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Photos 3, page 22
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Solo Hike to Pu'u O'o vent
April 28, 2007
I'd really been wanting to go up to the Pu'u O'o vent, the source of all the lava we've been seeing going into the ocean.  
I couldn't seem to get it coordinated with anybody to go with me so I decided to just go myself and check it out...
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
A look at the path ahead, marked by
little flags.  It's kind of confusing when
they give you all those warning signs
then mark the trail for you!
The cone as I approach with this nice
sign in front of it.
I arrived at the "Start" point at around 8:00 AM and headed out.  The hiking was quite difficult through the rain forest
(yellow line) with lots of roots, bogs, and ledges in the path.  After 4 miles, I came out of the forest and entered the lava
field.  This wasn't any better because it was all A'a lava, very sharp and loose and very difficult walking.  The slope up
the side of the cone was very steep and, although the day wasn't that hot, I tired quickly.  Eventually, I decided that I still
had to hike back to the car and I didn't want to get caught in the forest in the dark so I turned back without reaching the
top - a difficult choice.  But it was the right decision because I didn't get back to the car until just after 5:00 and it was
already starting to get dark in the woods.  It took me 2 3/4 hours to hike out to the lava field and 3 1/2 hours to hike back
and my legs were rubber on the way back!  A total of a rough 10 miles in 9 hours.
This is what the trail looked like.  It was through a rain forest so everything was wet and humid.  The ground and the
plants all had moss growing on them and the trail was littered with roots, logs, ledges, and cracks so that I couldn't just
stride along but had to choose every step carefully.  It was very slow going.
This was encouraging.  This was 2
miles in.
This was a little further down the path.  Pink
surveyor's ribbon stretched back and forth
across the path a little over head high.  I have
no idea what it was for.
Signs at the beginning of the trail.
The sign says:
CAUTION
HAZARDOUS
CRACK AHEAD
Hazardous crack
2 or 3 feet wide
As I approach the 4 mile mark and the
lava field, the forest thins out and the
walking is much easier.
This was taken as I stepped out of the
woods, at the point marked "
Wow".
Pu'u O'o vent.
They're just no fun at all!
"
Mahalo" means thank you.
My feet - in case you couldn't tell!
I stopped here at the edge of the
woods and ate lunch and had a rest.
Looking back at where I came out of the woods as I hike toward the cone.  This
is pahoehoe lava here.