My mom and sister decided to join our voyage of follies. The day’s escapades would be spent at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, with the first stop at the Nahuku Thurston Lava Tube. Lava can reform in such a way that creates a tunnel, this one about 50 yards long. This particular tube is estimated to be 500 years old.
When we stepped above ground, we encountered the steam vents around the park. Similar to Yellowstone, steam vents are scattered and have a rotten egg smell, occasionally pungent. Vibrant colors grow around the steam vents. Some vegetation dies and some thrives around sulphur fumes.
We hopped around to different spots around the park, but returned to the Kīlauea caldera as the sun set. With the sun overhead, the daylight masks the radiating red glow of the caldera. But as night falls, the caldera reminds all to see, that an energy lies just beyond view. The luminescent blush strikes the clouds above and can be seen for miles. Karel and I would be setting up camp at Halape Beach and could see the caldera’s glow from the coastline, some 10 miles away.
The Kīlauea volcano is 300,000-600,00 years old and is quite active to this day. Sporadic lava flows take place in and outside of the park. Karel and I tried to find a lava hike, but learned that the lava flows were scarce. I was looking forward to getting close to a lava flow, but it wasn’t meant to be.
After a day of volcano overload, we retreated back to our villa near the small town of Pahala. Karel and I would ditch my mom and sister the next day for our trek to Halape Beach.