Friday, October 9, 2009

Hawaiian Honeymoon Adventure: Day 8

For Labor Day, we decided to schedule an excursion with Bike Volcano. The trip was about 6 hours and 14 miles long. The ride was mainly downhill so it wasn't that intense, but our tour guide was awesome. He was a geology and botany major in college and works for the US Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, which is located next door to the Jagger Museum. He educated us on the history of the volcano, the plants and animals species found there, and told some great stories of his work on the volcano.

Lucky for us, the day was GORGEOUS. I am pretty sure it rained the rest of the time we were there.

Gearin' upPele lives in the crater... and she is one unhappy Goddess of Fire

View from the other side of the caldera Kilaeua Iki Crater ... if you look closely you can see the trail (faded grey) going through the crater.Back at the Thurston Lava Tube Another crater along Chain of Craters Road
We stopped at a lava field (from a 1976 eruption) to take some pics

In some of the lava rocks you can see every color from all the mineralsFurther down the road we got to stop and enjoy our picnic lunch for a Look Out point.

After lunch we piled the bikes into the trailer and we climbed into the van to head to the Volcano Winery for a wine tasting.
(Sidenote: They really don't grow "grapes" on the volcano per se, but they do make wines out of other fruits.... if you like sweet SWEET wines, you might be able to stomach them)

Great ending to a 14 mile ride :)
After heading back to the cottage to shower and relax on the porch for a bit, we drove further eat to hunt for some real lava. There is a look out point at the end of a road that used to connect to Chain of Craters Road by VNP, but has since been eaten up by current lava flow. You drive for a few miles over harden lava rock that they have cleared enough up for cars, but it's a pretty narrow road. When you get to the "parking area" it feels like you are going to a concert. 100s of cars parked and lots of tents set up with vendors lining the way to the trail. The vendors sell anything from water to flashlights, to photography and lava art. Once at the trail its a bumpy path of straight lava rock - which is incredibly sharp, so watch your step! The lookout point is about 1/2mile back from where the lava enters the ocean. The best time to go is at sundown because you can really see the glow. Make sure you bring a flashlight!
This was probably the most incredible thing we saw over the entire trip. Literally, we were witnessing new land being formed.

We ended our night with some take out Thai from one of the 3 restaurants in Volcano Village. I also finished reading "My Sister's Keeper" that evening... great read, highly recommend it if you don't mind shedding a few tears.

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