretty good by that time - it's a
steep hike up out of the crater and I don't do so good going uphill...! 5.6 miles in 3 hours even...
|12:23 PM @ *050
Beginning of trail at Thurston. You
can see a gate in the distance...
Through the gate (to keep out feral
pigs) and down the Escape Road
|Crater Rim Trail. Weather's perfect.
|12:45 PM around *052 and *053
Just shots along the trail to show you what it looked like...
|1:10 PM @ *055
There's Chain of Craters Road
|In the parking lot for Desolation Trail...
|1:18 PM @ *059
Here's the story...
|1:18 PM @ *059
We're taking Byron Ledge Trail...
|1:18 PM @ *062
Here we go...
|1:21 PM @ *065
That's the back side of Pu'u Pua'i.
Where my trail dips down between
*104 and *108 is where the lava came
out of the ground and shot as much as
1000 feet in the air. This is the cinder
and ash field blown here by prevailing
winds during the eruption.
|I'm going that way...
|Kilauea Crater in mid-ground, Mauna Loa in background. Sort of a
|1:26 PM @ *071
One last look before coming down off the ridge to Byron Ledge...
Another interpretation of the sign might be:
"Beware of the very ground you walk on!"
|Kilauea Crater with Mauna Loa
|Off to the left, I can just see
Halema'uma'u steaming away...
|1:29 PM @ *079
Go down here and then go left...
|1:31 PM past *080
Look back up at *079. That dark
diagonal line is the trail...
|Some peeks at Halema'uma'u through the trees...
|1:51 PM @ *092
|1:52 @ *092
We're going to Kilauea Iki and Thurston...
|1:54 PM @ *098
This is a switchback I came in on the right, from Byron Ledge. Going down
Kilauea Iki Trail into the crater...
|2:00 PM @ *100
|And from the same spot, to the right is
Pu'u Pua'i. We were just on the other
side of it...
|2:06 PM @ *104
The trail... Quite a difference from
when we started out, huh?
|2:26 PM @ *108
I told you it looked misty over there. We're over there now...
|2:41 PM @ *121
Over there, looking back. It's raining
and misting and wet so put the camera
|2:57 PM @ *124
Stopped to rest many times at these
switchbacks to catch my breath...
|on my pack, when I got home I hung it
up and took everything out to air it all
out. This is what I got, what I carry
every time I go...
|laid out on the table to dry and air
out... Just to the left of my pack,
hanging on the line, you can see my
hat, my boot sole liners, my socks, and
pack rain cover.
|On the table, clockwise from the front corner:
3 crumpled Clif bars, 2 crumpled Power bars, a light stick, a rolled-up gallon waterproof pouch,
two pairs socks, and two sets of wrist sweat bands; the black bag holds my spare head lamp
and spare batteries; the case for my wraparound sunglasses with head strap; a 3 liter hydration
bladder (6+ lbs. full); in the center of the table, a bunch of photo stuff, lens wipes, etc.; compass
& whistle, compass gizmo Robin gave me; a baggie with trail mix, a package of trail mix, pads
for blisters, and a weather gizmo that tells wind speed and stuff; back corner a poncho that I
never wear and rain leggings that I never wear; along the front the red pack contains 2 pair
underwear, 1 boxer, 1 brief; my swiss army knife, unfolded & oiled (red rag not included);
binoculars; more trail mix packs, the big orange pouch is a waterproof first aid kit, the smaller
orange pouch an emergency blanket, and a light stick.
I've never weighed it - I don't have a scale! - but estimate 20 -25 lbs. It gets heavier, the longer I