|February 24, 2007
|A bunch of us wanted to go see the lava at the East Lae'apuki ocean entry but this time we're going to approach it from the other side:
coming from the Volcanoes National Park at Kilauea down Chain of Craters Road. This was the way that Robin and I first hiked on 8/6/06.
I had hiked to it from the Kaimu side a couple of weeks ago and it had taken me 3 hours to cover the more than 4 miles. So I figured to take
the shorter route this time. The irony here is that we have to drive for an hour all the way around (green, orange, and purple lines) to get to
the Ranger Station where we start our hike when it's probably only 10 miles as the nene flies from our house to the Ranger Station. You'll
notice that the roads on either side of the lava flows are called "Chain of Craters Road". They used to connect until the lava covered the
road back in 1992 or so. Click the map images to enlarge.
|(5:58:37 PM) And then, of course,
David had to try it.
|All these lava photos were taken from the location marked "R0" on the maps above.
|(5:59:29 PM) This is the result.
|(2:50:04 PM) At the ranger station
there are boards with all kinds of
warning posters about the lava, the
volcanic fumes, etc. This was my
|(1:18:07 PM) David at the
Halema'uma'u Crater communing with
Pele, the goddess of volcanoes,
before our hike
|station communing with the elements
before our hike. It's always a good
idea to get on the good side of nature
when one is about to go on a hike like
|This is a view of our route out and back as well as our route while we were out there. For comparison, I've included my route from 2/12, on
the right side. For both routes, the white line is the path out, the yellow line is the path while there, and the red line is the path back.
Between the two routes is surface lava (the lighter colored lava) so that one can't get from one side to the other. The lava has spread more
than that shown in the image on the left so that it came to where we were on the left side of the picture. The points marked S# are flashing
lights, strobes, on poles to mark the path for those returning in the dark. The points marked "R#" are points along the rope line that the
Park Service has strung to keep people from getting too close to the coastal lava entries because the mixing of the lava and the water can
cause explosions. The rope was removed at the back part to allow the lava to flow through. There were no restrictions regarding people's
approach to the lava flow - we could just walk right up to it! The cast of characters for this trip were myself, friends David, Joshua, Ray, and
Ellen. Ray and Ellen are our friends from the Kona side of the island who have shared in many of our adventures in the past.
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
|(5:51:32 PM) That's David on the left in the
black jacket chatting with a nice German guy,
with the yellow shirt, who was just sitting
there with his shoes off watching the lava.
Joshua, on the right, is using a little stick to
|(5:57:16 PM) My good buddy, Ray,
says, "Hey Chris, can I borrow your
|(3:29:05 PM) A girl fell on the lava and
hurt her ankle and had to be carried
out by the rangers. I guess she didn't
|(3:39:19 PM) The sign says, "End of
Trail" means end of marked trail.
|(6:00:35 PM) And then a whole bunch
of people showed up to have their
pictures taken with the lava.
|(6:01:37 PM) That's David in the blue
hat and black jacket with all the visitors.
|(6:02:02 PM) Robins says that for
these people this is a
once-in-a-lifetime experience where for
us, we can see it any day we feel like
|(6:03:13 PM) The lava that is in contact with
the air hardens and forms a crust over the
rest of the lava, insulating it. When you poke
it with a stick, it feels kind of doughy. If you
poke hard enough you can poke a hole and
the molten lava will flow out...