Photos 8, page 11
Photos 8 -
Photos 8 -
"Lava" Hike
December 17, 2011
The word was that the latest lava flow into the ocean was accessible from Hawaii Volcanoes
National Park, 4 miles out.  I decided to check it out...
Ignore the steam you see at East Lae'apuki on the Google images.  The images are several years old.  That's why I have
provided the overlay (from 12/13/11).  But the terrain's the same, so I give you the Google image as well...
Here's the situation:  the lava is entering the ocean at
West Ka'ili'ili.  For comparison, I'm showing a 2.2 mile hike from
1/15/07 where we were able to park at "Start".  Now the lava has covered the road to the point where I now have to hike
over 3 miles just to get to where we used to start!  Then another 2.5 miles on top of that... From the other end, down Chain
of Craters Road in the Park, they say the lava is out 4 miles...
I wasn't sure exactly how far I would go, but I at least wanted to get a sense of how hard it was to get near the lava.  The
weather was cool but there was a very strong headwind blowing in my face.  I don't much like strong winds because a wind
this strong just pummels me.  It wants to blow off my hat, my glasses, anything else that isn't tied down - literally!  I have to
walk with my head down which prevents me from looking ahead to find my way through the lava formations.  It's frustrating,
unpleasant, and downright
The ranger station wasn't open.

There's about a half mile of road
before you encounter the lava.
1:13 PM @ *012
1:02 PM @ *008
1:13 PM @ *013
I wonder how many times this sign has had it's picture taken...
1:28 PM @ *015
Another little piece of road...
2:13 PM @ *020
That's the lava coming down through Royal Gardens, burning trees.

It was at this point that I encountered the dreaded  horizontal rain.  Horizontal
rain is impossible to keep anything dry from.  It soon soaked me to the skin and
the steady wind became COLD!  I figured I was only halfway out so I decided I
didn't want to put up with this shit for another 4-6 hours and turned back.
3:26 PM
Almost back.  See the road?