Wednesday, March 31, 2010
big island hawaii - day six
Warren from the Native Guide Hawaii picked us up early Friday morning and drive us over to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We started off at the Kilauea Visitor Center and Warren drove us all through the park taking us to various spots including the steam vents, Kilauea Iki Crater, the Lava Tube, Halema'uma'u Crater, Holei Sea Arch and other points on the Crater Rim Drive.
This is a steam vent where rainwater sinks through the ground and is warmed by rocks which carry heat from the lava below. Hot water then rises through fissures to condense in the chilled air.
photo credit: Paul & Kelly
"Foam like" rock found on the ground. Super light and rough to touch and Ohi'a lehua flowers (red) above.
I have to admit I was a little hesitant at first. Robert had booked the tour himself and I wasn't too sure what I was getting into. We didn't get to see any flowing lava, but I loved it and our guide was fantastic! It was a private tour and I highly recommend it. Warren was very informative and took us off the beaten path. He showed us the Caldera, gave us a great introduction on what it was and walked us through eruptions from the 1970's. He showed us pieces of molten lava found on the ground that had been hurled into the air forming droplets (Pele's tears) or glassy filaments (Pele's hair). Pele being the Hawaiian volcano goddess.
This is an image of a Hawaiian fern, Hapu'u. It can be found throughout the Big Island, but I think that we've seen the biggest plants at the Volcano National Park. A "hair like" substance can be pulled off from the top which has been used as pillow stuffing or an alternative to what we know as fiber-fill.